Attendance Extra Point #2: Rally the Community with Positive Messaging About Student Attendance

To support the Stay in the Game! Network’s commitment to reducing Ohio’s chronic absenteeism rate by half over the next 10 years, the Ohio Department of Education issued a call to action for families, educators and community members to prioritize student attendance. To answer this call, the Department and its partners are offering practical tips, or Extra Points, educators can use to increase attendance and engagement during the school year. At its core, the Stay in the Game! Network believes in building trust among students, parents, families, caregivers and community leaders and raising awareness about the importance of attendance. This week go for the Extra Point by rallying community support for regular student attendance.
In 2018-2019, 16.7% (260,000) of Ohio’s K-12 students were chronically absent from school. As districts and schools continue to face barriers and challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, they can work together with families and community organizations to communicate the underlying causes of chronic absenteeism and the importance of getting students to school every day. Chronic absenteeism is a problem that affects the whole community, not just chronically absent students and their families.
Communicating the importance of regular student attendance in a positive way throughout the community is an important strategy to tackle chronic absenteeism. Review existing partners or natural touchpoints when considering how community members and partner organizations can help to communicate a positive message about attendance or provide attendance incentives for students. Consider identifying community partners who are trusted by populations of students with high rates of absences.

Some examples of types of community partners include:

  • Nonprofits: Nonprofits are often mission-aligned and can serve as tremendous partners when it comes to supporting students and families. Nonprofits could include groups such as before and after school programs and other youth-serving organizations.
  • Mayors & City Leaders: Chronic absence is a solvable problem, especially if mayors and city leaders work with schools, parents and the community. They can leverage their platform and influence local priorities.
  • Businesses & Business Leaders: Local business leaders have an interest in addressing workforce development, soft skill and productivity challenges. By supporting the campaign, they can be proactive in addressing the issues. They also have networks and resources to leverage.
  • Health Providers: Poor health and undiagnosed conditions are at the root of many student absences. Health providers are uniquely positioned to help. As trusted members of the community, they can convey the importance of attendance and they can help identify and address health-related causes of absenteeism.
  • Faith Leaders: Faith-based institutions often are a place families can turn to for resources and guidance. Engaging faith leaders in an attendance campaign can align messaging and underscore support for families.

Schools and districts can spread positive messaging and support regular attendance by inviting community organizations to back-to-school and other family events at the school. Businesses can put up a Stay in the Game! Proud Supporter storefront sign at their locations. Community organizations can provide incentives for students to sign the Stay in the Game! attendance pledge. Lastly, districts and schools can provide resources to the community to build a consistent message and get the entire community excited about getting students to school every day.

Check out these districts that went for the Extra Point!

Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Regular Attendance #At10Dance Video 
Maple Heights City School District’s Attendance Pledge Event Night
Everyone has a part in helping Ohio’s students get to school and stay in the game with learning. Stay in the Game! offers resources for communities and partners to help increase awareness about the importance of attendance. Resources and tools include Browns player motivational messages, digital quote graphics, story time readings, posters and virtual video meeting background avatars and yard signs. District and school personnel, community partners and families can receive information and alerts with new attendance resources, tools and success stories by opting into the Stay in the Game! Email List, following the Stay in the Game Network! on Twitter or liking the Stay in the Game Network! on Facebook.
For additional information about improving student attendance, please contact Brian Knight at (614) 981-8011.

Last Modified: 7/12/2021 9:48:44 AM