Teaching Attendance 2.0 Introduction

Please note: This toolkit was created before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. We are continuing to make it available because many of the strategies offered remain applicable. Some adaptions may be needed given changing conditions. 

Every day a student is absent is a lost opportunity for learning. Too many absences not only can affect achievement for the absent student but also can disrupt learning for the entire class. While teachers play a key role, everyone in the school building— from the principal to the front office to the cafeteria— can teach attendance!

What does it mean to teach attendance? More than simply taking roll each day. Teaching attendance involves building awareness about how many absences are too many, encouraging students to come to school every day even when it is hard and engaging them once they are in the school building.

It can also involve helping children and families get assistance to solve a significant barrier to getting to school. Yet educators don’t need to solve the problem of chronic absence alone. When educators review student attendance data and notice absences adding up, they can encourage families to partner with other school staff, such as social workers or nurses, as well as community agencies to get needed supports.

Attendance Works and Parent Teacher Home Visits (PTHV) collaborated on this toolkit to identify cutting edge concepts and tools to help educators work with families, students and community partners to make school attendance a priority.

Scroll down to Explore the Teaching Attendance 2.0 Toolkit and learn more about what you can do to teach attendance.