Summer 2023, No. 1
A Note from the Executive Director

Schools often see attendance waning in the last few weeks of the school year. Wind down the term with fun activities to keep students engaged through the last day. Draw from our spring list of activities on this page.

As we move into summer, states and districts can analyze their own chronic absence data. These data tools can help identify which student groups have missed too many days, and plans can be made to target them with caring, early intervention at the start of the next year.

Data can also be used to see which innovative practices should continue because they successfully nurtured engagement and attendance. Our What Works in Our Community? toolkit will help identify promising local practices.

We’re delighted to announce the release of the new Attendance Playbook, developed in collaboration with FutureEd. The playbook is designed to help education policymakers and practitioners respond to the high rates of chronic student absenteeism post-pandemic. It includes more than two dozen effective, readily scalable approaches covering topics ranging from family engagement to students’ social and emotional well-being.

We don’t want May to end without letting you all know how much we appreciate your hard work. Your compassion, perseverance and dedication to students and families is invaluable.


Hedy Chang
Founder and Executive Director
Resource Spotlight
Summer learning can boost academic skills and sharpen the habit of regular attendance. Getting families to register for summer learning programs isn't easy. The Wallace Foundation’s toolkit provides tips and lessons learned from districts about launching a summer learning recruitment effort.

If you haven’t seen our Showing Up Matters for R.E.A.L. toolkit, take a look at the Summer Learning page with ideas for using our updated messaging to encourage families to Sign Up and Show Up.

Many families don’t understand how spotty attendance among our youngest learners negatively impacts academic and social skills. Try our updated Illustrating the Gap, a fun, interactive exercise that gets adults moving as they learn about this connection.
Attendance Awareness Campaign
Nearly 6,000 individuals have registered for a free Attendance Awareness Campaign 2023 webinar so far. Join in! Register for the next two webinars, A Welcoming and Healthy Return to School: Ensuring Showing Up, on August 9, and Sustaining Success: Investing in Showing Up!, on September 27. We will “see you” there!

We've added two new sections to the 2023 Count Us In! toolkit: How Can Educators Improve Attendance, and How Can We Identify and Help Students with Poor Attendance. Find new strategies and resources to help educators plan local attendance awareness campaigns and develop community partnerships to address today's unusually high levels of chronic absenteeism.

Dr. Pamela Cantor, founder and senior science advisor with Turnaround for Children, describes how social isolation, trauma and increased anxiety are affecting student attendance and engagement, and what adults can do to help. View a short video clip from our Attendance Awareness Campaign webinar.

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.
We are co-hosting a webinar with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading on May 23! Showing up Together: Learning and Attendance Go Hand in Hand, will showcase Attendance Awareness Campaign materials, the updated Attendance Playbook, and communities and school districts that have been successful in launching attendance awareness campaigns. Register here.
Professional Development
We’ve opened new classes in our highly-rated, three-part e-training for educators! Learn proven, evidence-based, tiered strategies to promote attendance and engagement using a team approach. The 3-class series will take place in September.

Attendance Works also offers fee-based, high quality consulting services tailored to individual state agencies, school districts and schools, in addition to free resources and strategies. For more information, email or check our website.
News Highlights
There Is Hope
Our ability to provide free resources and tools, webinars, technical assistance and guidance depends on our contributions from people like you. Donate to Attendance Works!
Attendance Works would like to express its deep appreciation to the foundations that are currently funding our work nationally and in communities across the country: Abell Foundation, The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Heising-Simons Foundation, The Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Open Society Institute–Baltimore, Stuart Foundation, United Way of Treasure Valley.