Upcoming Webinars and Workshops

Tuesday, May 23, 2017:  It Takes Two:  Adding Early Intervention Strategies to Address Chronic Absence (11:00 am – 12:30 pm PT / 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET).  Register here.

Please note: Due to the high level of interest in this series, we are likely to exceed the webinar room capacity of 500! Please note that once you register you will receive the webinar recording, PowerPoint slides and other materials whether you attend or not. You might consider organizing a separate session to watch with a group using the recording and discussion guide. Guests are welcome to log in 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the webinar on May 23.

Communities across the country are reducing chronic absenteeism by using a comprehensive set of strategies that: 1) prevents absences from occurring, 2) organizes caring and early outreach to families and students before absences add up, and 3) coordinates supports and services for vulnerable students who miss the most school.

This second of four Attendance Awareness Month 2017 webinars focuses on early outreach and intervention. Join us and learn what teachers, mentors, school nurses and other caring adults can do to identify and help students improve attendance as soon as they show signs of falling off track. Register here.

Each webinar in this year’s series builds on the previous one. If you missed the first webinar, Reducing Chronic Absence: It’s a Matter of 1, 2, 3!, scroll down for the archived recording and materials.

Save the dates for the remaining Attendance Awareness Month webinars for 2017:  August 8 and September 12.


Past Webinars and Workshops

March 28, 2017:  Reducing Chronic Absence:  It’s a Matter of 1, 2, 3!

What does it really take to reduce chronic absence?  Communities across the country are reducing chronic absenteeism by using a comprehensive set of strategies that: 1) prevents absences from occurring, 2) organizes caring and early outreach to families and students before absences add up, and 3) coordinates supports and services for vulnerable students who miss the most school. This webinar focuses on universal attendance improvement strategies for all students. These strategies are the first of three tiers of action needed to reduce chronic absence. Presenters include:

  • Alicia Lara, United Way Worldwide
  • Todd Rogers, Harvard University
  • Shauna McMillan, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania
  • Stephen Weiss, His Place Community Center
  • Beth Duda, The Patterson Foundation
  • Diana Greene, Manatee County Schools
  • Hedy Chang and Cecelia Leong, Attendance Works


December 7, 2016:  Every Student Every Day—No Matter What: Realizing the Power of Chronic Absence Data to Ensure Safe, Supportive Schools

Every public school student — no matter his or her race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, citizenship status, or other perceived difference — is entitled to attend a safe, supportive school that promotes daily attendance and ensures an equal opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed. In order to support state, district, school, and community leaders in delivering on this guarantee—no matter what—this virtual summit will feature leading practitioners, researchers, federal officials, and advocates from across the country who are leveraging chronic absence data to propel systems change that ensures high-quality, whole-child supports for all students.

The summit focuses on state and district implementation of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the opportunity to realize the power of chronic absence data to develop systems of support that improve student attendance and other important youth outcomes. This event is sponsored by the US Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Justice, in partnership with Attendance Works, Healthy Schools Campaign, Trust for America’s Health and Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University.


November 1, 2016:  Attendance Awareness All Year Long: Inspiring and Sustaining Progress

After Attendance Awareness Month is over, how can schools and communities reach out to families and students to encourage good attendance all year long? Join Attendance Works and our special guests as they share how to use attendance data to anticipate and counter dips in daily attendance that routinely occur over the course of the school year, ideas for leveraging the success of Attendance Awareness Month throughout the year, strategies for engaging families and students whose absences are adding up, and free resources for messaging all year long about the importance of attendance. Presenters include:

  • Samantha Wigand, United Way Worldwide
  • Kim Nauer, The New School, Center for New York City Affairs
  • Brent Lynch, Jefferson County Public Schools
  • Terry Patton, Franklin Square Elementary and Middle School
  • Cecelia Leong and Hedy Chang, Attendance Works.


