Count Us In! toolkit 2024

AW_Badge-09Count Us In! Working Together to Show That Every School Day Matters

Chronic absence has become a national crisis. Data show chronic absence nearly doubled by the end of the 2021-22 school year. It now affects nearly one out of three students. Chronic absence is typically defined as missing 10% of the school year – or just two days each month – for any reason.

To tackle this challenge, all hands are needed. The Count Us In! toolkit offers messaging and positive engagement strategies, key concepts and tools to help educators raise awareness about why showing up to school matters and also to build the universal tier one strategies that motivate students to come to school and, then layering on support when that’s needed.

Watch how Richmond Public Schools is tackling student absenteeism (go to minute 2:50 to see Hedy Chang talk about chronic absence).

Browse the links below and click on what interests you. Some of these links will take you to the Attendance Works website. To return, click on Attendance Awareness Campaign at the top of the AW website.

For this year’s 12th annual Attendance Awareness Campaign, our theme is Be Present, Be Powerful! It is a reminder of the connection between school attendance and realizing our hopes and dreams. It highlights the role that school plays in promoting student well-being and achievement. Be Present, Be Powerful! is a call for everyone to focus on ensuring students show up every day, even when it isn’t easy.

This year’s campaign will highlight how creating partnerships between communities, schools, students and families supports building and implementing long-term plans to address today’s unusually high levels of chronic absenteeism. And we will share strategies that research and practice show can improve attendance and engagement.

Local action is essential. States also can play a leadership role. Excellent examples of state campaigns include Connecticut’s School Is Better with You!; Massachusetts’s School Is Where We Belong; and Rhode Island’s Attendance Matters RI.

Since 2013, the Attendance Awareness Campaign has engaged thousands of schools and communities. Over 100 national and state organizations are now working together to ensure everyone can participate, from a single school to a citywide coalition to a national or state organization. Sign up here to receive regular updates and tips for improving attendance.

A special thank you to our Attendance Awareness Campaign corporate sponsors for their commitment to help ensure that every child is in school every day. Their generous investment makes it possible for us to provide you with free strategies and materials. Thank you , RaaWee, School Technology, and Kaiser Permanente!