Keep the energy of Attendance Awareness Month going throughout the year! Reducing chronic absenteeism requires commitment, collaboration, and tailored approaches to the particular strengths and challenges of each school or community. Here are some tips and resources for how to show your support!
Why does attendance matter?
Encouraging attendance is one of the most powerful ways we can equip our children for success. Sadly, absenteeism is the top reason that students drop out of high school. Although one absence here and there does not seem to make a big impact, absences add up to months of missed learning time. This correlation has resulted in a serious national issue because a high school diploma is vital to securing a stable income. Ultimately, students who graduate high school earn more than students who drop out.
Promoting attendance early on is key to increasing high school attendance rates. Kids who miss too much school in Pre-K and Kindergarten are far less likely than their peers with good attendance to be reading on grade level by 3rd grade.
What can we do?
Attendance Works and the Everyone Graduates Center released a new report that builds on the first national chronic absence data from U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection from the 2013-2014 school year. “Preventing Missed Opportunity: Taking Collective Action to Confront Chronic Absence,” shows that half of the 6.5 million students who are chronically absent are concentrated in just 4 percent of school districts. The report prescribes using real-time data to encourage collective action to increase student attendance rates.
At Kinvolved, we’ve created a tool to explore the correlations among zip code, attendance, and graduation rates in our home city. With our product, Kinvo, schools and nonprofits engage families about attendance and other critical topics through real-time, translated, text messaging.
Research shows that specific communication can lead to 40% increases in homework completion, 25% decreases in time-off-task, and 15% increases in class participation. Three in four Kinvo users reported improved student attendance, with 93% saying parental involvement increased in their schools in 2015-2016.
Collecting real time data with education technology tools like Kinvo is essential for identifying the root causes of chronic absenteeism. There are many reasons that cause students to miss school when they don’t have to -- academic struggles, fear of bullying, family difficulties, and illness are just some of the key contributors to absenteeism. Once schools and districts gather this data, there are numerous resources that parents and schools can use to overcome these challenges.
Want to learn more about how to get Kinvo at your school? Sign up for more information, and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.
Attendance Awareness Month may have officially come to an end, but that doesn’t mean we should stop fighting chronic absenteeism. It takes the whole community to solve this problem, so help raise awareness by reblogging or sharing these resources on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!
Know of other resources? Feel free to share your own tips by commenting below!