Teacher postcards to reduce absences

And I who was thinking posctards were something from the past…

Best Evidence in Brief Index

By José L. Arco-Tirado, Faculty of Education, University of Granada (Spain)

A recent study published in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness examines the effectiveness of sending teacher-written postcards home to reduce absences in preschool through second grade.

The authors implemented a randomized intervention across schools and classrooms in two urban school districts involving an analysis sample of 5,552 students with no significant differences in pretreatment characteristics between the treatment and control groups.

For a duration of 13 weeks, following an absence, school staff sent postcards to parents detailing how many days of school their child had missed, alongside a handwritten note from their teacher summarizing the academic material covered during the absence. In the control classrooms, no changes were made to how teachers addressed absences.

Results showed that the treatment reduced absences by 0.45 days (95% CI, 0.14–0.76) relative to the control mean of 5.42 days absent. The…

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