Preventing Holiday Absences

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The end of the year is quickly approaching. Students and teachers are finalizing class projects, and families are organizing how to spend the holidays. The weather worsens, and colder temperatures and snow inhibit traveling to and from school. Unfortunately, every year, absences spike in the weeks before and after winter break.

Although one absence here and there does not seem to make a big impact, absences add up to months of missed learning time. This is true in any grade. Here are some tips on how teachers and administrators can encourage attendance this holiday season:

  • Send out a letter before and after the longer winter break urging families and students to avoid absences. Attendance Works offers a sample letter that positively highlights the tolls that absenteeism takes on achievement in both English and Spanish.
  • The Los Angeles Unified School district has successfully implemented some of the following ideas:
  1. Plan an event that will bring families, students, and teachers together. “This can be an awards assembly, holiday program, or a service opportunity.”
  2. Engage students in community action, with anything from a food-bank distribution, toy drive, or winter coat closet. Encourage participation by organizing competitions between different grade levels to see who collects the most donations!
  3. Give a recognition award to the classroom with the best attendance before and after the holidays.
  4. Organize an assembly where you recognize the 10 students from each grade with the best attendance during the week before and after winter break.
  5. Create lesson plans for teachers in early December that stress the importance of attendance.
  6. Develop a seasonal theme such as:
    1. Celebrating a Season of Good Attendance
    2. Giving the Gift of Attendance
    3. On the First Day of Attendance My Teacher Gave to Me
    4. Stuffing our Stockings with Good Attendance
    5. Good Attendance is Coming to Town

Make sure to take advantage of Kinvo by Kinvolved to promote these ideas! With our new picture messaging feature, you could send a flyer with bullet points from the sample letter by Attendance Works. You can also send quick, translated messages reminding families of these events.

What are you doing to encourage attendance during the holidays? Share your ideas with us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

New to Kinvo? Contact us to learn more.

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