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1 © 2007 Clemson University – All rights reserved Georgias Graduation/ Dropout Prevention Project Building Systems to Help Students with Disabilities.

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Presentation on theme: "1 © 2007 Clemson University – All rights reserved Georgias Graduation/ Dropout Prevention Project Building Systems to Help Students with Disabilities."— Presentation transcript:


2 1 © 2007 Clemson University – All rights reserved Georgias Graduation/ Dropout Prevention Project Building Systems to Help Students with Disabilities Graduate Strategies for Improving Student Attendance January, 2008

3 2 Group Norms Turn cell phones to vibrate/off Limit side conversations Ask questions Think/Laugh/Cry

4 3 Attendance Intervention What we will share A Practitioner's Viewpoint- negative forces that impact attendance What the research Tells Us about School Attendance and Truancy Effective School based strategies Taking Action at the local level

5 4 Peel Back the Onion A Practitioner's Viewpoint

6 5 Negative forces that impact attendance Family History –Generational Illiteracy –Negative Attitude –Transient –Outlaws –Family Situation

7 6 Negative forces that impact attendance Indifference –Loss of social order –Teacher relationships –School Atmosphere/Culture –Size of school –Character of student

8 7 Negative forces that impact attendance Employment –Has a job –Needs a job –Gets a job

9 8 Negative forces that impact attendance Academic Standing –Retained in Elementary/Middle School –Social Promotion –Age –Early HS struggles –Programs

10 9 Negative forces that impact attendance Importance and value of learning in the community –Alumni support –Community support –Business and industry support

11 10 Negative forces that impact attendance Other Forces –Drugs –Crime –Economic situation of community

12 11 When You Skip School – Everybody Loses You lose Your Family Loses Your School Loses Your Community Loses

13 12 What Happens to Truant Youth? Educational failure/ Poor achievement Dropout Poor Employability, work stability Delinquency and adult criminality Unstable personal relationships Poverty Dependence on public assistance

14 13 What Happens in Their Families? Unsupervised children get into trouble Parents are called away from work to the school or truancy court Family conflict occur due to school absences and lack of academic achievement

15 14 What Happens in Their Schools School disruption School test scores suffer Operating revenue decreases Schools do not make AYP- sanctions occur Higher dropout rates/ Lower graduation rates

16 15 What Happens in Their Communities Juvenile courts flooded Daytime crime escalates Later criminal behavior occur Impact on labor market Impact on property values

17 16 Activity 1 Discuss for a few minutes the major factors within your school that affect attendance and may lead to drop out.

18 17 Lets Talk About It Share Time What forces are in your school?

19 18 Peeling Back the Onion What the Research Tells Us

20 19 Pathway to School Dropout Not an isolated event Elementary years, process begins Dropouts could be distinguished from graduates with 66% accuracy by the third grade using attendance data; and Identification of dropouts can be accomplished with reasonable accuracy based on review of school performance (behavior, attendance, academics) during the elementary years (Barrington & Hendricks, 1989).

21 20 Middle School Predictors of Dropout (Balfanz & Herzog, 2005; 2006) 1.The four strongest predictors – determined by the end of sixth grade 1.Poor attendance 2.Poor behavior 3.Failing math 4.Failing English 2.Sixth graders who do not attend school regularly, receive poor behavior marks, or fail math or English 10% chance of graduating on time 20% chance of graduating a year late

22 21 Predictors of Dropout (Balfanz & Herzog, 2006) Poor attendance Failed English Bad behavior records Failed math 14% graduated on- time or with one extra year 16% on-time graduation rate 17% on-time graduation rate 21% on-time graduation rate

23 22 What Distinguishes Absentees from Regular Attendees Less likely to perceive school favorably Perceive parental discipline as lax or inconsistent Believe parents are attempting to exert more control over them Feel inferior academically Experience family conflict Less likely to feel socially competent ( National Center on School Engagement, 2006)

