Advocate for Resources and Policy to Improve Attendance

As a trusted school leader, you can recommend changes in policy and allocation of resources that will make it easier to improve chronic absence. From the school board to the legislature, there are policy and budget levers at every level of government.

1. Advocate for coordination and sharing of best practices across schools

Call for opportunities to meet and coordinate attendance policies and practices with other school administrators in your district, especially those who serve similar neighborhoods or a particular feeder pattern. Make sure that schools have information about incoming students with a prior history of poor attendance from another school in the vicinity as well as information about what support they might have already received.

Use this as an opportunity to identify common attendance challenges that might require a coordinated response across the schools in your area. Encourage your district to create regular opportunities for principals to share best practices with each other, ideally as a component of existing principal meetings.

2. Encourage district leadership to act on this issue

Encourage your Superintendent to join the Call to Action created by Attendance Works and the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading: Superintendents Call to Action on Attendance.

If your district lacks clear policies and protocols related to attendance, support the creation of consistent guidance to support the development and implementation of effective practices across schools. Here are some resources to help get you started:

3. Support using chronic absence to allocate resources

Encourage your school board and local community to use chronic absence data in decisions about allocating resources for after-school, early learning, and other programs that can help reduce absenteeism. Below are some resources to guide you: