August 28, 2017

Conversations: What are you doing for Attendance Awareness Month?

Attendance awareness month is a great way to start your year. It emphasizes to students that being present at school is the first and necessary step. Find out what Little Miss Counselor and The DIY Counselor do at their schools.


What are you doing for Attendance Awareness Month?

Little Miss CounselorAttendance Awareness is huge at my school!  We do everything from celebrating an attendance themed spirit week to sending out Class Dojo messages about attendance!

The most important thing I start with is parent education during Kindergarten parent orientation where I explain our attendance policy, the importance of kids coming on time, and our positive incentive program called Attendance Hero School Wide Program. Kindergarten is the perfect time to start addressing attendance concerns even though many states, including my own, do not mandate Kindergarten. Many parents assume that kindergarten attendance is just like daycare or preschool where kids can be dropped off anytime in the morning, picked up early without penalty, and take vacations throughout the year.

The truth is that too many absences in kindergarten or any grade can create academic gaps, but without equipping parents with that knowledge, they often make the assumption that it’s okay to miss school. I urge parents to let me know if there’s a medical issue, extreme separation anxiety, or something else I can proactively help them with as the year begins. –Little Miss Counselor


The DIY CounselorClassroom attendance is a huge priority in my school for several reasons. The state has compulsory attendance laws that affect all students. School funding is given to the local school district based on daily attendance. I work in a school with amazing parental support. For a large percentage of students, regular school attendance is not an issue, but there is that small percentage of students who are chronically out of school.

I address attendance concerns in multiple ways. Parent contact is essential in improving school attendance, as well as collaboration with the school nurse and teachers. I have individual meetings with students to help them identify reasons for missing school and develop a plan of action to improve school attendance. Small groups are another avenue to address chronic absenteeism. I have also developed an attendance protocol to aid teachers in documenting specific interventions for chronically out of school students.

Attendance in school is vital for student achievement. As school counselors, we have a voice to promote positivity in attendance awareness. A great resource to use in addressing attendance is Attendance Works. –The DIY Counselor

Attendance Awareness month tips from confident counselors


What are you doing for Attendance Awareness Month?