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Reducing Chronic Absence What Will It Take? Hedy Chang, Director, Attendance Works March 14, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Reducing Chronic Absence What Will It Take? Hedy Chang, Director, Attendance Works March 14, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reducing Chronic Absence What Will It Take? Hedy Chang, Director, Attendance Works March 14, 2014

2 Average Daily Attendance The % of enrolled students who attend school each day. It is used in some states for allocating funding. Truancy Typically refers only to unexcused absences and is defined by each state under No Child Left Behind. It signals the potential need for legal intervention under state compulsory education laws. Chronic Absence Missing 10% or more of school for any reason -- excused, unexcused, etc. It is an indication that a student is academically at risk due to missing too much school starting in Kindergarten. What is Chronic Absence? What is the difference from ADA and truancy? 2

3 90% and even 95% ≠ A High Levels of Average Daily Attendance (ADA) Can Mask Chronic Absence 3 98% ADA = little chronic absence 95% ADA = don’t know 93% ADA = significant chronic absence

4 Why Does Attendance Matter For Achievement? What we know from research around the country

5  Nationwide, as many as 10-15% of students (7.5 million) miss nearly a month of school every year. That’s 135 million days of lost time in the classroom.  In some cities, as many as one in four students are missing that much school.  Chronic absenteeism is a red alert, starting as early as kindergarten and preschool, that students are headed for academic trouble and eventually for dropping out of high school.  Chronic absence is even more important with Common Core since it will be harder for students to make up for missed time in the classroom. 5 Chronic Absence: A Hidden National Crisis

6 Starting in PreK, More Years of Chronic Absence = Need for Intensive Reading Support By 2 nd Grade * Indicates that scores are significantly different from scores of students who are never chronically absent, at p<.05 level; **p<.01; ***p<.001 Some risk At risk

7 The Long-Term Impact of Chronic Kindergarten Absence is Most Troubling for Poor Children Source: ECLS-K data analyzed by National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) Note: Average academic performance reflects results of direct cognitive assessments conducted for ECLS-K. 5 th Grade Math and Reading performance by K attendance for children living In poverty. Academic performance was lower even if attendance had improved in 3 rd grade. 7

8 8 Multiple Years of Elementary Chronic Absence = Worse Middle School Outcomes Oakland Unified School District SY , Analysis By Attendance Works Chronic absence in 1 st grade is also associated with: Lower 6 th grade test scores Higher levels of suspension Years of Chronic Absence in Grades 1-5 Increase in probability of 6 th grade chronic absence Each year of chronic absence in elementary school is associated with a substantially higher probability of chronic absence in 6 th grade 5.9x 7.8x 18.0x

9 The Effects of Chronic Absence on Dropout Rates Are Cumulative 9

10 10 What Does It Take To Reduce Chronic Absence?

11 11 Find Out Why Students Are Chronically Absent Myths Absences are only a problem if they are unexcused Sporadic versus consecutive absences aren’t a problem Attendance only matters in the older grades Barriers Lack of access to health or dental care Poor transportation No safe path to school Aversion Child struggling academically Lack of engaging instruction Poor school climate and ineffective school discipline Parents had negative school experience Chronic disease

12 12 Site-Level Strategies for Building a Culture of Attendance & Identifying Barriers

13 Increased Attendance Involves a 3-Tiered Approach that Fits with Most Reform Efforts A small fraction of a school’s students Students who were chronically absent in prior year or starting to miss 20% or more of school Some of a school’s students Students at risk for chronic absence All of a school’s students All students in the school Recovery Programs Intervention Programs Universal/Preventive Programs High Cost Low Cost 13

14 14 Students & Families Schools Actionable Data Positive Messaging Capacity Building Shared Accountability Is accurate, accessible, and regularly reported Expands ability to interpret data and work together to adopt best practices Conveys why building a habit of attendance is important and what chronic absence is Ensures monitoring & incentives to address chronic absence Community District Ingredients for System-wide Success & Sustainability

15 1.Add Attendance to your longitudinal student database. 2.Build Public Awareness about chronic absence, why it matters, and the need for a comprehensive approach that starts with support not punitive action. 3.Establish Standard Chronic Absence Definition (missing 10% for any reason). 4.Call for Chronic Absence Reports (by district, school, grade and subgroup.) Potential Implications for State School Boards 15

16 5.Ensure Reporting to Families offering real-time data and an alert for at risk attend 6.Require School Improvement Plans to examine and address chronic absence. 7.Support Capacity Building to ensure everyone understands data and best practices, 8.Call for Interagency Collaboration including joint review of aggregate chronic absence data to inform resource allocation and policy development. 16 Potential Implications for State School Boards For more information, go to:

17 Wondering about your own state? 17 New from DQC and Attendance Works: Monitoring Chronic Absence

18 Chronic Absence = The Warning Light On A Car Dashboard Ignore it at your personal peril! Address early or potentially pay more (lots more) later. The key is to ask why is this blinking? What could this mean? 18 The Parallels


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