Texting to Improve Attendance

Schools need cost-effective strategies to improve student attendance. New research shows text messages from schools (and specifically teachers) to families can improve student attendance rates. Almost 4 million elementary school students were chronically absent during the 2015–2016 school year. This means they missed 10 percent or more of school days. Missing this much school is linked with lower reading and math achievement, higher absenteeism in middle and high school, and greater risk of dropping out of high school, using drugs and alcohol. This report shows two approaches to basic messaging that are effective at reducing chronic absence and one approach to intensified messaging that was better than the other for certain students.

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