The menus below were updated in February 2022. If you have information to share with others in your country, please contact your country’s hosts: Christopher Kearney (firstname.lastname@example.org), Brian Chu (BrianChu@rci.rutgers.edu), Carolyn Gentle-Genitty (email@example.com), or Jake Brosius (Jake.Brosius@indy.gov).
People, groups, and organizations
Not for profit:
- The International Association for Truancy and Drop-out Prevention (IATDP) is an association of educators, government officials and stakeholders whose history of truancy and dropout prevention efforts date back to 1911.
- Attendance Works is a national and state initiative to advance student success by reducing chronic absence.
- The National Centre for School Engagement (NCSE) collaborates with school districts, law enforcement agencies, courts, and state and federal agencies to support youth and their families to be engaged at school. We pay special attention to truancy, dropout, and bullying prevention.
- Advocates for Children of New Jersey focuses on several issues surrounding child welfare, including “early care and education” and “school attendance.”
- School Refusal Hope offers information and resources for parents that are struggling to assist children experiencing school avoidance. Topics include possible mental health diagnoses, communicating with the school, and more.
- National Dropout Prevention Center - Model Programs Database is a searchable database of research-based programs and information. It includes models for Tier 1 (prevention) work.
Current and upcoming activities and achievements
- 2022, January 13: How Bad Is Student Absenteeism Right Now? Educators Tell Us, published by Education Week.
- 2022, January 10: School Attendance Improvement Strategies, published by the California Department of Education.
Past activities and achievements
- 2021, November 17-19. CAEL Annual Conference. CAEL is designing an exciting hybrid experience to accommodate both in person and virtual participation, held in accordance with all local and national safety regulations in place for the fourth quarter of 2021. This event is a unique opportunity to meet the best minds in adult learning, inside and outside of postsecondary education. The conference convenes attendees with a common desire to improve the connections between education and career that drive adult learner success and equitable economic growth.
- 2021, October 18. Fight for Life Presents Building Dreams Research Findings at the 2021 INSA Conference. The Fight for Life Foundations Research and Development team presented findings from the Behavioral Health Ed Tech Building Dreams program. Professor Francis Bowen of Butler University has spearheaded the R&D teams work, in collaboration with Dr. Carolyn Gentle-Genitty and Dr. Jangmin Kim. Follow the above link to explore the slides from the presentation by Francis Bowen and Marlin Jackson. The slides include explanations of the model, and the data analytics capabilities of our technology; along with the findings from a case study conducted at the end of the 2020-21 school year.
- 2021, October 12-14. International Network for School Attendance Conference. The second International Network for School Attendance Conference was be hosted online from Melbourne, Australia and featured keynote addresses from Hedy Chang (Director of ‘Attendance Works’ in the USA), Megan Gilmour (TEDx Speaker and CEO of ‘Missing School’ in Australia), David Heyne (INSA Co-Founder and Leiden University in The Netherlands) and Chris Varney (Chief Enabling Officer of the ‘I CAN Network’ in Australia). The conference brought together practitioners, advocates, researchers, academics, educators, and other stakeholders from a range of fields including education, psychology, sociology, social work, juvenile justice, psychiatry, and policy.
- 2021, July 14. Unlearning Attendance: A Call to Action. Organized by Pivot Attendance Solutions, the Unlearning Attendance conference brought together speakers such as Dr. Chris Kearney, Dr. Gil Keppens, Dr. Michael Gottfried, and Hedy Nai-Lin Chang, the founder and Executive Director of Attendance Works. The conference focused on opportunities for schools, community resources, and other stakeholders to decriminalize attendance and support families struggling with absenteeism.
- 2020, July 31: "Schools shifted chronic absenteeism strategies amid closures", published by Education Dive.
- 2020, April 22: "Imagine Online School in a Language You Don’t Understand", published in The New York Times.
- 2020, April 22: "Jada Phelps Moultrie: Keep Home Education Simple", published by Michigan State University.
- 2019, October 20-22: The 109th Annual Conference of the International Association for Truancy and Drop-out Prevention (IATDP) was held in Memphis (TN).
- 2019, October 16-18: INSA hosted their first conference on school absenteeism in Oslo, Norway. The US’s very own Dr. Carolyn Gentle-Genitty was one of the international keynote speakers! INSA Members can see the video of her presentation by logging in via the Members menu.
