School Attendance


Wisconsin public schools share responsibility with parents/guardians to ensure school-age children are enrolled in and attending appropriate educational programs. The Department of Public Instruction provides consultation, technical assistance, and resources to help reduce truancy and improve attendance.

Below are Department of Public Instruction publications and other resources about school attendance and strategies to reduce truancy and improve attendance.


Attendance Promotion and Dropout Prevention

National Center for School Engagement
Improving School Attendance: A Resource Guide for Virginia Schools
National Dropout Prevention Network
Measuring Student Engagement in Upper Elementary through High School: A Description of 21 Instruments
Dropout Prevention - National Education Association
Dropout Prevention - U.S. Department of Education What Works Clearinghouse


Attendance in Early Grades

State Superintendent Evers' Letter to Elementary School Principals (August 2014)
Sample Letter for Parents (August 2014)
Early Attendance Parent Fact Sheet (2012)
Early Attendance Parent Fact Sheet - Spanish (2012)
Early Attendance Research (2012)
Early Grades Attendance Resources


Compulsory School Attendance and Truancy

Answers to Frequently Asked Compulsory School Attendance Questions (2012)
Five-year-old Kindergarten Attendance and First Grade Admission
Habitual Truancy and Virtual Schools
Best Practices in Developing Truancy Reduction Programs - Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (2008)
What research tells us about effective truancy prevention and intervention programs – UW-Madison and UW-Madison Extension
Best Practices Review: Truancy Reduction Efforts Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau (2008)
Finding Effective Solutions to Truancy – UW-Madison and UW-Madison Extension


Educational Alternatives

Alternative Education
Contracting with Technical Colleges and Other Ways to Complete High School
GED/HSED Program
Home-Based Private Education Program (Home Schooling)
Open Enrollment (for educators)
Open Enrollment (for parents)
Virtual Schools



Pupil Transportation
Special Education Transportation

For questions about this information, call the Student Services/Prevention and Wellness Helpline at (608)266-8960, or email