Business Leaders

Chronic absence is a problem we can solve, especially if business leaders work with schools, parents and communities to improve student attendance. Business leaders should get involved for the following reasons:

  • The workforce challenge: Absenteeism contributes to high school dropout rates, leaving students without the academic credentials and skills needed to compete in a 21st century workforce.

  • The soft skills challenge: Regular attendance is the precursor to the “soft skills” businesses will continue to expect and require. Students who don’t develop the habits associated with good attendance in the early years will find it difficult to develop them as adults.

  • The productivity challenge: Children who are sick miss school. And their parents miss work.

Case Statement Why Chronic Absence Matters for Business Leaders

Business Leaders Can
  • Marshal the data:  Work with superintendents to ensure the district is tracking chronic absence numbers—how many total absences for each student—not just daily averages of how many students showed up. Encourage districts to evaluate each school, grade and neighborhood. Share these data tools.

  • Nurture a culture of attendance:  Work with a local school to provide incentives for good or improved attendance, such as gift certificates, books, healthy snacks or backpacks. Talk to other business leaders about the role attendance plays in improving achievement and school success.

  • Educate your own employees about the importance of good school attendance. Share these handouts.

  • Put up a poster promoting good attendance in your store or office window.

  • Address barriers to good attendance: Support programs that address the health barriers to attendance, particularly asthma and dental care. Encourage employees to volunteer as attendance buddies or mentors for chronically absent students.

Download an attendance poster or infographic.