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Chronic Absence School Self-Assessment

Chronic Absence School Self-Assessment

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Published by nelsonjs

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Published by: nelsonjs on Apr 09, 2010
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Does Attendance Really Count in Our School?
 A Tool for Self Assessment -
(Revised Spring, 2010)(Note: Chronic absence = missing 10% or more of school for any reason including excused and unexcusedabsences. It is different from and can be masked by truancy (unexcused absences) or average dailyattendance (the percent of students who show up to school each day).
Key Element
StrengthOK forNowCouldBeBetterUrgentGapDon’tKnow
Implication(s) for Action
1.Every day, in every class, teachers take rollaccurately in a caring manner.2.Attendance data is entered daily into anelectronic data base that can generateregular reports on average dailyattendance, chronic absence & truancy.3.An attendance team meets regularly toreview data to identify problematic andpositive attendance patterns by grade,population of students and classroom .4.Our school tracks and reaches out tochronically absent students and theirfamilies to see how attendance could beimproved.
Students with excessive excused absencesare required to provide a doctor’s note.6.Individual learning plans are developedfor high-risk students exhibiting pooracademic performance and/or poorattendance.7.Our school partners with communityagencies that can help reach out and offerresources to help chronically absentstudents and their families8.An effective school wide system of attendance incentives is in place.9.Our school informs parents about theimportance of attendance, works withparents to identify common barriers andencourages parents to help each other gettheir children to school.10.Our strategies for supporting student1
attendance are reflected in our schoolimprovement plan. TOTAL
Additional Information
Key ElementWhat does this mean? Reflections: Whats working? Whatschallenging?
1.Every day, in every class,teachers take roll accuratelyin a caring manner. Teachers take time and care to take roll everyday (and for every class in middle and highschool.) Students quickly notice if teachersexpress concern if they were absent.2.Attendance data is entereddaily into an electronic database that can generateregular reports on averagedaily attendance, chronicabsence and truancy.Ideally, schools should be able to reviewattendance data reports on at least a monthlyif not weekly basis so they can detect trendsearly. All three measures—average dailyattendance, chronic absence and truancy—offer important insights.3.Our school has anattendance team thatregularly meets andreviews . attendance data toidentify problematic andpositive patterns by grade,population of students andclassroom. The attendance team should include keystakeholders (principal, attendance clerk,parent liaison, social worker or nurse) who canbring important and diverse perspectives tobear when interpreting attendance data. Itshould meet at least twice a month. Highlevels of chronic absence can be used torecognize problems in need of interventionwhile good attendance data can be used toidentify promising practices worth replication.4.Our school reaches out tochronically absent studentsand their families to see howattendance could beimproved.A list of chronically absent students should begenerated daily or, at least, weekly. Outreachcould be conducted by a teacher, anattendance clerk, or even a trained parentvolunteer—as long as there is a clearprocedure. Outreach should begin by findingout what the family says are the reasons forthe chronic absence (e.g. illness,transportation, extended vacation, childdoesn’t like school or feels bullied etc.)2
Key ElementWhat does this mean? Reflections: Whats working? Whatschallenging?
Developing solutions requires knowing theissues that contribute to poor attendance5.Students with excessiveexcused absences arerequired to provide adoctor’s note.Such a policy helps clarify whether theabsences are truly due to illness and shouldtherefore be excused vs. truant.6.Individual learning plans aredeveloped with high riskstudents exhibiting pooracademic performanceand/or poor attendance.When students exhibit high risks then parents,teachers, staff from partnering communityagencies and students themselves shouldwork together to develop and agree upon anindividual learning plan. Attendance andacademic performance should be explicitlyexplored andaddressed.7.Our school partners withcommunity agencies whocan help reach out and offerresources to help chronicallyabsent students and theirfamilies.A variety of community resources are knownto support improved attendance (afterschoolprogramming, health services, pre-K programs, help with accessing tax credits orother income supports, etc.) Sometimes thesepartners are in a better position to reach outto families because, for example, afterschoolproviders have a different relationship toparents. An understanding of critical barriersto attendance can inform which partnershipsare most needed.8.An effective schoolwidesystem of attendanceincentives .Low-cost attendance incentives, whether theyare material (such as pencil or popcornparties) or emotional (acknowledgement inclass, at morning assembly or in the schoolnewsletter, extra recess time, opportunities todress casually if uniforms are required) areknown to work, especially if they are part of aschool wide approach to creating a culture of going to school regularly. Keep in mind theimportance of rewarding improvedattendance, not just perfect attendance
9.Our school informs parentsabout the importance of Staff plays a key role in educating parentsabout the adverse consequence of chronic3

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