September 29, 2022

As temperatures drop, it’s time to prevent attendance dropping along with it

One of the best ways to support attendance initiatives is to anticipate when there may be larger ‘dips’ in attendance and put a plan in place to help counteract them.  This can sometimes feel overwhelming when there are multiple factors in your school community (or the world) that contribute to a dip day. However, with some thoughtful and focused planning, dip days can start to feel a bit more in your control, and less up to the whims of fate. 

Check out a step by step guide below to help anticipate and prevent dip days (especially one likely dip day coming up in just a few weeks!): 

Check historical data

Use an attendance dashboard or EveryDay Pro to analyze your attendance calendar from prior years to help anticipate any dip days that your school has previously encountered. Collect this data and use it to help focus and narrow your attention. 

Consider the current calendar

As you look at the year ahead, are there any holidays or professional learning days that land in the middle of the week? Or bookend a weekend? The days leading up to and returning from the holiday/weekend tend to have a much higher chance of becoming a dip day. 

Narrow the scope

Identify 2-3 potential dip days to focus your attention on this fall, then:

  • Create a targeted campaign to support attendance on those days.
  • Think about ways to remind families about the importance of attending every day leading up to a holiday, and returning to school afterward. This could be in the form of a letter, text, radio ad, poster, newsletter, etc. 
  • Create incentives that support students’ enthusiasm for showing up on those potential dip days. Are there classroom incentives that teachers can put in place to help build excitement for attending right up until a break? Or, are there school wide competitions you could start? 

Put your plan in action—start with a fall favorite!

This year, October 31st lands on a Monday. Research shows that the day after Halloween is one of the toughest days for student attendance, and with it falling on a Monday, a weekend extender casualty, it’s important to have a plan in place, both for the holiday itself and the day after. 

  • Create a campaign for both Monday & Tuesday. 
  • If your school has elected to hold classes on both of these days, ensure you are generating enthusiasm for both students and staff. Rather than leaning into holiday themed incentives, ensure inclusion by creating a healthy rivalry with a competition across grade levels or classes for the highest attendance rates. 

Dip days can sometimes feel like a self-fulfilling prophecy, but there are steps you can take to maximize attendance all the same. For more tips on improving attendance all year long, check out our blog and resources pages! 

Getting students on track starts with attendance. We can help.