Make Every Day Count 

Make Every Day Count

In Arkansas, more than one in 10 kindergarten and first-grade students are chronically absent, which means they miss almost 18 days of school each year. Students who are chronically absent are less likely to read on grade level.

When our children aren’t in school, they miss out on critical reading and math instruction they’ll need to succeed later in school and life. To reach our goal of all children reading proficiently by the end of third grade, we must make sure that all children attend school every day.  In 2013, AR-GLR launched the Make Every Day Count initiative with Attendance Works to help schools, districts and communities track chronic absence and develop and implement plans for keeping children in the classroom.  

AR-GLR’s Make Every Day Count initiative is currently working with more than 40 school districts around the state to build the case for school and educator interventions that increase attendance:

Alma
Atkins
Bentonville
Bergman
Berryville
Booneville
Bradford
Carlisle
Decatur
Dierks
Elkins

England
Eureka Springs
Farmington
Fayetteville
Foreman
Fort Smith
Gentry
Gravette
Greenbrier
Hackett
Hope

Horatio
Hot Springs
Jacksonville/N. Pulaski
Lavaca
Lincoln
Mansfield
Marvell-Elaine
Mena
Ouachita River
Prairie Grove
Rogers

Searcy
Searcy County
Siloam Springs
Springdale
Valley Springs
Van Buren
Western Yell County
West Fork
White County Central
Yellville-Summitt


Toolkit - Leading Attendance in Arkansas: How principals can help students succeed by reducing chronic absence

The Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading also released an online toolkit: Leading Attendance in Arkansas: How principals can help students succeed by reducing chronic absence. The toolkit outlines five strategies to help principals develop a comprehensive plan to reduce chronic absence in their schools: 

Attendance Awareness

AR-GLR celebrates Attendance Awareness Month each September, but the message of “Make Every Day Count” continues all school year. Local radio station personalities have recorded PSAs to encourage parents to make sure their children attend school every day, and schools and districts are using tools developed by AR-GLR to share the message with parents, students and the broader community.  

  • Banners – Schools can hang “Make Every Day Count” banners in front of the carpool line, at the school entrance or in the cafeteria.
  • Buttons – Teachers and staff can wear “Make Every Day Count” buttons every day to continuously reinforce the message. 
  • Parent Handouts – Teachers and counselors can share materials with parents about the importance of attending school every day and tips for getting their children to school on time, every day. This poster is available in Spanish and Marshallese as well.
  • Tiered Strategies to Reduce Chronic Absence Handout – This handout is intended to help a school or district address chronic absence and think about alignment between its strategies and level of student need.

Reports

In October 2016, the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) released a report, Make Every Day Count: Reducing Chronic Absence in Arkansas Schools, which details chronic absence data in the state – and some strategies to address the issue. The report includes an analysis by AACF of data from the Arkansas Department of Education.

In September 2016, Attendance Works-in collaboration with the Everyone Graduates Center-released a report, Preventing Missed Opportunity: Taking Collective Action to Confront Chronic Absence. Our Make Every Day County initiative is featured in the report.