5 tips for preventing absences ahead of standardized testing
Testing season is rapidly approaching! Not only is it critical that students are in school for the actual tests, attendance in the months leading up to testing is also crucial so that students don’t miss access to high quality preparation and support. Looking for fresh tips to set students up for success? Here are a few things that schools can do to strengthen attendance and prevent absences.
1. Build a culture of attendance
Building a culture that prioritizes attendance and emphasizes its importance is a key Tier I strategy that supports prevention. This includes communicating the importance of attendance to parents, teachers, and students.
2. Schedule testing days well in advance
Ensure families have a proper heads up by scheduling testing days well in advance to avoid conflicts with personal activities, such as family vacations or doctor's appointments.
3. Provide reminders and information
Timely, clear, and easily accessible reminders and information about testing dates and requirements to students and families is key. Pro tip: keep all written communication in size 14 font & write at a 4th or 5th grade reading level so that families can understand what is written.
4. Address underlying issues
If more than 20% of your student population is experiencing a similar barrier or challenge, this should be addressed at a school wide level. Examples of this may include: bullying, mental health challenges, transportation challenges, asthma, etc. A good start to addressing these issues could include providing counseling or other support services, or partnering with a community organization that specializes in the noted areas.
5. Give positive reinforcement for good attendance
Celebrating students who have good attendance records, such as offering incentives or recognition is key to continuous improvement. This helps motivate students to attend school and participate in testing. This can be as simple as a shout out over morning announcements, a certificate, a sticker, extra PBIS tickets, or a phone call home.
Testing season is a pivotal moment in the school year. Let's make sure that all students and families understand the importance and the benefits of showing up to school this spring so that all of the hard work everyone has put in throughout the year can pay off.
Looking for more tips to stay on top of attendance this spring? Check out these 4 Tips to Beat the Spring Slide.