Attendance Awareness Campaign Update
A project led by Attendance Works
May 6, 2021
Planning for Attendance
Awareness Begins Now!

We've launched the ninth annual Attendance Awareness Campaign (AAC) with the theme, Rebound with Attendance! We know that many schools and districts have their hands full right now with reopening school buildings. Yet we want to remind everyone to take some time to plan for recovery and to take action for the long term.

Do you benefit from our easy-to-use online resources? Please help make it possible for us to continue to offer materials at no charge. Donate here.
The 2021 AAC calls on everyone to begin involving students and families in the spring to keep current students engaged and attract students to enroll. Building relationships that nurture a sense of belonging takes time, so starting now is essential. And, reviewing attendance data on an on-going basis will help to identify, early on, students in need of additional outreach.

To meaningfully engage students and families, actions should be tailored to recognize the strengths and specific challenges of high priority student groups that are experiencing significant levels of chronic absence. Keep in mind in recovery planning that focusing on strong attendance helps reduce educational inequities and improve academic achievement. Districts and communities can be mindful of when patterns of racism, bias and discrimination are contributing to barriers that lead to poor attendance.

To assist districts, schools and their partners develop a long-term, strategic approach to engaging students and families after months of change, we developed Pathways to Engagement: A Toolkit for Covid-19 Recovery Through Attendance. We are releasing the toolkit in stages and made available tools and resources for the spring on April 14. Stay tuned for the installment about the summer months which we will unveil on May 26. 

We’ve reviewed the federal Covid-19 relief funds to find those that can be used to support these kinds of activities. Learn more in our blog post.  

Download new badges and find social media ideas and resources for your campaign. Join with us and more than 100 national and state partners working to expand on last year's success and bring more communities into our movement. Sign up to receive updates

Our next free webinar will focus on how schools, districts and community partners can use their attendance and participation data to organize and tailor summer programming. Register here. Webinar 2: Engaged: Using Summer to Connect with Students and Families, Wednesday, May 26, 2021: 11am-12:30pm PT / 2pm–3:30pm ET. 

This year we are opening registration for all four AAC webinars at one time! We need your help to get the word out. Send this webinar description to colleagues, insert it in newsletters, or share our social media messages (below) about the webinar.
Attendance Resources
NEW Professional Development from Attendance Works! As schools seek to engage record numbers of students that have missed weeks or even months of school, it’s clear they need all hands on deck to improve attendance. Sign up with a school or district team for our virtual 3-part training series. Participants will get a chance to interact with their peers and the Attendance Works team. Pay now to reserve your spot for this fall!

In the months ahead, schools and districts can invest in staff and deepen community partnerships to address and meet students’ needs as a way to help improve attendance. A wide-ranging coalition of research, education and community organizations from across California have endorsed a new research-based framework outlining a restorative restart for public schools as students return to campus. Read recommendations for a restorative restart.

Engaging families is key to creating a welcoming environment that supports attendance. Check out this interactive checklist for parents and caregivers to help them keep their kids healthy and safe during the pandemic, from Kaiser Permanente and Action for Healthy Kids.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading held a webinar on April 27th to launch a series of conversations with pioneering thought leaders about how to support the well-being of young children given how the make-up of classrooms will change as a result of what CGLR is calling the “Covid-19 slide-turned-avalanche.” The webinar included Attendance Works insights about challenges related to enrollment hesitancy and a rise in chronic early absence. Read our blog post about the webinar, Preparing for the Fall: Examining the Implications of Classroom Composition and Churn.
Policy News

“No matter the reason for their absences, school district officials should work quickly to locate and reengage students who are chronically absent or disengaged. These efforts should be undertaken in a non-punitive manner,” the U.S. Education Department writes in its Covid-19 Handbook: Volume 2 2021. The handbook includes examples of how districts and schools are reengaging students, and provides information on building safe, physically healthy and inclusive learning environments — all actions that can improve attendance. Read the handbook.
State News

Attendance Works is pleased to support the Connecticut State Department of Education and the state’s Learner Engagement and Attendance Program (LEAP). The initiative is designed to engage with K-12 students who struggled with absenteeism and disengagement during the 2020-21 school year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and will involve 15 school districts. Read more.

For many students, the rapid shift to online learning in the spring of 2020 appears to have resulted in increased disengagement, according to an article in ASCD’s Educational Leadership. “Perhaps the most important takeaway from research,” the authors write, “is that student engagement is often an environmental condition, not a student characteristic. Thus, it's relatively easy to change.” Read Research Matters / Moving from Absent to Present.

EveryDay Labs researcher Monica Lee has studied the academic impact on secondary students from missing too many days of instruction. In a Q&A, Lee said absences have a greater impact on achievement than educational interventions, such as reducing class size from 22 to 15 students. “What this means is that improving attendance is a strategic and low-cost approach to improving achievement,” Lee said. Read the Q&A.
New Partners!

This month, we welcome three new campaign partners: Excel by Eight, Florida PTA, and Kids in Need Foundation.
Welcome Corporate Sponsors!

A big thank you to this year's Attendance Awareness Corporate Sponsors: EveryDay Labs and French Toast.
Spread the Word!

Sample Tweets

Join us May 26 at 2:00pm ET for AAC webinar #2, “Engaged: Using Summer to Connect w/ Students & Families.” Learn how to create opportunities for students to socialize, engage in learning activities & practice showing up in person.

Webinar #2 of the 2021 Attendance Awareness Campaign offers innovative approaches that utilize the summer to cultivate student connection, feelings of belonging and excitement about learning. Hope to see you on May 26th at 2:00 pm ET. #SchoolEveryDay
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 advance student success and reduce equity gaps by addressing chronic absence. Find free downloadable resources, research, consulting services and more on our website:

For more information contact:
Copyright © 2021 Attendance Works, All rights reserved