The Work of Attendance Officers in Times of Emergency

This document presents insights elicited from a study which included interviews with attendance officers and a survey conducted among them about their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the study was to help shape the work of attendance officers during national emergencies such as the current crisis – the Israel-Hamas War.

During an emergency, the circle of students at risk for truancy expands, and there is a need to provide them with a systematic array of emotional and social support by professionals within formal educational settings. The attendance officers are a key source of knowledge about working with children at risk of dropping out of school, as they have received specialized training on issues such as inclusion and exclusion and are equipped with tools for non-judgmental questioning and the development of empathetic and non-judgmental dialogues with students, parents, and school staff, all of which are geared to prevent student dropout from the education system.  This training becomes even more important in emergencies.

In addition, the attendance officers are able to manage and coordinate the treatment of the various cases under their responsibility, map the students, monitor them, and provide tailored assistance to the students, their families, and school staff to support the return to their educational settings, while providing unique interventions for each student according to their circumstances and needs.

For MJB’s publications on Israel-Hamas War in English, press here.

For MJB’s publications on Israel-Hamas War in Hebrew, press here.