September 8, 2016:  Ensuring an Equal Opportunity to Learn:  Leveraging Chronic Absence Data for Strategic Action

In June 2016, the U.S. Office for Civil Rights released its first national count of students who were chronically absent. The data showed a staggering 6.5 million students were chronically absent, which means that they missed so much school that their ability to read well and gain fundamental skills and knowledge for college and career was hampered. In the 500 most heavily impacted districts, over 30% of students were chronically absent. Join us as we release a major national study analyzing the data and more importantly, showing how leaders at the local, state and national levels can take strategic action to monitor and address chronic absence in order to ensure an equal opportunity to learn and succeed. Presenters include:

  • Samantha Wigand, United Way Worldwide
  • Robert Balfanz, Everyone Graduates Center, Johns Hopkins University
  • Charlene Russell-Tucker, Connecticut Department of Education
  • Mel Atkins II, Grand Rapids Public Schools
  • Chana Edmond-Verley, Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation
  • Cecelia Leong and Hedy Chang, Attendance Works


August 16, 2016:  Collective Action: Taking a Cross-Sector Approach

Chronic absence — missing 10% of the school year for any reason — has negative consequences for students. Yet with the combined efforts of parents, schools, communities and agencies, it is a solvable problem. What does it look like when partners from various sectors such as education, health, housing, justice and business pool their resources to help families get their children to school every day? Presenters include:

  • Samantha Wigand, United Way Worldwide
  • Susan Dawson, E3 Alliance
  • Dr. Kevin Riley and Treva Haugaard, Greater Omaha Attendance and Learning Services (GOALS)
  • Ellie Rossiter and Uzuri Pease-Greene, Hope SF
  • Cecelia Leong and Hedy Chang, Attendance Works


May 17, 2016: Using Data to Drive Action: Portraits of Chronic Absence

What can we learn from states and communities that are already using their local chronic absence data to raise awareness about the impact of absences on student achievement? Join the partners in the Attendance Awareness Campaign as we focus on how state and local innovators are already using chronic absence analyses to galvanize action to reduce chronic absence. Presenters include:

  • Marci Young, United Way Worldwide
  • Betsy Hammond, The Oregonian
  • Cynthia Rice, Advocates for Children of New Jersey
  • Linda Southward, Mississippi KIDS COUNT
  • Toni Kersh, Mississippi Department of Education
  • Cecelia Leong and Hedy Chang, Attendance Works


April 12, 2016:  Motivating Good Attendance All Year Long

Our first Attendance Awareness Webinar for 2016 focuses on the latest strategies for leveraging positive messaging to prevent and reduce chronic absence. We will also unveil our 2016 Count Us In! toolkit. We invite new communities to launch Attendance Awareness Month in September as a step towards a year-round Attendance Awareness Campaign. Presenters include:

  • Marci Young, United Way Worldwide
  • Lysette Lemay and Yesenia Gonzalez, Parent Teacher Home Visit Project
  • Todd Rogers, Harvard University
  • Jill Habig, Office of Attorney General Kamala Harris
  • Josh Skolnick, U.S. Department of Education
  • Hedy Chang and Cecelia Leong, Attendance Works


September 9, 2015:  Mapping the Early Attendance Gap

Before we can close achievement gaps and reduce dropout rates, we need to address the attendance gaps that start in kindergarten, and even in preschool. Across the country, absenteeism disproportionately affects the students from low-income families and communities of color and those with disabilities. The early attendance gaps, left unchecked, turn into achievement gaps reflected in weaker skills, lower test scores and, ultimately, lower graduation rates. Many of these early absences are excused because of health concerns, but they still represent lost learning time. Building off a new brief from Attendance Works and the Healthy Schools Campaign, this webinar will explore when and why these gaps develop and how we can use data to target interventions. Presenters include:

