What to Do When

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  1. If you’re working with a coalition, plan a meeting and agree on activities.  See resources for educators and community partners, as well as sample year-long planning calendars.
  2. Recruit partners to support the work. See Who Can Help.
  3. Launch a student poster contest or video contest, with winning entries to be displayed during September. See the Count Us In! toolkit for more information.
  4. Enlist health care providers to share information on attendance during back-to-school checkups. See our tools for health providers.
  5. If you’re planning to look at data, approach appropriate school or district officials about the availability of attendance information.
  6. Identify one or two local schools that are bright spots. These schools serve low-income students, but have better-than-average attendance can inspire others to act. Learn how to identify positive outliers.


Early Summer

  1. Enlist elected officials to sign proclamations. See template proclamations for elected officials, superintendents, school boards and community organizations.
  2. Recruit local sports stars and celebrities for school visits/and assemblies
  3. Recruit local faith leaders to speak to congregations about attendance
  4. Distribute talking points to key partners. See our key messages.
  5. Line up incentives from businesses and other partners for contests. See our tips for incentives.
  6. If you’re planning to look at data, crunch the numbers for chronic absence. See our free data tools.
  7. If you have the data, build a data dashboard with weekly reports to principal.

Late Summer

  1. Tape radio or TV Public Service Announcements. See our guidelines for developing TV and Radio PSAs
  2. Begin media outreach. See our tips for media outreach.
    Meet with local newspaper editorial boards to encourage editorials
    Submit a commentary piece to local media in mid- to late August
    Pitch a reporter about the community’s or school district’s renewed emphasis on attendance
  3. Print banners and posters. See our promotion materials.
  4. Plan an attendance display. See our promotion materials.
  5. Plan student assemblies and parent summits. See the resources in the Count Us In! toolkit for more.
  6. Launch a door-knocking campaign to remind families when school starts. See our tips for early outreach.
  7. Share the Teaching Attendance 2.0 toolkit with teachers during professional development sessions before school starts
  8. If schools open in August, hold first-day-of-school events stressing the importance of attendance



  1. Release proclamations
  2. If schools open in September, hold first-day-of-school events stressing the importance of attendance
  3. Hold an end-of-the-month summit, rewarding students with good or improved attendance
  4. Launch an attendance contest among schools and classes
  5. Host a press conference talking about the community’s or school district’s emphasis on attendance
  6. Pitch reporters to attend assemblies or report on celebrity visits
  7. Unveil an attendance display
  8. If you’ve crunched chronic absence numbers, share with the school board, city officials and, if appropriate, the public
  9. Share tweets (#SchoolEveryDay) and Facebook posts about the Attendance Awareness Campaign.