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Tips for Schools: Improving Attendance

​​10 Things a School Can do to Improve Attendance

Colorado Foundation for Families & Children

1.  Make students and parents/guardians feel welcome. Make a point to say "hello" to every parent/guardian or student you see
     in the halls and outside -- make it your business to know his/her name.

2.  Create an environment that enables students to feel successful in something -- no matter how small it may seem. Award
     academic and attendance "letters," as you do for athletics.

3.  When a student is absent, immediately talk to the parent/guardian -- not their answering machine. Make a personal phone
     call in the evening, or call parents/guardians at work during the day.

4.  When a student is absent, immediately talk to them about why they were gone -- let them know you are aware... and that you
     care that they are at school.

5.  Forge a relationship with local businesses where youth may congregate when truant -- encourage them to keep students in
     school during school hours. Create a poster that states, "We support youth in school and will not serve anyone under 16
     during school hours."

6.  Forge a relationship with local law enforcement -- make them your allies in showing the community, families, and students
     that school is the place to be. Empower community police officers to return youth to school.

7.  Don't provide the temptation for youth to be truant. Close your campuses during breaks and lunch.

8.  Empower and expect classroom teachers to take action when they think a student may be truant. Ask teachers to make
     calls to absent youth or families in the afternoon or evenings.

9.  Reward and recognize good attendance -- not just perfect attendance. Post large signs giving the daily attendance for the
     day. Reward individuals, classes, and the school for increased attendance.

10. Make your school a place where students feel safe and respected. Adopt a character education program that is planned 
       and implemented by students.

Truancy Prevention
National Center for School Engagement (NCSE)
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