Kinvolved is dedicated to simplifying the way teachers take attendance and involving parents to improve student success.

Kinvolved’s mission is to increase school attendance, particularly among underserved communities. Kinvolved offers schools a holistic, three-part program to improve attendance: 1) increase school communication of attendance information to parents and families in real time using our web app, 2) critically analyze quantitative and qualitative classroom attendance data with teachers, administrators, students, and families to identify underlying causes of absenteeism, and 3) mobilize key stakeholders to drive policy reform and develop community-based partnerships to combat the underlying causes of truancy.

Kinvolved’s system will not only make attendance recording and parent communication more consistent and efficient for teachers, but also provide follow up support by using data to bring community partners into the classroom to help teachers increase attendance and engagement.

Kinvolved’s web and mobile-based system allows teachers to track attendance data and instantly communicates information to families. The app offers a simple user interface and rapid communication, as teachers record classroom attendance in 60 seconds. At the click of a single button, all absent/late students’ families are notified immediately via SMS and/or email in English or Spanish. The app also graphically analyzes trends in student attendance behavior. More specifically, the app has the ability to present the breakdown of present, absent, and tardy days by student, class, school, or district in an easy-to-digest pie chart. Bar graphs also show student attendance trends by day, week, and month to best understand if there is a particular chronological pattern of absenteeism. Lastly, the app graphically displays the key reasons why students are not present and on time to school, to help administrators identify most common reasons for absenteeism and lateness across their student populations, such as health problems, bullying, violence, disengagement, or transportation delays. Teachers can record this information; parents can text in the reason why his/her child was absent/late; students can anonymously text in reasons why he/she was absent/late via an automated survey submitted to students phones when they are marked absent.

All information will be captured in an easy-to-understand “attendance report card” that can be sent to parents by email/mail alongside standard academic grade report cards to illustrate the equal importance of attendance.

Technology is coupled with human capital as Kinvolved proposes and directly aids in implementing thoughtful, data-driven solutions, including community partnerships, school policy development, and policy advocacy. Linking schools with community-based organizations provides supplemental support once key reasons for absenteeism have been identified. We work with schools to develop clear, sustainable attendance policies, which help define expectations for teachers, parents, and students. Lastly, we organize community members to advocate for local and higher-level policy initiatives that address attendance challenges identified across communities.

Kinvolved's focus on attendance is based on a pressing need across New York City and other communities facing issues with truancy across the nation. Specific to NYC, research from the New School shows that on any given day only 87 percent of 1.1 million students are present in the classroom. One third of students in this region are chronically absent, meaning they miss 20 or more days of school per year. These alarming rates are extremely costly because these students are on the path to dropping out, and each drop out costs our society approximately $240,000 over the course of his or her lifetime in lost income, poverty, costs to the health care system, and incarceration.

However, we believe that NYC has extreme room to improve student achievement, as demonstrated by initiatives launched by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Mayor Bloomberg launched the largest-ever citywide program to reduce chronic absenteeism, which helped students with poor attendance gain more than 11,800 days of school last year and has become a model for other cities across the nation,” said Bloomberg spokeswoman Lauren Passalacqua. In a similar vein, Kinvolved believes that by directly providing information about student attendance to those who matter most, families, and understanding who these students are and why they are not in the classroom, we can continue to ensure that students are present, all day, every day.

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