  • Eric Glaser, Director, U.S. Network Impact, United Way Worldwide
  • Brittany Moore, Manager, Alliance Engagement, America’s Promise Alliance
  • Mark Bishop, Vice President of Policy, Healthy Schools Campaign
  • Yolie Flores, Senior Fellow, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
  • Gordon Jackson, Director, Coordinated Student Support Division, California Department of Education
  • Jill Habig, Special Assistant Attorney General for California Attorney General Kamala Harris
  • Sharon Lee, Director, Office of Multiple Pathways, Rhode Island Department of Education
  • Rebecca Boxx, Director, Providence Children and Youth Cabinet, Annenberg Institute for School Reform, Brown University
  • Terry Haven, Deputy Director, Voices for Utah Children
  • Lisa Wisham, Education Specialist, 21st Century Community Learning, Centers, Utah State Department of Education
  • Susan Loving, Transition Specialist, Utah State Department of Education
  • From Attendance Works: Hedy Chang, Director; Cecelia Leong, Associate Director; Phyllis Jordan, Communications Lead.

August 12, 2015:  Finish Strong:  Address the Attendance Gap for Teens

May 13, 2015:  Start Strong: Address the Attendance Gap in the Early Grades

Did you know that chronic absence affects one in 10 children in kindergarten and first grade nationwide? And that early childhood education can lay a foundation for better attendance in the years ahead? What happens when our very youngest learners miss so many opportunities to learn? Children who are chronically absent in kindergarten and first grade are much less likely to read proficiently by the end of third grade and are more likely to have poor attendance in later grades. Early childhood programs, schools and community partners can give young children a strong start. Our speakers will tell how they are using data, reaching out to families to offer support in overcoming common health challenges and developmental delays, and educating parents about the benefits of engaging programs and instruction in the early grades. Presenters include:

  • Marci Young, Vice President U.S. Network Impact, United Way Worldwide
  • William Carpluk, Manager, Alliance Engagement, America’s Promise Alliance
  • Serah S. Fatani, Director of Program Evaluation & Assessment, Office of Early Childhood Education, Chicago Public Schools
  • Leslie McKinily, Director of Preschool Programs, Chicago Public Schools
  • Bobbi MacDonald, Executive Director, City Neighbors Foundation
  • Kate Seidl, Reading Specialist & Librarian, City Neighbors Charter School
  • Hedy Chang, Director, Attendance Works
  • Cecelia Leong, Associate Director, Attendance Works


April 15, 2015:  Ready, Set, Go!  Launching Attendance Awareness Month 2015

We invite you to join us in celebrating Attendance Awareness Month in September! Last fall, 324 communities across the country participated in Attendance Awareness Month, calling attention to the importance of school attendance. The time to start planning is now! This webinar is the first of four. It will provide updated resources for your school or community to use in planning and launching Attendance Awareness Month. Be inspired by the creative ways in which various groups drew attention to attendance and learn from our special guests how they rallied their communities to take action. Presenters include:

  • Eric Glaser, Director, Network Engagement and Performance,United Way Worldwide
  • William Carpluk, Manager, Alliance Engagement, America’s Promise Alliance
  • Jill Habig, Special Assistant Attorney General for California Attorney General Kamala Harris
  • Shauna McMillan, Program Manager, Be There Campaign
  • Kathryn Vargas, Manager of Programs for Children and Youth, United Way of Allegheny County
  • Kathy Hanafan, School Attendance Supervisor, Council Bluffs Schools
  • Dr. Martha Bruckner, Superintendent of Schools, Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • Hedy Chang, Director, Attendance Works
  • Cecelia Leong, Associate Director, Attendance Works
  • Phyllis Jordan, Communications Lead, Attendance Works


September 30, 2014:  The Power of Positive Connections: Reducing Chronic Absence Through PEOPLE

We know that students who miss too much school suffer academically at every age and every grade. This September, hundreds of communities across the country are working hard to raise awareness about the harmful impact of chronic absence by celebrating Attendance Awareness Month. In addition to raising awareness, what else can your community do to encourage students and families to get to school every day?

