We are an independent, solution-oriented think tank at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy.Learn More.

Attendance Playbook: Smart Solutions for Reducing Chronic Absenteeism

screen-shot-2019-07-10-at-3-21-09-pmThe increased emphasis on chronic absenteeism at the federal and state levels has put a premium on effective strategies for getting students to attend school. In Attendance Playbook: Smart Solutions for Reducing Chronic Absenteeism, FutureEd and Attendance Works offer nearly two dozen practical strategies for improving attendance that have strong track records and are in many instances easy to introduce and simple to scale. The report explains each intervention, identifies the problem it solves, summarizes supporting research and its evidence level under federal law, and highlights schools or school districts that have used the strategy successfully.

These are strategies that move beyond the traditional focus on punishing students for missing school, an approach that studies show has failed to reduce absenteeism. Instead, they stress the importance of effective messaging about attendance, particularly the need to focus on the totality of student absences not just those that are unexcused, and the role attendance plays in promoting student achievement. They address barriers to getting to school. And they help create a welcoming school climate once students arrive, building a sense of belonging among students and parents alike.

Read the full report

Read our commentary piece in The 74

Read our report on writing the rules for chronic absenteeism

Read our analysis of funding opportunities under ESSA

Read our report on state using chronic absenteeism under ESSA

Read our piece on ESSA's fifth indicator

Photo courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action.