Use data to identify where and how to target resources that can address common challenges of getting to school such as transportation, health and housing.
Consider targeting the schools with the highest levels of chronic absence and the community agencies with the strongest relationships there.
Some students miss school because of neighborhood violence or dangerous intersections in route to the campus. Schools and communities have started creating ”Walking School Buses” and other approaches to keep kids safe.
Some students have no school bus or reliable transportation to take them to school. Transit agencies and parent carpools can help.
In Springfield, Massachusetts, dozens of elementary school students and sometimes their parents arrive at school early to join school staff and walk around the schoolyard. The 100 Mile Club program provides a healthy and positive start to the school day. The school also organized a “Walking School Bus” led by teachers and parents. Both of these daily walk programs have boosted parent engagement, and average daily attendance rates have improved, school officials report.
In Minnesota, high school students living more than 2 miles from school and all students eligible for free or reduced price meals were given transit passes from a partnership between the Minneapolis Public Schools and Metro Transit. The pass users had 23 percent lower absenteeism and engaged in more learning opportunities after school, researchers found.