The National Center for Rural Education Research Networks (NCRERN) at Harvard University seeks to bring together a national cohort of rural districts to pilot an evidence-based program designed to increase student attendance rates. During the 2022-23 academic year, NCRERN will support the expanded implementation and evaluation of Leveraging Interactions with Families To (L.I.F.T.) Up Attendance, a low-burden, research-based program proven to reduce absenteeism rates.
LIFT Up Attendance is a user-friendly messaging program that integrates with your student information system (SIS) to provide personalized messages that inform caregivers about their student’s total number of absences each month. Caregivers are provided with information on how to contact the school if they need support to address barriers to their student’s attendance. LIFT Up Attendance aims to engage and empower families and caregivers as partners in their students’ education by providing transparent, real-time information about attendance patterns.
LIFT Up Attendance was developed by researchers and piloted in 8 rural districts in New York and Ohio during the 2020-21 academic year. Even amidst the uncertainty and disruption of the pandemic, the pilot study found the personalized messages reduced absences for rural students by up to 11% and saved instructional days.
We also know that schools have a lot going on. The messaging program is designed to be easy to use with minimal time required — just a few clicks per month! LIFT Up Attendance can be used in conjunction with other family engagement initiatives or as a standalone engagement strategy. In addition, districts who participate in the pilot study will receive LIFT Up Attendance and on-going support from NCRERN at no cost.