Resources for Families

Research shows that missing school can have long-term, negative effects on students’ success, including the likelihood of whether they will graduate from high school, enroll, persist, and succeed in college, and keep a living wage job. 

This guide contains tips that will help promote your child’s wellness so they don’t miss out on attending, committing, and engaging in school, whether attending from home remotely or in person on campus.

Top 10 Tips for Increasing Attendance, Commitment, and Engagement

  1. Establish routines.

    Help your child maintain daily routines, such as finishing homework at a regular time each evening. Be consistent with morning and bedtime routines. If learning remotely, help your child understand that similar rules apply as with on-campus learning.

  2. Determine a back-up plan for getting your child to school.

    Coordinate with trusted family members, neighbors, other parents, or community agencies who can help get your child to school if you are unable.

  3. Schedule vacations and medical appointments outside of school hours.

    Try not to schedule dental/medical visits or vacations during school hours. Don’t let your child stay home or disengage from school unless truly sick. Complaints of headaches or stomachaches may be signs of anxiety. 

  4. Talk to your kids.

    Whether your child is learning remotely or on campus speak with them regularly about what they need to feel successful. Brainstorm together on how to keep them committed and engaged in school.

  5. Speak to their teachers.

    Maintain regular contact with their teacher(s). Seek help from them or tutors if your child is struggling. Make sure all of their teachers know how to contact you. 

  6. Be aware of your child’s social interactions.

    Peer pressure can lead to inappropriate behaviors, such as skipping school. Students without many friends can feel isolated. Find out if your child feels safe from bullies, cyberbullies, and other threats. Partner with their teachers and the school on solutions.

  7. Keep your child healthy by scheduling flu vaccines and other required shots.

    Have your child screened for COVID if they show symptoms and follow quarantining procedures, if needed. Ensure your child refrains from school and rests for 24 hours (unless in quarantine) and returns when they no longer: run a fever of 100+ degrees, vomit more than once or have diarrhea; and exhibit flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, chills, or aches and pains). Make sure your child is free of symptoms for a full day without medicine before sending them back to campus.

  8. Address behavioral issues.

    Make sure your child is not missing class because of behavioral issues. Talk to teachers if you notice sudden changes in their attitude. These could be tied to something going on at school. Reach out to their counselor, if needed. Make sure you and your child understand the school discipline policies.

  9. Learn the school’s attendance policy; check records and grades.

    Understand procedures, incentives, and penalties related to on-campus and remote learning. Be sure absences are not piling up, and ensure that your child is performing well in all classes.

  10. Engage with others if you’re struggling.

    Let school officials and teachers know what you and your child need to attend, commit, and engage, whether learning remotely or on campus. Seek help from afterschool programs or community agencies about available resources. Form a network of support with other parents so you and your child have others to turn to as needed.

More Resources for Families

Download more resources we’ve created for schools to share with families. Now available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Burmese, and Arabic.

Find more family resources

About Chronic Absenteeism

Learn more about the meaning of chronic absenteeism and truancy, and see what happens when a community comes together around attendance.

Read about chronic absenteeism

Remote Learning During COVID-19

Student engagement looks different now than it ever has before. Find free resources on navigating the new world of attendance along with other helpful information on effective instruction, leadership, special populations and school culture.

Find Resources on Remote Learning