School Leader’s Guide to Tackling Attendance Challenges

“For students to be successful in school, they first have to be in school.”

With that simple statement, Jessica Sprick and Randy Sprick launch a compelling case for prioritizing student attendance. This comprehensive guide provides school and district-level administrators and teams with the background information, strategies, and tools needed to implement a multi-tiered approach to improving attendance and preventing chronic absenteeism.


225 pages, 7" x 10"
For Grades:
  • Jessica Sprick
  • Randy Sprick
Area of Focus:


Authors Jessica Sprick and Randy Sprick use the results of their work in schools throughout the United States to dispel the myth that educators have little control over student attendance. Success stories illustrate how elementary and secondary schools have reversed longstanding patterns of absenteeism.

Citing extensive research, Sprick and Sprick share details about the shocking prevalence of chronic absenteeism in U.S. schools and its effects on students, teachers, families, and the school community. They explain how to replace punitive approaches to absenteeism with effective methods that begin with universal supports and continue through Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions for individual students with more persistent problems. Specifically, they explain how to:

  • Build an effective school team to address absenteeism.
  • Create systems to collect accurate data and set priorities.
  • Develop an attendance initiative that generates student enthusiasm as well as staff, parent, and community support.
  • Design and implement strategies that are tailored to specific schoolwide concerns and demographics that reach all students.

Equipped with the information and tools presented in this book, educators can ensure wise use of staff and other resources—and create a culture of attendance that is the foundation of successful schools.

School Leader’s Guide to Tackling Attendance Challenges is exceptionally well organized and presented, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to school district, college, and university library Teacher Education instructional reference collections.  —Midwest Book Review

This book is a joint publication between Ancora Publishing and ASCD. Click here to view the Table of Contents and excerpts from the book.

Visit the ASCD site to view a recording of Tackling Attendance Challenges: School- and Classroom-Based Approaches, a webinar with author Jessica Sprick and Tricia Berg. Learn how to effectively monitor attendance data and create tiered systems of support to address absenteeism. Practical strategies for school leaders and teachers will help you shift from reactive and punitive models toward proactive and positive approaches to improve all students’ attendance.

  • Jessica Sprick

    Jessica Sprick is a consultant and presenter for Safe & Civil Schools and a writer for Ancora Publishing. Ms. Sprick has been a special education teacher for students with behavioral needs and Dean of Students at the middle school level. Her practical experience working with special and general education students and staff, along with strong training in positive behavior support techniques, drives her passion to help school personnel develop and implement effective classroom management plans.

  • Randy Sprick

    Randy Sprick has worked as a paraprofessional, teacher, and teacher trainer at the elementary and secondary levels. Author of a number of widely read books on behavior and classroom management, Randy is former director of Safe & Civil Schools, a consulting company that provides inservice programs throughout the country. Although Randy is largely retired, his Safe & Civil Schools colleagues continue the work of helping large and small school districts improve student behavior and motivation. Efficacy of that work is documented in peer-reviewed research, and Safe & Civil Schools materials are listed on the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP). Randy was the recipient of the 2007 Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Wallin Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the Direct Instruction Hall of Fame, along with numerous other awards and honors.