Early Matters: Integrating Attendance Into Kindergarten Transition

Roadmap: Attendance Awareness During the Transition Into Kindergarten

Spring

Welcome starts with registration!

Site-based opportunities

  • Incorporate attendance messages into registration materials
  • Include attendance awareness in open house activities
  • Provide friendly health-related materials to parents
  • Give children playful, hands-on attendance materials

System-level supports

  • Convene elementary and preschool leadership to focus on kindergarten attendance
  • Plan a community-wide attendance messaging campaign for families with young children
  • Enlist community partners to support the attendance work

Summer

Preparation intensifies

Site-based opportunities

  • Discuss chronic absence prevention during staff orientation
  • Create an attendance team
  • Recruit volunteers to play a friendly attendance mascot
  • Plan year-round calendar of attendance celebrations

System-level supports

  • Offer transition program for students without preschool experience
  • Include chronic absence prevention materials in professional development
  • Develop recognition activities and incentive programs for improved attendance
  • Participate in the Attendance Works national Attendance Awareness Campaign

Fall

Welcome activities abound

Site-based opportunities

  • Send each kindergarten family a welcome letter with attendance message
  • Conduct relational home visits
  • Integrate attendance activities or videos into family orientation events
  • Engage students in monitoring their own attendance
  • Analyze first month’s attendance data to identify children and families in need of extra support
  • Launch recognition and incentive activities
  • Plan special back-to-school event for the first day after winter break

System-level supports

  • Sustain or expand attendance messaging
  • Analyze chronic absence data by grade and share results with sites or schools
  • Use data to identify problematic patterns and develop solutions
  • Plan additional professional development
  • Work with community partners to provide incentives for good or improved attendance

Winter

A fresh opportunity to succeed!

Site-based opportunities

  • Launch the new year with a day that children won’t want to miss
  • Create friendly attendance competition among classrooms
  • Offer playful “make and take home” parent or family attendance activities
  • Use attendance data to problem solve with families
  • Talk with families about improved attendance to celebrate progress

System-level supports

  • Reach out to preschools and community partners to plan next year’s transition
  • Gather site and community leadership to analyze progress
  • Develop strategies and professional development that reflect data trends
  • Expand public visibility of attendance with messaging on billboards or by hanging posters or banners