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Brian Woods, superintendent of Northside ISD in San Antonio, serves on a regional truancy committee. His district hit a record 96 percent attendanc last school year.

District leaders across the country are broadening and personalizing their approaches to attendance because the old way of sending truants and their families to court often fails to bring students back to school.

A Missouri district is actively looking for warning signs of truancy.

Teachers and other educators in Liberty Public Schools are asked to take quick action if, for instance, a student has stopped participating or has become withdrawn in class, says Jim Hammen, director of student services for the 12,000-student district north of Kansas City.

Such intervention software is designed to help districts reduce truancy and excessive absences. It allows administrators to track and analyze absence patterns, and compare the data to historical trends. A2A can turn this data into actionable reports, highlighting the areas that help district administrators address attendance concerns and increase parent involvement.

Reader Testimony: 

“A2A has not only helped our district track our attendance but also communicate early and often with our families. The response from families has been very positive and our attendance has improved from approximately 94 to 96 percent. Because of A2A, we have been able to not only track how many students are absent but when they are absent and where” — such as the specific classroom and community. — Margaret Lavin, director of student services, Redwood City School District, Calif.


Teacher substitute placement and absence management can be automated online and over-the-phone with this online tool. Teachers can register their absences at any time, either by calling a toll-free number or by logging on to Aesop online. Aesop also saves data entry time by integrating with other software applications.

Reader Testimony: 

“The program has been an excellent tool to help refute unemployment compensation claims when filed by substitute teachers. The attendance tracking feature is highly accurate and helps us effectively record employee absences. The electronic approval has replaced the outdated paper/pencil system for administrators to approve personal days or vacation days.”

—Thomas Sigafoos, director of human resources, Upper Dublin School District, Pa.


As an intervention software program, Attention 2 Attendance is designed to help districts reduce truancy and excessive absences. It allows administrators to track and analyze absence patterns, which also can be compared to district historical trends.

Reader Testimony: 

“A2A is the best kind of program: it has tremendous capacity and a friendly user interface. It allows us to increase communication with truant families, while making the district’s workload lighter. Truant parents were more responsive to getting their students to school because we had consistent, strong letters that got their attention.”

—Terrance Dunn, principal, Newark USD, Calif.

Researchers estimate between 5 million and 7.5 million students nationwide are missing too much school. (Graphic: Attendance Works)

An estimated one in 10 students in the United States are chronically absent from school, increasing the chances they will fall behind or drop out.

 St. Louis Superintendent Kelvin Adams reads to Gateway Elementary School students.

St. Louis Public Schools, the largest district in Missouri, was struggling to stay afloat in 2007, with $40 million dollars of debt and low test scores. In March of that year, the state school board revoked the district’s accreditation for not meeting state standards and took control.

With tight budgets, scarce resources, and rigorous state and federal standards, it seems that providing individualized math instruction would be a challenge for many schools. However, by taking advantage of appropriate technology and allowing for flexibility, many schools across the country are developing IEPs for every student. In this web seminar originally broadcast on September 13, 2012, expert speakers discussed the keys to successfully creating these IEPs.