Can Informing Parents Help High School Students Show Up for School?

Results from a Partnership Between New Visions for Public Schools and MDRC

| Rekha Balu, Kristin Porter, Brad Gunton

MDRC, an independent, nonprofit research firm, partnered with New Visions for Public Schools, which supports a network of district-run high schools in New York City, to design and evaluate an intervention aimed at improving high school students’ attendance.

The intervention used text messaging to send parents daily absence updates and weekly attendance summaries; students were randomly assigned to have their guardians receive messages. The evaluation found that the intervention did not change attendance rates in the second semester of the 2015-2016 school year.