Full, Equal and Equitable Partnerships with Families

Chart 5: What Does High-Impact Family Engagement Look Like in Reducing Chronic Absence?

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Higher Impact on Student Learning and Development

Moderate Impact

Lower Impact

Summer Transition: Teachers and school staff meet with families in community spaces before the start of school to talk about what students will be learning, the connection between too many absences and poor achievement, and they co-construct solutions for regular attendance.

A letter is mailed before school starts to families of kindergarten and elementary students who had poor attendance in the previous year, letting them know attendance in early grades affects student learning.

The importance of attendance is communicated through posters in school and flyers in backpacks at the beginning of the year.

Ongoing Outreach: Teachers make personal phone calls to families when students miss school to discuss the importance of attendance and what students are learning in class. Teachers follow up regularly with personal text
messages regarding the student’s progress.

School staff call a student’s parent when the student misses three days in a row to determine the reason for absence.

When a student is absent,
the school’s computer calls home with a recorded message.

Personal Communications: Each family of a student who is chronically absent receives a monthly letter in the mail, in language that is friendly and accessible, letting them know how many days their child has missed. School staff make follow-up calls to families to discuss challenges to attending school, co-construct solutions for regular attendance and make connections to community resources.

Monthly e-mail reminders are sent to parents about how many absences constitute chronic absence at this point in the year.

Flyers are sent home
through students’ backpacks letting parents know that they should track their
child’s attendance online in the parent portal.

Relational Home Visits: Teachers conduct relational home visits focused on building a relationship and
discussing the family’s and teacher’s hopes and dreams for the student’s education and future.

Home visits are made by an attendance officer to students who are chronically absent to determine reasons for the absence.

Parents are notified of the number of days students are absent through report cards, which indicate if the number of absences are problematic.

Health: The school nurse, as part of the school attendance team, builds a relationship with students and their parents
to create a health/attendance plan and (with parents’ permission) connects with the pediatrician.

The school attendance team tracks reasons for absences and when a student misses school consistently for illness, the school nurse calls the student to the office to discuss.

The school hands out flyers indicating when a student should stay home or not due to illness.

Mentors: Staff are trained as mentors for moderately absent students and families; they form mentoring relationships with students and have regular two-way communications with families about student progress.

A staff member is assigned for each moderately absent student; they greet the student in the morning and make monthly “good news” calls to parents.

The school data system flags moderately absent students and parents are notified through e-mail.

Student Ownership: Students show their parents how to track attendance using a short video on the school’s Web page and together they complete the Student Attendance Success Plan at home.

Students track their own attendance in math class and write about ways they can plan to attend school every day.

Students who are absent must bring a note from home when they return to school.

Parent Leaders: As part of the school attendance team, parent leaders create a parent network to identify common barriers to attendance and build relationships among families for assistance in times of need (e.g, dropping off or picking up children, transportation and translation). Staff participate in the parent network and support parent leaders.

Student data is analyzed to disaggregate the number of chronically absent students in subgroups. Staff engage families in conversations to identify common barriers and solutions for attendance.

When a student becomes severely chronically absent, parents are required to meet with an administrator or attendance officer.

Community Partners: Parent leaders organize community resource fairs in neighborhood centers throughout the year, beginning with a summer event. School administrators and staff participate and provide learning materials and attendance information.

Community partners are showcased at a family event during Attendance Awareness Month and attendance awareness materials are posted in the community.

The attendance policy is stated in the student handbook with a list of community partners that provide support to families.