August 17, 2022

Early family outreach & absence prevention strategies to start the school year strong

One of the best ways to ensure that students are in school for essential learning and social connection is through early absence prevention and outreach.  Do you know whether a student ended the prior year with chronic absenteeism? This knowledge is a key indicator that the new school year may be a challenge. By getting ahead of these patterns early and using data from the prior year, you can help keep students on track for success! 

Here’s how to get started: 

1. Gather Data 

It’s important to first determine how many students will require some preventative outreach. Use an attendance analytics dashboard like EveryDay Pro or your school’s SIS to locate a list of students that ended last school year being chronically absent.

2. Differentiate Students 

Once you’ve located the list of students, divide that list into two groups, one being students that missed between 10-20% of school days and students that missed 20% or more of school days. If you can, further organizing each list into grade level bands will make coordinating outreach even simpler. 

3. Tailor Preventative Outreach 

For students that missed 20% or more school days: carve out a plan to have an attendance conference with the student’s family within the first month of the school year. Use this time to set attendance goals for the new year and develop a support system to help them achieve those goals. 

Don’t be afraid to embrace our new hybrid world- having a virtual conference may be easier for busy families. If they prefer in-person, that’s also a great opportunity to welcome them into the school community. Click here for a sample agenda for these attendance conferences.  

For students that missed between 10-20% of school days: create a plan or process that ensures a family receives a phone call on every day missed in the first month of school. Check out this helpful guide for more information on keeping phone calls supportive and welcoming.

The Bottom Line

Why is early action so important? Research shows that school days missed in the first month of school can lead to greater absences later in the year. Catching these absences early and having a plan in place can lead to lower absenteeism throughout the rest of the school year. 

Looking for an attendance analytics platform to help you further leverage attendance data as an early warning indicator? Check out EveryDay Pro

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