Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism
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Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism

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Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism

Why are we focusing on attendance?
Every absence, excused or unexcused, is a learning opportunity lost and can have significant impacts on a student’s success in school and life. A student who misses 18 or more days in a school year—just two days a month—for any reason is considered chronically absent. Chronically absent students are more likely to fall behind in reading and math and less likely to graduate from high school. Addressing chronic absenteeism and developing good attendance habits is a solvable problem for which we all share responsibility.

Getting Started
The following tools can help you take the first steps towards reducing chronic absenteeism and improving attendance:


Count Us In! September Awareness Month Toolkit from Attendance Works
Addressing the Health Related Causes of Chronic Absenteeism from the Healthy Schools Campaign
Every Student, Every Day: A Community Toolkit to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism from the US Department of Education

Upcoming Events
Full-Day Workshops: Addressing Chronic Absenteeism and Improving School Attendance – sponsored by Graduation: A Team Effort (GATE).

Attendance Awareness Month
September is Attendance Awareness month. Visit the Attendance Works website for a toolkit to help you plan. Follow @waOSPI on Facebook and Twitter for statewide awareness materials.

Communication Materials
Attendance Communication Toolkit developed by the State of California and the Ad Council
How should we talk to parents of elementary school students about their children's absences? This toolkit, developed by California and the Ad Council, includes sample emails to teachers, strategies for school nurses, and parent handouts.

The Importance of School Attendance (video) – A great video featuring a young girl and how absences affect her success in school (from the Absences Add Up Campaign)


Contact Us
Is your school or district addressing absenteeism? Contact us and let us know what you are doing!

Attendance Awareness

What's New

Robocall Message
Seahawks' Jermaine Kearse, a native Washingtonian, partnered with OSPI, DSHS, and Mentoring Works WA, to record a wake-up call for kids and a notification of absence phone call for parents. Download the recordings here:
Parent Notification Call | Student Wake Up Call

SSHB 2449
Parent Attendance Template Letter Available in 9 languages.

   Updated 1/19/2017

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