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1 Ninth Grade Truancy Prevention Program Carnell A. White, Principal Gabriel Salgado, Assistant Principal Viviana Lebeña, Teacher Leader North Miami Senior.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Ninth Grade Truancy Prevention Program Carnell A. White, Principal Gabriel Salgado, Assistant Principal Viviana Lebeña, Teacher Leader North Miami Senior."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Ninth Grade Truancy Prevention Program Carnell A. White, Principal Gabriel Salgado, Assistant Principal Viviana Lebeña, Teacher Leader North Miami Senior High School Superintendent’s Urban Principal Initiative

2 2 Abstract of the Study A group of 21 students with attendance and academic problems, along with their parents, were targeted by a professional team in an effort to improve their attendance and increase parental involvement. Through the efforts of the professional team, comprised of a school social worker, a TRUST counselor, guidance counselors, occupational/career specialists, and three school administrators, student achievement was positively impacted.

3 3 Introduction/Background Data generated from the automated daily report, along with observations from parent conferences, led us to believe that parents do not necessarily realize that students’ frequent absences from school will lead to academic failure and even to drop out. In order to increase student attendance we recognize the necessity of including parents in our interventions. Due to our primarily Haitian-American population, we think that our students’ parents may not fully understand the significance of their role in their children’s education. North Miami Senior High School serves a multi-ethnic, multicultural student body and community. The current student body is approximately 3100 students with an ethnic/racial makeup as follows:  78 percent Black Non-Hispanic (primarily Haitian descent)  16 percent Hispanic,  3 percent White Non-Hispanic  2 Percent Asian/Indian/Multiracial.

4 4 Research Questions Will an increase in parental involvement increase regular school attendance in a 9 th grade target group? Will an increase in parental involvement increase student academic achievement?

5 5 Literature Review A study of ninth graders found that, compared to other grades, more ninth graders had problems of low attendance and discipline. “In every area investigated, ninth grade presented the greatest challenge to students, parents, and educators. These groups must work together to increase the success of all ninth graders.” ( Caution: Hazardous Grade. Ninth Graders at Risk, Austin Independent School District, Texas,1987)

6 6 Literature Review An evaluation of the Ninth Grade Restructuring Program of the Detroit Public Schools concluded that a systematically different approach is essential to meet the needs of ninth graders. (Syropoulos, M. Academic and Support Ninth Grade Restructuring programs as Reported by the Ninth Grade Administrators, 1998) A study by Dougherty (1999) showed that alienation plays a part in student absences and that other factors such as cultural values, school climate, social responsibility should be considered when examining attendance patterns. (Dougherty, John. W. Attending to Attendance, 1999)

7 7 Literature Review A synthesis of the research concluded that “ the evidence is consistent, positive, and convincing: families have a major influence on their children’s achievement in school and through life. When schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better, stay in school longer, and like school more.” (Henderson, Anne T. and Mapp, L., A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement, 2002)

8 8 Literature Review Research findings tend to be consistent in their conclusion that the ninth grade is “a precarious time for potential dropout” and that “ students who are most likely to drop out before completing the ninth grade are those who have had attendance, discipline, and academic problems in the past, possibly from the beginning of their school careers.” (Ascher, C. The Ninth Grade- A Precarious Time for the Potential Dropout, ERIC Digest No. 34, 1987)

9 9 Methodology/Intervention Individual/Group Counseling Students identified in the target group as habitual truants were referred to their respective guidance counselors for individual counseling on a weekly basis. In addition, students were also involved in group counseling sessions provided by the TRUST counselor. Student surveys were used to gather information about their feelings and their attitudes.

10 10 Methodology/Intervention Incentive Program for Students Students in the target group participated in an incentive reward system for improving and maintaining regular attendance. Students and teachers were interviewed. The following rewards reflect the preference of both parties: In-class bonus points/extra credit Positive home calls Saturday tardy detention waived when attending all classes (tardiness is also a major problem among ninth graders)

11 11 Methodology/Intervention Parent Contact The parents of the students in our target group were contacted on a weekly basis by members of the professional team to report on their child’s progress and attendance. In addition, parent- teacher-student conferences were held to allow parents and students to receive specific information about what is expected of their children and what they can do to facilitate the process for their children.

12 12 Data Collection Data SourcePurposeDate Used Student Survey Identify the main reasons why students are not attending school on a regular and consistent basis. Identify ways in which to increase students’ motivation to attend school regularly March 2006 Parent Survey Gain insightful information about parents’ perceptions and expectations of their child’s education and their school community. March 2006

13 13 Data Collection Data SourcePurposeDate Used Comparison of 3 rd Nine Week & 4 th Nine Week grades Provides quantitative data about the academic progress of every student in the target group. March 2006 May 2006 Comparison of Eighth and Ninth Grade Attendance Provides quantitative data about the past and current attendance patterns of all students in the target group. Daily Attendance Bulletin Provides daily data about the attendance of each student in the target group. This was also utilized as a monitoring tool. Ongoing from March thru May 2006

14 14 Data Analysis STUDENT SURVEY The following themes were derived from the 10 question survey. A total of 21 students completed the survey.  100% of students wanted to earn a high school diploma  95% believe that if they were in school daily, their grades would improve.  71% stated that when they are in class, they are often bored.  4% stated that the material taught was too difficult.

15 15 Data Analysis PARENT SURVEY The following themes were derived from the 8 question survey. A total of 21 parents completed the survey through direct contact or phone interview.  100% believe that education is the key to their children’s academic success.  96% believe that regular school attendance will lead to their child’s academic success.  89% stated that they are treated with respect and consideration by all administrators of the school building.  67% stated that they like their children’s teachers.

16 16 Data Analysis/Comparison of 3 rd and 4 th nine week grades

17 17 Data Analysis/Comparison of 8 th and 9 th Grade Attendance

18 18 Findings/Results Results of this study suggest that there is evidence that both parents and students are aware of the impact of regular school attendance on academic achievement. All students indicated that they would like to earn a high school diploma. During the time of the study, only one student withdrew from school.

19 19 Findings/Results When comparing the eighth and ninth grade total school year attendance of each student in our target group, we found that 52% of our ninth graders had exhibited attendance problems in the eighth grade. After analyzing the academic grades for the 3 rd and 4 th nine weeks, it was noted that there was an increase in the number of classes in which students earned a “C” or better.

20 20 Conclusions Based on the research and our approach, a professional team, consisting of counselors, teachers, and administrators, must be in place at the start of the school year and remain in place throughout the school year in order to address the needs of the ninth grade population. It is strongly recommended that the eighth grade students with attendance concerns be identified and targeted at the middle school in an effort to prevent the problem from escalating in the high school. Any approach to improve student attendance must include parents as they are one of the driving forces for academic achievement: at Open House, administrators ought to stress the importance of regular school attendance and encourage more frequent parent visits to the school; parents should also be encouraged to become involved in the PTSA.


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