24 23 Factors Impacting Truancy ( National Center on School Engagement, 2006) Risk Factors Fear of harm in schools or neighborhood Abuse in the home Low academic achievement Substance abuse Lack of parental involvement in school or homework Health problems Protective Factors Self esteem Positive school attitudes School attachment Activities such as sports, clubs and volunteer work, Sense of purpose in life Positive attitudes toward police officers

25 24 In Schools that Make Gains in Attendance Truancy officers are assigned to students with frequent absences, Students are rewarded for improved attendance, Parents are provided with an easily accessible school contact, Students are referred to a school counselor, Schools have effective methods of communicating with parents (especially parents whose first language was not English), Workshops and training opportunities are provided to parents, and after-school programs are provided for students. ( National Center on School Engagement, 2006)

26 25 In Schools that Make Gains in Attendance Teachers know students well Teachers have high expectations for students, which often leads to high expectations within students Teachers foster critical judgment and problem-solving skills in their students

27 26 In Schools that Make Gains in Attendance Teachers use a broad range of strategies to engage their students Students report feeling safer in their schools Accountability is strengthened among parents, students, and teachers

28 27 Components of Successful Programs Include special attention to health and special education needs Uses data to drive decision-making Involves community and business Focus on school transition years Include public awareness activities Include meaningful parent involvement

29 28 Components of Successful Programs Provide a balanced continuum of Incentives and sanctions Focus is on prevention Emphasizes early warning and intensive intervention Provides a continuum of strategies Provides alternative options to court

30 29 Alternatives to Court Youth Court Mediation Quasi-judicial proceedings Truancy workshops Knock and talks

31 30 Peeling Back the Onion What the Research Tells Us About School Based Strategies

32 31 School Based Strategies Attendance recognition awards Letters/voice/e- mails to parents Catch up classrooms or tutoring Student Attendance Review Boards (SARBs) Class letters home

33 32 School Based Strategies School climate programs (school involvement, anti-bullying, tolerance, activities) Attendance specialists or coaches in buildings School support programs (psychological services, tutoring, social work services, school based health centers.

34 33 School Based Strategies Check & Connect Truancy Intervention Program (TIP) School support programs (psychological services, tutoring, social work services, school based health centers. Good Attendance Campaigns Increase student engagement in school activities

35 34 Strategies that Help Create Culture which says Attending Everyday Matters Every Absence Brings a Response Positive Social Incentives for Good Attendance Data tracking at teacher team level

36 35 Strategies that Help Two or more unexcused absences in a month brings brief daily checks by an adult Attendance Team (teacher, counselor, administrator, parents) investigates and problem solves, why student isnt attending

37 36 Strategies that Help Sustained one on one attention and problem solving for chronic absenteeism. Bring in appropriate social service or community supports as needed.

38 37 Strategies that Help Engage Parents in Improving Attendance – Share ideas with parents and make them part of the team without placing blame –Establish a contact at school for family members to work with (Epstein & Sheldon, 2002). –Make home visits to chronically absent children. –Provide a home family liaison to identify the root causes for children not coming to school, and to initiate discussions about community services that can assist (Schargel & Smink, 2001, p. 51)

39 38 Strategies that Help: Effective Policies & Procedures Effective Policies: Are publicized and understood by all staff and students. Clearly distinguishes between the difference between excused and unexcused absences. Are aligned with the district's policies and goals. Intended to change behavior, not to punish. Reconsider the use of zero tolerance policies such as suspensions for truancy and instead consider less severe consequences such as community service or in-school detentions (Skiba & Knesting, 2001).

40 39 Strategies that Help: Effective Policies & Procedures Contain effective reporting, recording, and monitoring processes. Investigate the various computerized attendance tracking systems currently available. Include full family involvement, with parent notification and frequent home-school contact. Clearly specifies how reward or incentive program will be used. Develop two-way contracts among students, administrators, teachers, and families that delineate standards of performance for the student, services the school will provide, or changes the school will make.

