How Can We Deliver the Message?


A multi-ethnic group of seven children holding hands, running down their school hallway, laughing and shouting, looking at the camera. They are in kindergarten or preschool.

Positive messaging is to help parents and students realize that daily attendance is key to reaching their dreams of a successful future. The message we must deliver is that every absence makes a difference at every grade level. Every day missed is a day of instruction missed that can’t be recovered. Research shows that two to four missed days in the first month of school can predict chronic absence throughout the year. Spreading the message about good attendance at the start of the school year can get everyone off to a good start.

Here are four key steps for messaging about good attendance. Click on the one that interests you for tips, templates, and success stories.

  1. Incorporate information about attendance into daily interactions with families
    The responsibility for good attendance starts with families, and messaging efforts should start there, too.
  1. Attendance Incentives and Contests
    The opening of school is an excellent time to put in place a strong system of incentives to encourage better attendance among students and their families or to make sure an existing system recognizes improved attendance, not just perfect attendance
  1. Host Special Events
    The new school year means back-to- school night for parents and assemblies for students. These are ideal times to convey the link between absenteeism and student achievement and to build a culture of attendance.
  1. Develop media and public outreach to take place in September
    Every year, print and broadcast reporters turn up looking for back-to-school stories. Suggest that this year’s pieces focus on school attendance and the efforts by your organization or community to reduce absenteeism.