Solving Chronic Absence:

Information and resources for educators and community coalitions

Actions Needed to Solve Chronic Absence

Build Awareness Within Your Schools and Throughout Your Communities

Key Concepts

  • Joint effort most effective: Raising awareness about good attendance is the responsibility of school staff and community members; this joint effort builds a community-wide expectation around the value of good attendance and having children succeed in school.
  • Link attendance with school outcomes: Awareness messages need to make a clear connection between good attendance and school success; research has shown parents know multiple absences are detrimental for older students but are not aware that this is also true for younger students.
  • Inform and delegate: Effective awareness messages combine facts about chronic absence with actionable steps people can take to reduce it. The steps taken will vary depending on the audience but the message is consistent.
    • Sample fact sheets for faith-based organizations,
  • Share key facts: When discussing chronic absence, consider facts for an "elevator speech." Explain that chronic absence:
    • is about students missing instruction;
    • impacts all students, as early as preschool, affecting reading skills, graduation rates and college.
    • can be improved!

School-Based Actions to Raise Awareness

Find Ways to Insert the Attendance Message...

Review your school calendar and identify events when you can incorporate attendance awareness.

Consider the ways you communicate with parents and integrate information about attendance and the importance of having every student present.

Here are some examples of how attendance can become a part of school activities:

  • Loop the Every Student Present public service announcement and have it playing during Parent Open House.
  • Play the Every Student Present radio message on the public address system at Friday night football or basketball games.
  • Display Every Student Present posters at Family Fun Nights.
  • Join us and encourage parents to join us on social media.
    • #Every Student Present on Twitter
    • @nysccf on Facebook

  • Place the Every Student Present website icon on your home page so parents can click it and be directed to the Every Student Present parent website, which offers tips and strategies for dealing with school anxiety, bullying, health issues and academic challenges.
  • Share the Every Student Present parent tip sheets.
  • Conduct the Attendance Self-Assessment activity with faculty members.

Community-Based Actions to Raise Awareness

Think About the Places Parents Go...

The best way to begin increasing awareness in the community is to think about all the places where parents go and build partnerships so the message about good attendance is displayed and “heard” community-wide (e.g., grocery stores, pediatricians’ offices, churches).

  • The Every Student Present 15 second Public Service Announcement (PSA) is used with traditional forms of media, such as television and radio, as well as in less traditional settings where families may visit:
    • Pediatricians' offices loop the PSA so it displays in offices and posters are displayed in waiting rooms.
    • Movie theaters play the PSA before feature presentations--this is especially useful during holiday times when families attend movies and get a reminder to return to school on time.
    • Banks have videos in their lobbies and can loop the PSA.
  • The Every Student Present 15 second audio message can be shared with radio stations as well as:
    • Play message on radio stations.
    • "Air" it on private radio stations managed by grocery store chains.

Share the Message Throughout the Community--Where Parents Go!