Health Care Providers

NEW! Family Handout about Anxiety. Attendance Works created a handout for educators to share with families that offers brief information on the signs of anxiety and what families can do to support their child. 

Health providers and school health staff have an important role in ensuring students do not miss school unnecessarily because of illness or lack of access to health care.

This page was created for health practitioners working inside and outside of schools. It also helps educators consider how they might leverage the resources of health partners. Read this handout, Why Attendance Matters for Health Care Providers, to learn why health care providers and advocates should care about attendance and what they can do.

Use this School-Based Health Program Self-Assessment tool to assess what policies and practices your school, school-based clinic or medical practice employs to reduce school absences.

The American Academy of Pediatrics released new Covid-19 Guidance for Safe Schools and Promotion of In-Person Learning (September 2022). It strongly advocates that daily school attendance be monitored for all students, and that schools should use multi-tiered strategies to proactively support student attendance.

Below are listed general and mental health resources and those related to specific health issues. Find guidance, reports, materials for families, policy statements, briefs and research.

General health and Attendance

These tools present general information about the relationship between poor health and chronic absence.

  • Guidance: The Healthy Schools Campaign created Addressing the Health-Related Causes of Chronic Absenteeism: A Toolkit for Action, with strategies for developing community and public health partners. (2017)

  • Video: The Healthy and Ready to Learn initiative and Attendance Works developed two videos that explain the importance of attendance, how it is linked to health, and ways to create positive attendance culture in schools. Find the videos and additional resources to help start conversations on attendance. (2019)

  • For Families: Healthy’s 5 Ways to Help Your Kids Have a Healthy School Year offers families suggestions, with links to further information, on keeping students healthy. (2022)

  • Risk Behaviors: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Adolescent and School Health resources offers tools to help schools implement strategies to address health risk behaviors among students.

  • Policy Campaign: Attendance Works and the Healthy Schools Campaign are collaborating on the Here + Healthy Campaign to raise awareness nationally about the connection between chronic absenteeism and health. (2019)

  • Policy Brief: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation developed a policy brief that takes a close look at the reasons behind chronic absenteeism, its adverse impact on health and life outcomes, and offers potential solutions. (2017)

  • Policy Brief: The National Association of State Boards of Education released the brief, Examining Chronic Absence through a Student Health Lens, showing how state boards of education can delve into the causes of chronic absence—many of them health related—and support districts and schools. (2019)

  • Policy Statement: The position statement on school attendance by the American Academy of Pediatrics, The Link Between School Attendance and Good Health is about preventing health related absences. (2019)

  • Research: Chronic Absenteeism and School Health Brief, from the National Collaborative on Education and Health, offers an overview of the research that has documented effective school health interventions resulting in improvements to student attendance. (2015)

  • Research: The National Collaborative on Education and Health, created, Leading Health Conditions Impacting Student Attendance, a chart showing the health problems that can compromise a student’s ability to learn, its impact on attendance, sample interventions and potential partners.

Mental Health

Specific Health Issues

Here are some in depth resources for addressing specific health issues that present barriers to attendance.

Dental Health
  • Resource: The CDC’s Oral Health website offers free resources to help share the importance of oral health for children and their parents or caregivers.

  • Fact Sheet: The National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center’s Oral Health and Learning describes the impact of poor oral health on attendance and learning.

  • Policy Brief (Oral Health): A brief from the non-profit advocacy organization, Community Catalyst, Addressing Oral Health Inequities During COVID-19 and Beyond, explores several state policy options to respond to oral health care needs.

  • Guidance: provides general information and tips for diagnosing and treating childhood diabetes.

Developmental Disabilities

Updated October 2022