School Attendance Month

The SATF invites all school districts in Los Angeles County to participate in the annual September Is Student Attendance Month campaign, which focuses on encouraging attendance and reaching out to young people who are not coming to school and welcoming them back.

School Attendance Month — September 2014


State Superintendant's Invitation

CA Dept of Ed seal






July 29, 2014

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:


I am writing today to invite you to join the September Attendance Awareness Month Campaign: Joining Forces to Reduce Chronic Absence.

I am calling upon schools, families, and community partners to work together to reduce chronic absence. Fall is the time when schools and communities lay out expectations for the year and welcome families as key partners in their children's education. It is a crucial time for sending the message that all of us can help children learn and succeed in the classroom by nurturing a habit of daily attendance and removing any barriers to getting to school.

Poor attendance is a proven early warning indicator of academic trouble and dropping out of school, so I encourage you to begin the year by monitoring attendance and implementing attendance interventions at the first sign of chronic absence. The good news is that attendance improves when schools, families, and communities work together to create a positive culture of daily attendance for all students and engage in personalized, early outreach and support, especially for students who have been challenged with poor attendance in the past.

In Model School Attendance Review Board (SARB) programs, such as the Downey Unified School District's in Los Angeles County, regular school attendance is supported by many local resources, including True Lasting Connections, Gangs Out of Downey, the 10-20 Club, the Exchange Club, PTA HELPS Food Bank, philanthropic organizations (the Rotary Club, Lions Club, Elks Club, and Assistance League), a committed partnership with the Downey Police Department, and strong local business support of the award-winning CHARACTER COUNTS Program. This type of collaboration with the community leads not only to lower chronic absenteeism rates and higher graduation rates but to lower suspension and expulsion rates as well.

I urge you to take advantage of the beginning of another school year to build collaborative partnerships and make sure all children are in school so they have an equal opportunity to learn. Here are three steps you can take:

1. Use your attendance data to identify which schools and student populations are most affected by chronic absence. Monitoring chronic absence and truancy helps to ensure schools, families, and communities first invest in early prevention before costly referrals to court to improve student attendance. If you need assistance with calculating chronic absence, please visit the Attendance Works Calculating Chronic Absences Web page to obtain free data tools. Many student information systems already provide chronic absenteeinformation, but this free data tool is available if your student information system does not provide the chronic absence data you need.

2. Once any chronic absence problems in your district have been identified, then the data can be incorporated into your Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Template. The aggregate chronic absentee rates by grade and school can be shared with your SARB so that SARB members can determine how to address common barriers to getting to school (such as transportation, lack of a safe path to school, unhealthy environmental conditions, and lack of access to health care) and target available resources as needed. LCAP funds could be used to support the attendance improvement activities, including the use of an attendance dashboard.

3. Use your data to identify students with a past history of poor attendance who could benefit from positive personal engagement and extra support. Assign them to positive prevention-oriented supports (for example, an authorized enrollment center for Covered California, which includes medical, vision, dental, and mental health support; or a nonprofit outreach organization that provides after-school activities and family support) at the very beginning of the school year.

You can also use the Attendance Works "Count Us In Toolkit" at for ideas on how to start planning which activities you want to pursue and how to engage community partners— especially volunteers and businesses—in providing attendance incentives that reward students for good and improved attendance.

If you would like more resources from Attendance Works, you may sign up for the Superintendent's Call to Action program, and you will receive e-mails with any new materials that are created.

I encourage you to begin this school year with a winning collaborative strategy with your partners to monitor and address chronic absence.

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact David Kopperud, Education Programs Consultant, Educational Options, Student Support, and American Indian Education Office, by phone at 916-323-1028 or by e-mail at


Torlakson signature
Tom Torlakson



The Los Angeles County School Attendance Task Force is pleased to announce that September has been designated as "School Attendance Month" by the County Board of Supervisors and the City of Los Angeles.

  Calling all School Districts

Please read Judge Nash's letter to school districts regarding School Attendance Month coming up in September.

Download Judge Nash's letter here:    School Attendance Month Logo

A county-wide "Student Recovery Day" will take place on September 6th, 2013, as a part of School Attendance Month.

All school districts are requested to participate in this event!

  Resources & Tools

A variety of resources and a toolkit is available to assist school districts in the implementation of School Attendance Month Activities.

If your school district has tools to share, please contact Vincent Holmes, and we will include them as a resource on the following websites: Education Coordinating Council (ECC), Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE).

Pledge Support Today!

Pledge your support of the "I'm In" School Attendance Month Campaign to increase awareness of the importance of school attendance county-wide.

Los Angeles School Attendance Task Force

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School Attendance Month — September 2012

School Attendance Month Logo

September Is School Attendance Month was declared by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the City of Los Angeles in August.

       Download resolution put forth by Supervisor Don Knabe:  County Sea

       Download resolution put forth by City Councilmember Tony Cárdenas: City of LA Logo 

The SATF encouraged all school districts in the County to join in a massive Student Recovery Day on September 14. Working with communities and staff to search out students with poor attendance or who have stopped coming to school, we are coordinated home visits, phone calls, and other outreach, and provided support and resources for their return.

LAUSD has sponsored student recovery days for the past five years with ever-increasing success, and offered toolkits to all districts willing to pledge their commitment to that effort.

LAUSD Student Recovery Day Special — September 2012

KLCS (9/09/12)

Board Member Steve Zimmer and Director of Pupil Services Debra Duardo, were featured in a show focusing on Student Recovery Day. Students and Pupil Services Counselors, Maribel Munguia, Polytechnic High School, and Marquis Jones, Fremont HS, were filmed and interviewed to discuss some of the attendance-related issues the students were facing. Chief of School Police Steven Zipperman and Pupil Services Counselor Emily Hernandez were also interviewed to discuss the role of School Police and Pupil Services Counselors in Student Recovery Day.

       You can view the video here: KLCS link

LAUSD/City Partnership School Attendance Day Press Conference — September 2012

The press conference was held on Friday, September 7th at 2pm.  The event was attended via the internet.
       To see a video of the conference highlights, click here:  LAUSD Press Conference

Archived School Attendance Month flyers, toolkits, and other resources are available on the SATF Tools page.