The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in huge losses in school-based learning opportunities, especially for communities hit hardest by the pandemic. As schools and communities develop and implement plans for addressing the impacts from disrupted learning, putting in place messaging that encourages attendance is critical. Schools and teachers can offer welcoming messages to help students and families get back into a regular routine of attendance. They can share what students will be learning so students feel excited about showing up to school.
Positive messaging can help students and families 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. 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 resources.
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 good and improved attendance, not perfect attendance.
Host Special Events The new school year means back-to-school night for parents and assemblies for students. Whether these events are in person or virtual, these are ideal times to convey the link between absenteeism and student achievement and to build a culture of attendance and engagement.