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Keeping Spring Attendance Up | Dear Rashida...

Rashida Ladner-Seward

Rashida Ladner-Seward is Director of Program Support at ExpandED Schools. This blog is part of our bi-weekly advice column where we answer burning questions from program directors, educators and administrators on how to develop and run successful expanded learning programs.

Dear Rashida,

How can our school keep attendance up after spring testing and when better weather returns??

-Scared of the Slump

Dear Scared,

You’re smart to be thinking about this right now. Data shows there’s a considerable drop in average school attendance rates between the months of April and June. But fear not, because if you set the tone – for students, families and teachers – that school is still in full swing until the very end, it can help avoid the attendance slump. Here are some steps you can take to maximize learning time: 

  • Plan a spirit week for the last month of school. Make sure that students are key players in the planning, and that a series of fun, connected projects are offered during the months of April and May.

  • If the budget allows for it, after-school programs should operate until the very end of the school year. Make sure parents understand how critical attendance is for future funding and/or program slots.

  • Try outdoor learning in nearby parks; this can provide an especially fun way for students to learn more about nature.

  • Create mentoring programs where older students “buddy” with younger ones to prepare them for the next level – perhaps students can even earn extra credit!

  • Plan end-of-year showcases or field trips. Students should understand that to be eligible to attend they have to maintain good attendance. 

Read more in our resource guide Avoiding the Attendance Slump.

Good luck and happy spring learning!


♦ Have a question? Send it to info@expandedschools.org with “Dear Rashida” in the subject line. Be sure to check back each week for a nugget of wisdom.



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