Below is a growing list of strategies that are being used by communities/schools. Click on a Strategy and PLEASE share your comments and experiences about the strategy.
ASK RETIRED EDUCATOR/COMMUNITY LEADER TO MAKE CONTACT WITH THESE FAMILIES(click here to share comments)
- Make direct contact with families to determine reasons for not attending (i.e. phone calls, home visits, notes, neighbors, etc.)
- Start by addressing the reasons for not attending.
- When families feel you care first, they are more likely to send their kids to school.
ORGANIZE A HOUSE-TO-HOUSE SURVEY IN YOUR COMMUNITY OR SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AREA(click here to share comments)
- Make personal contact that shows the school community cares about all kids.
- Identify reasons for not attending, i.e., lack of food, transportation, fearful, clothing, illness, technology or internet service.
- Ask if they know where a missing family might be and that you care.
- Find needed resources (food, mental health, medical, etc.)
- Use community retired educators, parent organizations, community volunteers, churches.
- Be supportive and avoid any negativity or you are likely to lose them. Showing you genuinely care is critical to returning students to school.
- Provide a short training for the team on ways to effectively reengage families with school.
- Set up a Student Ambassador Program at your school to welcome students and families.
CREATE A COMMUNITY GOAL TO FIND AND SUPPORT YOUR MISSING KIDS(click here to share comments)
- Keep looking for older kids and identify what can be done to return to school. Consider alterative learning environments.
- Ask existing councils, the medical and religious communities, and other local groups to suggest ideas and to assist in the community process.
- Ensure that initial contacts are made with kindness, caring and a genuine interest in identifying reasons for non-attendance.
- Make nutrition baskets with 15 days of food. Grocery stores and community groups can mobilize efforts. This action is a powerful way to say your community cares about all kids and families.
- Seek community donations for backpacks filled with needed school supplies.
SHARE EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES WITH OTHER COMMUNITIES AND SCHOOL SYSTEMS(click here to share comments)
- Seek other state organizations who would support these efforts.
- Encourage them to share strategies that are working in their area.
- Ask your state organizations to embrace this goal to find and educate all children.
- Identify ways to share ideas within the state, including with policy makers.
- Suggest a community and/or state-wide 2-year goal to address this issue with speed, scale, and consistency. Countries that are mobilizing at all educational levels appear to be having the most success.
- Celebrate the efforts and accomplishments in finding the missing kids and ensuring they become educated in some way.