• Erica Peterson

So Now What? Attendance Awareness Month is Over


As September draws to a close, so does the celebration of Attendance Awareness Month. While good attendance habits during the first month of school can set students up for continued success, we are really at the end of the beginning, poised with an opportunity to sustain the focus on good attendance and ensure students stay on track.


To sustain good attendance LEAs should start by focusing on the system surrounding attendance outreach and interventions. Below are four critical questions to ask yourself and if you can’t answer one or more of these questions, then now is the time to implement an attendance management system that can.

  1. Does everyone tasked with managing attendance know what is expected of them?

  2. Before you answer, YES, pause and really think about all of the staffing challenges and changes of recent years across all areas of school operations. Now ask yourself:

  3. How does everyone know what to do right now, in the current environment?

  4. When was the last time you audited individual performance of the task(s)?

  5. When was the last time you asked the person doing the work what needs to be changed, modified, expanded, or eliminated?

  6. This question might not only lead to innovation but can reveal what people know or don’t know about processes.

  7. Is working on attendance easy?

  8. Are processes simple and are the steps within the system easy to follow?

  9. As leaders, our role should be to simplify the work.

  10. Is the work meaningful?

  11. Are you providing a feedback loop to the staff working on attendance?

  12. Are you finding the wins and sharing that?

  13. Feedback doesn’t have to be a big production- it can be a simple acknowledgment of the moment.

  14. Is the system to manage attendance valued across the organization?

  15. If attendance processes or staff are not highly valued, no one will want to work on attendance.

  16. Demonstrating the value of focusing on attendance across the organization is critical to maintaining the focus.

Answers to these four questions are just the start of how to sustain and carry the momentum of Attendance Awareness Month and I have a lot more to share on this topic. If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to Erica’s Editorial for future posts.