I understand. You run a school. I’ve been in your shoes. You’re in the midst of helping two students resolve a disagreement. Your star chemistry teacher just resigned to take a position in a nearby district. And you just discovered a roof leak. The U.S. census is the furthest thing from your mind.

But maybe it shouldn’t be. The distribution of $675 billion in federal funds—including Title I, IDEA, teacher training, technology, school lunch assistance, and after-school programs—depends on the official census count. For your school to receive every dollar of federal support to which it is entitled, every family and student in your school must be counted in 2020. And that effort needs a nudge from the principal.

Fortunately, the U.S. Census Bureau has made it easy for you. Each principal will soon receive a package in the mail about the Statistics in Schools (SIS) program, a free educational program that uses census data to create classroom materials for grades K–12. The program’s 100-plus activities weave easily into classes across the curriculum and highlight the importance of making sure everyone is counted.

Other actions you can take include:

  • Signing up for the SIS newsletter to stay up to date on all of the key events and the release of new materials
  • Encouraging your community to partner with the U.S. Census Bureau on a local level
  • Communicating SIS messages to parents and teachers through email blasts
  • Participating in Statistics in Schools Week (March 2020)

Learn more at www.census.gov/schools. The potential of each student counts, so let’s make sure each one is counted.


JoAnn Bartoletti
Executive Director, NASSP