Join us as we introduce the new Attendance Works toolkit, The Power of Positive Connections: Reducing Chronic Absence Through PEOPLE.  Use the PEOPLE strategy to learn how you can make students who are experiencing attendance challenges a Priority for Early Outreach this fall. Identify ways to encourage them through Positive Linkages to caring adults, enriching activities and needed supports such as health services so that they are Engaged and excited about coming to school. This webinar will also feature Hedy Chang, Director of Attendance Works, and special guests including:

  • Don Olson, Superintendent, Del Norte County Unified School District, Del Norte, California
  • Paige Swan, Principal, Smith River Elementary School, Del Norte, California
  • Sarah Jonas, Senior Director of Regional Initiatives, National Center for Community Schools, The Children’s Aid Society
  • Dr. Joshua Solomon, Principal, Business of Sports School, New York City
  • Joe Vaverchak, Director, Attendance/Residency and McKinney Vento Liaison
  • Sarah Harris, Principal, Vance Village School, New Britain, Connecticut


August 6, 2014:  Can You Hear Us Now? Amplifying Key Messages About the Importance of Attendance

When parents and youth understand the link between good attendance and their hopes and dreams for the future, they are motivated to do whatever they can to get to school every day. When they hear that message from friends, mentors, teachers, counselors, pastors, coaches, doctors, business owners, mayors — in short, the entire community speaking with one voice — it can have a tremendous impact on student attendance. Join Hedy Chang, Director of Attendance Works, and a cross-section of speakers as they discuss how to engage youth and parents authentically in building a local culture of attendance, as well as share strategies for how to rally leaders from every walk of life to speak in unison during Attendance Awareness Month. Special guests include:

  • Rebecca Boxx, Director of the Providence Children and Youth Cabinet
  • Nima Tahai, Principal of Garfield Elementary School, Oakland Unified School District
  • Lori Markowitz, Founder and Director, Youth Ambassador Program
  • Marissa Dominguez, Youth Ambassador
  • Also featured are the latest resources from Attendance Works, including our teacher toolkit, Teaching Attendance; our forthcoming principal toolkit, Leading Attendance; cutting-edge tips on preventing chronic absence for students most at risk; and a new video tailored for parents of young children.


May 28, 2014:  We Need You! Enlisting Allies for Your Attendance Campaign

Have you considered enlisting additional allies in your community’s efforts to improve attendance? While most efforts begin naturally and logically with parents and school leaders, there are a number of other powerful allies who can play key roles starting with giving a big boost to Attendance Awareness Month this Fall.

Join our panelists as they share ideas about how to engage allies such as doctors and other health care providers, mayors and elected officials, social service agencies, national and community service programs, youth development organizations and many others. On the panel will be:

  • Dr. Mandy Allison, Pediatrician and Executive Committee member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on School Health
  • Terra Gay, Director, Education Programs, Points of Light
  • S. Kwesi Rollins, Director of Leadership Programs, Institute for Educational Leadership which operates the Coalition of Community Schools
  • Dr. Tonja Rucker, Principal Associate, Early Childhood, The National League of Cities


April 8, 2014:  Count Us In (Again)! Launching the 2014 Attendance Awareness Campaign

Can we mark you “present”? America’s Promise Alliance, Attendance Works, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Points of Light and United Way Worldwide invite you to join us as we launch the second year of the Attendance Awareness Campaign, which designates September as Attendance Awareness Month. Last fall, more than 250 communities across the country participated in the first-ever nationwide Attendance Awareness Month and helped call attention to the importance of daily school attendance.

This year we are seeking even more communities to join the effort. Hear how communities like Vero Beach, Fla., took positive action on attendance and galvanized a broad coalition of civic leaders, educators, parents and youth. We will also unveil the latest version of the “Count Us In!” toolkit, a resource designed to help you plan your Attendance Awareness Campaign involvement and enlist stakeholders who can collaborate with you. This updated version contains even more resources for making a difference in your community for Attendance Awareness Month 2014.

To view the full list of archived Attendance Works webinars, as well as upcoming sessions, click here.