Attendance Awareness Campaign Update

A project led by Attendance Works

August 23, 2023

High School: Restore Daily Attendance and Engagement!

After three years of interrupted learning, many older students and their families can benefit from re-establishing daily attendance habits and opportunities to deepen their connections to school. 

Attendance Works interviewed staff from seven bright spot high schools in Connecticut to learn what they are doing to improve student attendance and engagement. Watch for an announcement about this report.  

Edutopia’s short video discusses evidence-based tools for helping middle and high school students strengthen their engagement and executive functioning. Share with your team at the start of school!


Highlight that showing up for school offers opportunities to Build Routines, Increase Engagement, Provide Access to Resources and Support Learning. View our toolkit and download talking points for older students and families with middle and high schoolers.

Did you see our new posters with the 2023 slogan and images of older students? 

Donate now

Reducing high levels of chronic absence requires a continual focus on engagement, support and the rebuilding of routines. Donate today and help propel the push for a full educational recovery for all kids and youth.

Attendance Tools

Send home our handouts for families of middle and high school students.

Download a new quick start guide. We collaborated with the Western Educational Equity Assistance Center on a resource with six actionable steps that district, tribal, state and other leaders can take to improve student attendance, reduce chronic absence and close gaps in access to education.

Schools and districts must communicate clearly and often with families to address fears about when to send a child to school with respect to health issues. We collaborated with national health professionals on a new handout that notes students can attend with minor illnesses, and offers guidance on when students should stay home and seek advice from a health provider.

Learn more about why students are missing school, or what can motivate them to show up every day, using free qualitative data collection strategies such as an empathy interview, 2 by 10 relationship building or surveys. 

Attendance Celebrations!

The Mississippi Department of Education has launched Every School Day Counts – Attend to Achieve, a campaign communicating the benefits of regular school attendance and ways to prevent students from being chronically absent. Districts and community organizations can download toolkit materials.

In Tennessee, the Family Resource Centers for Lenoir City and Loudon County Schools have launched a new countywide school attendance awareness campaign titled “Get Your Selfie 2 School!”.

New Research

Take steps to encourage skills that help students attend school regularly and succeed in school. New research from the University of Chicago shows that fewer absences is one of the multiple outcomes resulting from supporting socio-emotional development for high school students. Read a summary of the research in a news article in The74.  

An important analysis shows that between the 2018-19 and 2021-22 school years, the share of students chronically absent grew by 13.5 percentage points — a 91% increase that implies an additional 6.5 million students are chronically absent. Thomas S. Dee from Stanford University also found that school masking policies, enrollment loss and Covid-19 case rates are not associated with the state-level growth in chronic absenteeism. 

What it would take for US schools to fully recover from COVID-19? This analysis from McKinsey & Company includes examples of bright spots and discusses what it might take for states, districts, and philanthropies to scale interventions to reach a greater proportion of students in need.


We’ll be discussing chronic absenteeism in California and what schools and families can do to stem the tide. Register for the EdSource webinar on August 24, 2023 at 7pm ET. 

Join PowerSchool and Attendance Works on August 24, 2023 at 2pm ET to learn actionable strategies and interventions to address chronic absenteeism and provide student support. Register here! 


Our next free AAC Webinar (#4) is: Sustaining Success: Investing in Showing Up! on Wednesday, September 27, 2023. 2pm-1:30pm PT / 3pm–4:30pm ET. Register here, and check out the recordings of those you missed!

Sign up as a team for our three-part, online PD for educators. Attendance Works team members will show you how to implement strategies, support students and mobilize community partners to engage students (and their families) that are missing school.

Partner Spotlight

Everyone Graduates Center combines analysis of the causes, location and consequences of the nation’s dropout crisis with the development of tools and models designed to keep all students on the path to graduation. 

EGC’s GRAD Partnership’s New Tool For District Leaders can help district leadership teams reflect and consider the strengths and areas for improvement of student support efforts within their schools and districts and build upon them to create a student success system. Join on September 19 to learn more! 

Corporate Sponsors

A special thanks to our Attendance Awareness Campaign corporate sponsors for their commitment to help ensure that every child and youth is engaged and in school every day. Their investment makes it possible for us to provide you with free strategies and materials.

Attendance in the News

Schools using nonpunitive approaches to tackle chronic absenteeism, K12 Dive, August 15, 2023 

RSU 9 looking for new ways to tackle absenteeism, Livermore Falls Advertiser, August 8, 2023

A third of homeless students are chronically absent. Would an ‘attendance culture’ help?, EdSurge, August 7, 2023

Social Media Sample

Health-related absences are often preventable! @attendanceworks collaborated with @kpthrive @schoolnurses & other health professionals to release a new resource to help families address concerns about when to send a child to school after an illness. Take a look: #SchoolEveryDay 

We are now on Instagram! Find updates on our free resources, strategies, reports and events. Follow us @attendanceworks

Campaign Convening Partners

See the full list of Attendance Awareness Partners here.

Attendance Works is a non-profit, national and state initiative. Our mission is to promote equal opportunities to learn and advance student success by reducing chronic absence. Find free downloadable resources, research, consulting services and more on our website:

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