To eliminate chronic student absenteeism in this country, the My Brother’s Keeper Success Mentors Initiative,  ten initial participant cities and an Ad Council campaign, will seek to engage parents on this issue to drive student success. Particularly important for higher risk populations, reaching and engaging families must be strategic, collaborative, and culturally responsive.

In this initiative and other efforts to reform schools and utilize transformative data-informed practices to improve overall student academic performance, engaging families must be viewed as a standard, necessary component.

We seem to be coming around to the most comprehensive and broader framework in the design of education programs, practices and policies. Good work, White House! Nice start, too!

Read more: FACT SHEET: The White House Launches New National Effort and Ad Council Campaign to Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism and Drive Student Success


Published by JaDonnia

An education and counseling professional, I focus my expertise on diversity, inclusion and family engagement/empowerment Of particular importance is the partnerships between parents and the community schools that serve their children. Highlighting strategies, tips and evidence-based best practices for family engagement, my aim is to alter mindsets, broaden perspectives, foster empathy, and build capacity. Offering 'food for thought' and inviting discussion, I tell truths rarely explored-to both educators and families. A holistic culturally-responsive approach to teaching, learning and engaging others begins with respect. I promote respect and fully integrating curricular diversity in formal learning settings! Collaboration with families is necessary, because parents hold the master key that unlocks doors to child health and wellness, academic achievement, and believe it or not, teacher excellence and stronger school communities.

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  1. My Brother’s Keeper Success Mentors Initiative is a great initiative that is taking a proactive approach to combat student absenteeism by involving parents and mentors in order to address student absenteeism. Researchers and practitioners alike agree that high student absenteeism is an issue that many public schools are facing across the United States and abroad. To combat student absenteeism, school leaders must face the brutal facts on the impact of poor student attendance, and disrupt the status quo by identifying ways to get students back into the classrooms. Research reveals that schools, families, and communities play a significant role in students’ school attendance Sheldon (2007) noted that student attendance tends to increase when schools execute a school-wide attendance program. The effects are particularly evident when strong partnerships are formed among schools, family, and the community. Sheldon’s study findings also suggest that, when schools reach out to families to address absenteeism, attendance tends to increase. Additionally, mentoring programs are an effective research-based intervention that has been proven to decrease absenteeism. Students with attendance issues who have mentors to connect with at school tend to attend school more regularly, which likely leads to improved academic performance. Students are more likely to attend school when they know that there is someone there waiting to see them each day. After all, when students miss school, they miss out!

    Sheldon, S. B. (2007). Improving student attendance with school, family, and community
    partnerships. The Journal of Educational Research, 100(5), 267-275,328. Retrieved from


    1. Just wanted to say hat I have checked out this model, and the practices shared are utilizing the types of strategies that bring results, build social capital, and lead to positive outcomes for children and their families. Thank you for the ‘heads up’, and please keep posting with your pulse on the largely unknown/untold truths. I look forward to your ‘Blackmail’, especially ‘special deliveries’.

      Liked by 1 person

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