Although we launched this year’s Attendance Awareness Campaign a few months behind schedule, we still saw schools and communities celebrating attendance as the school year began. Our theme this year, Present, Engaged and Supported!, is a reminder that in this uncertain school year, growing and maintaining relationships between families, students, teachers and schools is more essential than ever.
Students are more likely to participate, focus and learn in this new environment if they feel safe, connected and supported, and believe they can learn and achieve. The word “Engaged” highlights the role everyone, from educators to health professionals, to local agency and business partners can play in addressing the effects and impact of stress while helping to reestablish the routine of school.
Attendance numbers are worrisome this year. Recent surveys indicate that the number of student absences has more than doubled when compared with last year.
While the return to school this year was challenging, the Attendance Awareness Campaign during September was celebrated with virtual and in-person activities from schools and communities across the country. They recorded rap videos, shared posters, created contests, issued proclamations and monitored absences, added attendance messaging to the school billboard, reached out to families and made attendance a priority in back-to-school messaging. Many communities also responded with food, computer devices, learning packets, technology assistance for families that needed help logging in, and other basic needs.
We are grateful for these efforts and more carried out by teachers, staff, education leaders and community partners who invested time and energy to ensure all students have access to opportunities to learn!
Here are a few of the metrics we’ve gathered from the AAC:
- 9,971 people registered for one of our Attendance Awareness Campaign webinars, compared to 8,426 last year
- 34,430 people signed up for our newsletters, compared with 21,200 last year
- 9 attendance awareness updates emailed (go here to see them all)
- 99 national and state level partners disseminated information to their constituents
- 1,005 news stories and blog posts featured attendance issues or Attendance Awareness Month in July, August and September
- 268,000 website page views in July, August and September
- 700 tweets featured the #schooleveryday hashtag in July, August and September, generating 11 million potential impressions
- 319 messages were posted during our September 29 Twitter chat, generating 4,100,000 potential impressions
Here are a few more highlights:
- September 29, Mentor hosted Mentoring In Real Life Attendance Chat, with FutureEd Connection and Attendance Works
- Three Attendance Awareness Campaign webinars:
- Data + Relationships to Support Transitions to School, Wednesday, July 22, 2020
- Creating an Engaging and Restorative Environment to Support Transitions to School, Wednesday, August 19, 2020
- Every Learning Opportunity Matters: Promising Strategies to Help Students Show Up, Wednesday, September 30, 2020
- See a summary of the latest news stories with quotes from Attendance Works
We owe a special thank you to this year’s Attendance Awareness Campaign corporate sponsors (EveryDay Labs, French Toast, Kaiser Permanente, Remind and Safe & Civil Schools). Their investment helps make it possible for us to provide strategies and materials at no cost to thousands of practitioners throughout the country!