41 40 Local Action: Where Do We Start? Know your attendance laws, local policies & their inconsistencies Develop a strategic plan across agencies Adopt promising practices that fit locally Focus on attendance and engagement not just truancy

42 41 Local Action: Where Do We start? Create both incentives and graduated sanctions Involve students and parents in planning programs to improve attendance and engagement Take baselines and track progress Avoid Killer policies

43 42 Getting Our Focus Essential Question: Now, how do we determine the most important group to focus on at our school?

44 43 Identification Research of student records – Transcripts/school records can be reviewed for information Absences Grades Test scores Discipline Teacher information

45 44 Identification cont Teacher information Middle School – High School Grad Coach communication Grad Coach – School Counselor communication

46 45 Identification, cont High School –Upcoming ninth graders –Over aged Fresh- mores –GHSGT failures –Poor attendance in middle School –Credit needs –ODRs Middle School –upcoming sixth graders –retained sixth graders –CRCT failures –K-5 poor attendance –K-5 poor academic progress –ODRs

47 46 Individual/Share Time Think about your students/school and what its priorities may be. Discuss as to who your focus group might be at your school and why.

48 47 Getting the Focus Now you talk to your Principal and get their thoughts and SUPPORT, plus APs and counselors on what is the focus of the school. Meet with that group of teachers and the Principal to discuss target group and their ideas Consider student needs and teacher skills to get a good instructional match.

49 48 Find a focus that can provide success.

50 49 Taking Action Once you have a focus, what are the ideas to improve attendance and decrease drop- outs

51 50 Taking Action Good test analysis is important. Subject grades and EOCT can be used to determine the future of the students success. For any attendance issues, 6 – 12, check days out, but be aware of late arrivals & check outs.

52 51 Taking Action 8 th Create an ongoing yearly program of meeting with upcoming freshmen. 6 th - 7th Have MS teams to give a sense of belonging to the student as they enter 6 th grade and help transition to 7 th grade. These teams should help you develop small focus groups.

53 52 Taking Action 9 th grade Create small groups and talk about how they are succeeding in... (their particular situation that is affecting their attendance and attitude as discussed earlier)

54 53 Taking Action One of the best things to do is to find an activity for these students to become a part of early in middle/high school. Clubs, band, chorus, athletics, anything to get them involved in something that is sponsored by a good caring individual that supports academics, communicates with teachers and fills their time many afternoons, evenings, and on weekends. It will also give them a sense of accomplishment and purpose, plus a good support group.

55 54 Taking Action Fresh-mores Identify how and why the student lost credit due to attendance, discipline, etc.

56 55 Taking Action 10 th Identify those who are passing but STRUGGLE. As they realize it gets harder and harder, they will get discouraged and attendance will become a factor.

57 56 Taking Action 11 th Identify those who have best opportunity of passing GHSGT, but need help and make sure they attend school via regular monitoring and maintain solid grades.

58 57 Taking Action It is important that a credit check is done to make sure these students in 10 th to 11 th transition have the appropriate academic credits in preparation for GHSGT. Do Not Wait Too Late!!!

59 58 Taking Action 12 th Monitor attendance carefully. Know what classes they must have to graduate and monitor grades. If you are on Block schedule, make sure they understand 1st term is as is important as 2nd term Be careful of May disinterest!!.

60 59 Summary Understand the many forces and influences that affect a childs interest or regard for school and that so many of them cannot be controlled or changed by the student. Work with the teachers and administration on a few, specific goals.

61 60 Contact Information: NDPC-SD 209 Martin Street Clemson, SC 29640 864-656-6976 Contact Information: Loujeania Williams Bost, PhD NDPC-SD 209 Martin Street Clemson, SC 29640 864-656-6976 Contact Information: NDPC-SD 209 Martin Street Clemson, SC 29640 864-656-6976 Contact Information: Loujeania Williams Bost, PhD NDPC-SD 209 Martin Street Clemson, SC 29640 864-656-6976 © 2007 Clemson University – All rights reserved

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