Use this script to meaningfully engage families in a conversation about student attendance.


Hello ________________.

This is [student’s name]’s teacher. How are you today?

I’m calling because I’ve noticed that [student’s name] has been absent _____ times in the last month. Missing even 1–2 days a month can make it harder to keep up. I just wanted to reach out to see if everything is okay and if there is anything we can do to help.

I miss [student’s name] when [he/she/they/is/are] gone, and I especially miss [discuss student’s great qualities].

I know how hard it can be for students to be in school every day. We want to work with you if there’s anything that’s making it particularly challenging for [student’s name].

Can you share why [student’s name] has missed school recently?

Conversation Tips

  • Acknowledge the importance of setting goals for improved attendance, rather than perfect attendance.

  • End the conversation by asking specific questions that prompt families to make a plan. For example, what time will you wake up [student’s name] so they can get ready on time? How will [student’s name] get to school tomorrow? Where will [student’s name] eat breakfast? At school? Or at home?

  • If parents are reluctant to discuss the problem, share that you are happy when the student is in class and hope that the parents will reach out if there is anything you or the school can do to ensure that the student attends each day. Make sure to provide contact information for the school counselor and administrator.

  • If parents mention challenges that you can help solve, spend time discussing ideas with them or schedule a follow-up call or conference at a convenient time. For example, if their child frequently complains about being sick, explain the district’s sick policy and reassure the family that you have the child’s best interest at heart.

  • If parents mention challenges that are beyond your capacity to support, work to facilitate communication with the school counselor, administrator, or other personnel. Let parents know that you will remain a part of the problem-solving process as much as possible.

Reminder, any specific challenges or barriers identified during your call can be added to the student's profile in EveryDay Pro. You can also add notes from your call to their profile. This will help you easily refer back to the discussion, and help other team members in your school build on what you've already learned.

Adapted from School Leader’s Guide to Tackling Attendance Challenges by Jessica Sprick and Randy Sprick

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