Attendance Awareness Campaign Update

A project led by Attendance Works

September 13, 2023

Messaging to Boost Attendance!

Did you know that two to four missed days in the first month of school increases the likelihood of chronic absence throughout the year? Set the tone of this school year by encouraging everyone to deliver a similar message: daily attendance matters, for student well-being and academic success, at every grade level. And, if students miss school, reach out to offer support.

Listen to an interview with Attendance Works’ Hedy Chang on PBS NewsHour this past weekend. 

Teachers are essential in creating a safe school community that can motivate daily attendance. A few shared with us how they are communicating this to students and families. View our short video and share it with school staff. 

Not sure what to focus on when talking, or creating written messages, about establishing an attendance culture? We updated our key messages that offer suggested talking points to rally communities to support students and families and address barriers to attendance, connection and achievement. 

Check out the strategies and handouts in our Count Us In! toolkit, which includes four steps for messaging about good attendance. Or view our blog post, The Power of Communication: Driving Attendance Campaigns and Engagement.

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

MENTOR’s Youth-Led Advocacy Guide is now available! This resource is a great tool for caring adults and youth-serving organizations looking to support emerging community leaders and elevate authentic youth-led organizing. 

Parent-teacher conferences are an ideal time to talk about the importance and benefits of regular attendance (starting as early as kindergarten and even in pre-kindergarten). Prepare for the conference by reviewing Making the Most of Your Parent-Teacher Conference: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Our free data tools can help districts and schools find out more about barriers to attendance and what motivates showing up to school for the grades, schools and student groups most affected. 

Our next free AAC Webinar (#4) is: Sustaining Success: Investing in Showing Up! on Wednesday, September 27, 2023. 12pm-1:30pm PT / 3pm–4:30pm ET. Register here.

Attendance Celebrations!

Thirteen Omaha-Council Bluffs (NE) area school superintendents signed a letter to 90 clinic managers and physicians supporting a local attendance awareness campaign using AAC materials. Metro-Omaha Raise Me to Read, a nonprofit, and the Metropolitan Omaha Educational Consortium collaborated in the effort. Scroll down this page to see the letter and campaign resources. 

The Southside Independent School District (TX) staff and Education Foundation volunteers are encouraging students attending a September football game to “pledge to attend” school, then holding a sign at the game or holding one in a photo. Those who do get a chance to win small school supplies.

San Francisco Unified School District (CA) is sharing resources and messages with students and families about the importance of attendance during September and the rest of the year. Students are invited to participate in an Attendance Awareness Month Student Poster contest


Celebrate Community School Coordinator’s week September 17-23, using the 2023 toolkit! Staffed by IEL, the Coalition for Community Schools prepares, supports, and mobilizes leaders to advance community schools as a key equity strategy for children, families and communities.

Recent national data shows that #LearningLoss recovery continues to be a daunting challenge for schools and students. Join the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading on 9/19 to hear from researchers about potential models for closing the gaps and accelerating learning recovery.  

Join Todd Rogers with Every Day Labs for a webinar discussion about how to write so busy families and staff read and respond. Register for this free event on September 21, 2023, 3:00pm ET!

Partner Spotlight

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. Working in partnership with the 49 state municipal leagues, NLC serves as a resource to and an advocate for the more than 19,000 cities, villages and towns it represents. The Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, a special entity within NLC, helps municipal leaders take action on behalf of the children, youth, and families in their communities.

We partnered with the National League of Cities on a fact and tip sheet detailing how cities can support improved attendance. 

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

Why millions of students are chronically absent from schools in the U.S., PBS NewsHour, September 10, 2023

California Schools Struggle to Deal With Soaring Chronic Absenteeism, KQED, September 8, 2023  

Wu, Skipper go door-knocking to help get kids back in school, WBUR, September 6, 2023

As more Kansas students miss school, districts look for ways to entice them back to class, WKUR 89.3, September 5, 2023

Social Media Sample

Registration is open for the 4th AAC webinar! Presenters will review their experiences w/ 3 evidence-based practices for reducing chronic absence: home visiting, success mentoring and school nurses. #SchoolEveryDay @attendanceworks

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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