Attendance Checks by Possip: Addressing Chronic Absenteeism and Declining Daily Attendance Rates 

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For parents, teachers, and school administrators alike, consistent student attendance checks enables a thriving educational environment. Kids need to be in school to learn and schools need kids to be in school to teach. Attendance drives the heartbeat of every school, reflecting not just the physical presence of students but also a measurement of their engagement and commitment to learning. 

Caroline Carrello, a Possip employee majoring in Human and Organization Development at Vanderbilt University, relays how Possip can help schools and families with Attendance Checks. Thanks also to Jasmine Blue, Alyssa Collins, and our Possip Partners for contributing to this article!

 Addressing absenteeism can be tricky. According to the US Department of Education, research says “chronic absenteeism may prevent children from reaching early learning milestones” (read more here). To support both schools and families, Possip offers Attendance Checks. 

Duval County, FL Case Study with KIPP Jacksonville

KIPP Jacksonville Public Schools of Florida has been a Possip Partner since 2021. In the 2023-24 school year, they began sending Attendance Checks by Possip twice a month as one of their strategies to help the district meet state requirements to show communication and outreach to families of chronically absent students. They took a tiered approach where they first contacted all students who were absent 20 or more days. School social workers or administrators connected with those families. Toward the end of the year, they moved away from the number of days absent to those students missing a certain percentage of days. 

They used Attendance Checks to simultaneously 1) share the district and state goal of students being in school 95% of the time, 2) contact families with students who were not hitting that mark, and 3) toward the end of the year, they added an option for families to indicate that they needed support. So, for example, the district knew the kids who have been sick and missing days, but how could the district support the family to help get them back to school?

The strategy proved effective for KIPP Jacksonville and they will again send Attendance Checks in addition to Pulse Checks in the coming school year as one way to reach some of their most vulnerable families.

What are Attendance Checks by Possip?

Possip’s Attendance Checks offer a seamless and effective method for tracking student attendance. Possip streamlines the process for educators and families alike, utilizing SMS texts and email, making it an inclusive tool. Through automated reminders, parents can promptly respond to attendance inquiries, ensuring consistent tracking of their child’s classroom presence. Moreover, Possip introduces innovative features such as multilingual, text-based surveys, enabling schools to gather feedback from families on attendance barriers while fulfilling state and district reporting obligations.

What can schools or districts expect?

  • Weekly “Attendance Checks” delivered to designated families
  • Delivery via SMS text or email for convenience
  • Two-way translation capabilities in over 100 languages
  • Reports organized in user-friendly formats
  • Affordable, all-inclusive annual pricing, with discounts available for small schools and multiple institutions.

How do Attendance Checks work?

Watch this video to see how Possip’s Attendance Check works. 

Nashville, TN Case Study with Henry Maxwell

Henry C. Maxwell Elementary, located in Nashville, TN needed help with low student attendance. The Principal, Dr. Bernice Russell, recognizes that consistent attendance is paramount to student success: it enables students to achieve academic milestones. The school decided to use Possip’s Attendance Checks to improve their attendance rates. We asked Dr. Russell about the school’s experience.

According to Dr. Russell, Possip’s easily accessible Attendance Checks have helped improve the school’s struggles with chronic absenteeism and average daily attendance. Dr. Russell shared that one of the key reasons Possip Attendance Checks have been successful is because they can be sent to families in their preferred languages. Communicating with parents in their preferred language eliminates barriers and ensures improved engagement. At Henry C. Maxwell Elementary School, Possip’s support for the 11 languages families speak at home caters to the diverse needs of the school community and facilitates seamless communication between parents and the school administration.

Additionally, Dr. Russell explained that Possip’s customizable questions allow the school to gather valuable insights from parents regarding strategies that have helped improve their child’s attendance. This exchange of information helps the school plan attendance initiatives and empowers parents by providing them with practical tips shared by their peers. The school also promotes attendance through various incentives and competitions, encouraging students to prioritize regular attendance. As a result of these efforts, Maxwell Elementary is on track to meet the district attendance goals.

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Article by Possip Employee Caroline Carrello