Helpful links and other resources
Resources for addressing school attendance
- 10 High Yield Actions to Improve Student Attendance, published by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (August 2017).
- Using PBIS to Improve School Attendance, published by PBIS Rewards.
- “Attendance Playbook: Smart Solutions for Reducing Chronic Absenteeism in the Covid Era,” published by FutureEd on June 11, 2020
Resources about education and social work during the Coronavirus pandemic
- Attendance Playbook: Smart Solutions for Reducing Chronic Absenteeism in the Covid Era, published by FutureEd (June 2020).
- Attendance Playbook.
- Projecting the potential impacts of COVID-19 school closures on academic achievement, retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University.
- Chronic Absenteeism Is a Huge School Problem. Can Data Help?, published by Governing (May 2021).
- The Coalition to Support Grieving Students has created a guide to using its resources and helping students during a pandemic.
- The “Every Student Succeeds Act” is the US law on national education and commitment to equal opportunity for all students.
- US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.
- US Department of Education - “Chronic Absenteeism in the Nation’s Schools.”
- US Department of Education and National Center for Education Statistics - Projections of Education Statistics to 2022.
- American Council for School Social Work (ACSSW) advocates for the practice of school social work and supports school social workers in their service to students, schools, and families to overcome social, systemic, economic and mental health barriers to student learning. Helpful links recommended by ACSSW are listed below.
Research regarding school attendance, discipline, and absenteeism
- Student Attendance and Enrollment Loss in 2020–21.
- This brief examines public school district attendance rates, attendance monitoring and outreach methods, and enrollment loss during the 2020–21 school year. Findings suggest that attendance rates have dropped compared with previous years, with lower attendance rates in districts that were not providing primarily in-person instruction, as well as high-poverty districts and districts serving mostly students of color. These districts, as well as lower achieving districts, were also more likely to report substantially lower attendance in fall 2020 compared with fall 2019.
- Bullying, victimization, and bystander behavior: Risk factors across elementary–middle school transition.
- Students with mental health difficulties are at increased risk for victimization, and this risk may be exacerbated during the transition to middle school, when there is an increase in bullying behaviors. Through a social–ecological lens, the present study investigated how internalizing and externalizing problems in the fall of fifth grade were associated with bullying role behaviors in the fall of sixth grade and whether these associations differed by gender. This study expanded prior research by examining not only bullying and victimization, but also bystander behaviors (i.e., assisting, defending, or outsider behavior).
- Absent on Absenteeism: Academic Silence on Student Absenteeism in Canadian Education.
- Despite mandatory school attendance policies, many students in Canada are frequently absent from school. Absenteeism is linked to numerous negative educational outcomes and is a growing educational issue internationally. This has lead universities in many countries to study the factors associated with absenteeism in order to reduce it. However, the Canadian educational discourse is largely absent on absenteeism. A review of faculty profiles revealed that no Canadian educational scholar investigates absenteeism as their primary area of research. The lack of empirical knowledge concerning student absenteeism is a contributing factor to the high levels of absenteeism evident in Canada. This article serves as a call to action for Canadian academics to research student absenteeism in order to alleviate the behaviour.
- The role of school social workers in the process of provision of inclusive education in Canton of Bern.
- Through the literature review authors attempt to underline the scope of theoretical knowledge which social workers should possess while working in inclusive schools. Furthermore, the research paper illustrates the contextual information (the background of school social workers, the ratio of social workers and pupils) on the inclusive education practice in Bern highlighting the social workers perspective. The research paper clarifies the scope of competencies which social workers may exercise as a member of the multidisciplinary team as well as represents the challenges which social workers face while working in the inclusive schools. Based on the research findings the authors make recommendations on how to improve the social work practices in inclusive and all-day schools.
- An Approach for School Counselors: Behavioral Consultation with Parents of Youth with School Attendance Problems.
- The current study investigates and discusses the effectiveness of behavioral consultations that school counselors can apply to students with school attendance problems (SAPs). A school counselor adopted the rapid school return approach in a school-based behavioral consultation with parents of a 13-year-old Japanese male student who refused to attend school. After the parents implemented the approach, the student resumed his regular school attendance, which continued until the end of junior high school.