About Stay in the Game!

Stay in the Game! Network was designed to support increasing student attendance. It launched in 2019 with the leadership of the Cleveland Browns Foundation, Ohio Department of Education and Workforce and Harvard’s Proving Ground, and went through an inclusive strategic planning process in 2023 to better address the urgent needs of district members.


Our Mission


Members and stakeholders working together to campaign, connect, and convene with experts and supporters to dramatically improve student attendance.

Our Founding Partners

Stay in the Game! unites partners, districts, experts, collaborators, and leaders of all kinds to leverage individual strengths to better support Ohio’s schools and districts through collective impact. Our leading partners founded the network in concert with school districts to make sure our schools have teammates in this critical work. We can make more progress playing as a team – bringing all of our expertise, skills and perspectives to the field.

Cleveland Browns Foundation

The Cleveland Browns Foundation has been committed to student attendance since 2015 when it partnered with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to launch Get 2 School You Can Make It! a community-wide campaign assisted in reducing the district’s rate of absenteeism by 30% and inspired the creation of Stay in the Game!

Ohio Department of Education & Workforce

Centering equity, partnerships, and quality schools, the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce is on a mission to ensure every student has access to an education that helps them reach their full potential. Stay in the Game! is an opportunity to maximize collective impact and achieve a shared vision of student success where each child is challenged to discover and learn, prepared to pursue a fulfilling post-high school path, and empowered to become a resilient, lifelong learner who contributes to society.

Proving Ground

An initiative of Harvard University’s Center for Education Policy Research, is working in partnership with Stay in the Game! to help identify and test solutions to improve school attendance. The initiative supports continuous improvement through data analysis, strategic advice, hands-on assistance and peer networking opportunities.

Columbus Crew

The Columbus Crew is committed to changing young lives through a passion for Soccer. The Columbus Crew joined the Stay in the Game! Network in 2022.

Our Teams

We partner with teams committed to improving student attendance

Founding member since 2019

Member since 2022

Member since 2024

Our Vision

Stay in the Game! Network was designed so that…

Every student feels seen, supported and valued in school and is enriched by the experience of attending.

Every family feels a sense of partnership with their school and district.

Every school has the knowledge, evidence-based resources, and best practices needed to remove non-academic barriers to attendance.


Our Goals


More than 90% of Ohio’s students will be attending school more than 90% of the time directly contributing to their ability to read on grade level, graduate on time, join the workforce and/or pursue postsecondary education.


Over half of Ohio students are represented in SITG! Network with more than 50% of those consistently attending school more than 90% of the time and more than 30% attending 95% of the time.


Make improving attendance a sustained statewide movement integrating it with the Ohio School Improvement Process and identifying, promoting and advocating for best practices and policies.

Our Guiding Principles

The Network, including its three founding partners, collaborators, and local-level members, is driven by the following guiding principles

Public awareness is foundational

That’s why state-level partners and local-level members commit to raising public awareness and engaging community members on the importance of consistent school attendance and engagement.

Data drives decisions

The Network supports districts and schools to use data to better understand successes and opportunities, identify solutions and continuously improve.

Family and student engagement matters

Families and students hold the keys to unlocking the right local solutions; they should be engaged every step of the way.

District, school, teacher, and staff input is essential

Each education partner has unique insight, and each should be involved in developing and implementing the solutions. The Network’s state-level partners are committed to supporting Network partners.

Community partnerships amplify the work

Strategic partnerships strengthen local efforts by building awareness, providing access to supports and resources, and removing deep-seated barriers to student attendance.

Our strategies are guided by our principles and the needs of Network members

Create a statewide attendance movement to shift the mindset and culture of attendance; elevating it to a statewide and community-owned priority through positive messaging, ongoing public campaign

Develop partnerships across education, community, philanthropic, sports and business sectors within communities and statewide to support Ohio’s attendance work

Build a dynamic peer-to-peer learning community that supports ongoing access to and information from attendance experts, practitioners and state resources/guidance

Identify and elevate proven and promising practices and policies for boosting attendance and lowering chronic absenteeism