Attendance Awareness Campaign Update
A project led by Attendance Works
October 17, 2019
Keep Up the Momentum!
Thank you for supporting our Attendance Awareness Campaign 2019! Your activities help provide every student an equal opportunity to learn and thrive by being in school every day. Keep the momentum going as you move forward in the school year.

Have you noticed kids who have been chronically absent since the start of school? Now is a good time to intervene early. Students who have a past history of chronic absence, or who face a challenge such as chronic illness, need a higher level of individualized support in addition to benefiting from universal, school-wide encouragements. We've developed a 3 Tier pyramid, a list of interventions that schools and districts can try and a blank worksheet to help schools assess what more they can do to reduce chronic absence.  Find the tools .
We Want Your Input

Please give us feedback on this year's Attendance Awareness Campaign and offer ideas for how we can improve. Our short survey will just take 5 minutes to complete. Fill in your contact information and enter a drawing to win one of two $50 gift cards. Find the survey here.
Superintendents Call to Action At All-Time High

We are pleased to announce that a record-breaking 803 superintendents signed the national Superintendents Call to Action! These superintendents, from districts large and small, pledged to raise their voices and support strong attendance in the 2019-20 SY. Each superintendent has access to resources to help them prioritize attendance, mobilize the community and drive with data. To highlight this accomplishment, we published a press release listing the names of each superintendent who signed, and posted the names, by state and district, on our website. Find the press release and share the news with your networks.

Sample Tweet!
Congratulations to the 803 local Superintendents who signed this year's Superintendents Call to Action & pledged to raise their voices to lead the effort to improve attendance, starting in the early grades, in their communities! Press release: #SchoolEveryDay #suptchat #edchat
Attendance Tools

Attendance Dips?
Student absences can increase with the end of year holidays and the onset of winter weather. Get ahead of the dip with our two messaging toolkits. The Attendance Works Holiday Messaging toolkit addresses absences that typically spike around school vacation days. Stay the Course: A Winter Messaging Toolkit can help families and community members develop strategies and plans to overcome weather-related barriers that stand in the way of getting children to school.

Some students begin to miss school after the first month because of a variety of barriers including a lack of food or a safe or reliable way to get to school. Consider school-wide strategies including food pantries, health fairs, flu shots, hand washing campaigns, clothing closets or a walking school bus led by a parent volunteer. Find solutions to barriers in the Attendance Playbook developed with FutureEd.

What's the relationship between engagement and your school's level of chronic absence? Remind, a communication platform in education, has developed engagement ratings for K-12 schools across the U.S. The rating offers the Attendance Works Bringing Attendance Home toolkit and video as a resource to help boost family engagement. Take a look!
Donate to Attendance Works

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 so everyone can take steps to ensure students are in school so they can learn. Whatever you can give $25, $50, $100 or more would be much appreciated! Make your donation here.
We Belong in School

We take our hats off to the many schools, districts, communities and states across the U.S. that kicked off this school year with scores of Attendance Awareness activities ranging from a family quiz, supply drives, essay contests, and new student health programs. Here are a few:

The Alabama Department of Mental Health has joined with the Alabama State Department of Education to promote Attendance Awareness. The two state departments are partnering with community mental health authorities and local schools to bring mental health programs directly to students so challenges can be addressed and appropriately supported in order to help students be more prepared to learn.

Clark County School District, NV hosted "The Family Quiz Game Show: An Interactive Attendance Matters Workshop," a 45-minute question-based family experience aimed at decreasing absenteeism rates. The quiz is a fantastic mixture of district attendance data and easy tips for families. The quiz is part of the district's Family and Community Engagement Services (FACES) programming.

Hawkins County Schools, TN held contests and promotions for attendance awareness throughout the month of September. Educators added an attendance essay contest for middle and high school students, and they are looking for more ways to promote attendance throughout the school year.
Find more Attendance Awareness activities in our Community News 2019.
State Action

Ensuring adequate funding and support for districts with large numbers of kids living in poverty is an essential tool for improving conditions for learning so students want to come to school. The Student Opportunity Act, introduced in Massachusetts, would provide $1.5 billion for public schools. The funding focuses on districts with a significant percentage of students living in low-income communities and includes money for improved behavioral and mental health services, school site improvements and more. Read about the bill.

The Mississippi Department of Education released its most recent chronic absence data showing that 19,746 more students attended regularly during the 2018-19 school year, compared with the previous year. The school- and district-level chronic absence rate was 13.05%, the lowest rate since MDE has been calculating and reporting this metric. Similar to national trends, MS kindergarteners have the highest chronic absenteeism rate among the elementary school grades at 13.29%. Chronic absenteeism decreased steadily throughout grades 1 through 5, then increased steadily throughout middle and high school. Find the report.
Live Stream Event

NBC News Learn is hosting a live streamed education event at The Henry Ford in Detroit on October 24 from 5:50-8pm ET. Attendance Works will join panelists who will discuss the challenges and solutions to student exit, mobility and absenteeism, which have a significant impact on education outcomes in the Greater Detroit area and urban districts across the country. RSVP here.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading has launched a webinar series that explores the best science, ideas and programs essential to Building Productive Parent-Teacher Partnerships. Please join Attendance Works' Hedy N. Chang and Cecelia Leong during the October 22 webinar that will explore the need for communities to work together over time to address the barriers that keep students from attending regularly. The panel will explore the role of peer learning networks and how they sustain a positive, problem-solving approach to improving attendance. Learn more about the series and register for one, or all of the webinars.

Missed an AAC webinar? Find the webinar recording, presentation slides, discussion guides and other resources from all four webinars on our website. Download these resources and watch when you have the time.
Partner Spotlight

Our heartfelt thanks to partner United Way Worldwide, who once again provided broad support of the AAC 2019 webinar series. UWW arranged the registration, provided technical staff and moderated each of this year's four webinars.

United Way Worldwide is engaged in nearly 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide. We bring people and organizations from all sectors of society together to improve EDUCATION, INCOME AND HEALTH, the building blocks for a better life and stronger community.
Spread the Word!

Sample Tweets

Please join us in giving feedback on this year's Attendance Awareness Campaign & offer ideas for improvement. Fill in the short survey @attendanceworks. Add your contact info for a chance to win a $50 gift card! #SchoolEveryDay #SchoolCulture

Reducing absence goes hand in hand with cultivating positive conditions for learning. A new @attendanceworks & @AIRInforms report discusses how educators & policymakers can use chronic absence data to address inequities & improve student outcomes 

Students are more likely to attend school if they feel safe, supported and engaged. #SchoolEveryDay #SchoolCulture
Attendance in the News
Campaign Convening Partners
See the full list of Attendance Awareness Campaign partners here.
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