Students can succeed in school – but they must be in school to do so. Addressing absenteeism is as important as addressing problematic behaviour and academic difficulties in the classroom. To address the pervasive issue of chronic absenteeism – that is, missing 10 percent of school days for any reason – educators must begin to move away from a model of reliance on reactive and punitive approaches and toward one that is preventive and positive, and that uses proven principles of behavioural change.
Teacher’s Guide to Tackling Attendance Challenges, by educators Jessica Sprick and Tricia Berg, provides teachers with the information and resources they need to build a strong classroom-based initiative to improve the attendance of all students, creating a classroom culture of attendance with easy-to-implement strategies. Sprick and Berg provide concrete and practical strategies for teachers to implement in their own classrooms to address chronic absence and improve the attendance of all students, including:
When teachers apply the easy-to-implement and minimally invasive strategies presented, they will see significant improvements in student attendance.