Strategy 4: Emphasize Attendance All Year
Daily attendance is not steady over the course of a school year. Where does it tend to dip? When educators know which days of the week or months of the year tend to have poor attendance, they can plan ahead and take steps to reduce the number of absences. If you notice absences are high on particular weekdays, such as Mondays or Fridays, or if they peak before or after holidays, plan something to encourage attendance. Ideas include lessons that are particularly engaging, special incentives for those days or inviting families or a special guest to visit and give presentations.
For students in the juvenile justice system and foster care, transition points are particularly vulnerable moments. These time periods are often unique to the experience of system-involved students: moving into a new home or other placement, moving mid-semester into a new school, reunifying with biological parents and transitioning back home. Other vulnerable times are returning to school after difficult appointments that include court hearings, child and family team meetings, check-ins with their probation officers, or therapy appointments. It’s important to be in communication with a system-involved student’s social worker and/or probation officer to be informed of these transition points and how they may affect attendance.