By Todd R. Hansen
The Board of Supervisors faced a full room of advocates imploring that it was time to invest in Solano’s children.
“Is there any reason you won’t support us?” the board was asked by four children in a rehearsed plea to support a ballot measure that, as proposed, would raise the sales tax 25 cents over the next 10 years.
Suisun City Vice Mayor Lori Wilson said the kind of services that the measure would support gave her hope and a chance at a productive life. In an emotional testimonial, she described a childhood of homelessness and abuse.
Source: County will help children’s group craft ballot measure
By Susan Hiland
The Solano County Office of Education has kicked off a countywide poster contest to help spread the word about the role that school attendance has on student achievement.
Students have the chance to create a poster with messages that focus on the importance of regular school attendance – and could win prizes for their efforts.
Chronic absenteeism is a red alert that students are headed for academic trouble, the county education office said in a press release announcing the poster contest. Research shows that chronically absent students are less likely to succeed academically and are more likely to be suspended and eventually dropout.
via Office of education opens school attendance poster contest Daily Republic.
Vacaville Reporter Posted:
September is Attendance Awareness Month and the Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) is once again providing school districts with the opportunity to spread the word about the critical role that school attendance has on student achievement.
In its efforts to raise awareness this year, SCOE is sponsoring a countywide poster contest. It is seeking entries for a peer to peer contest among students as a part of the overall effort to improve school attendance in Solano County. Students will be given the chance to create a poster with messages that will focus on the importance of regular school attendance and win prizes.
Chronic absenteeism is a red alert that students are headed for academic trouble, county officials noted. Research shows that chronically absent students are less likely to succeed academically and are more likely to be suspended and eventually dropout. Chronic absences in the early grades are the most troubling; poor attendance can start as early as pre kindergarten. Nationally, one out of every 10 kindergarten and first grade students are chronically absent.
via Solano County Office of Education hosts school attendance poster contest – The Reporter.
It’s customary to make resolutions at the start of a new year, so here’s one for Solano County students as they head back for a new school year: I resolve to get to school every day, on time.
Older students may roll their eyes and groan, but it’s a resolution worth following if they want to graduate from high school. (And remember, a high school graduate makes, on average, $1 million more than a dropout over a lifetime.)
It turns out that, like so many things in life, just showing up can make the difference between success and failure.
via Editorial: Make a pledge to get to school every day, on time – The Reporter.
“Is it good to tell a first-grader, ‘You might be a dropout?’”
The obvious answer would seem to be: Uh, no. But when Thomas C. West posed this question recently to Education Week reporter Sarah D. Sparks, he had a genuine dilemma in mind. West, who is an evaluation specialist at Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, has devised a tracking formula that can predict, with startling accuracy, which students will drop out of high school—as early as their second semester of first grade.
via What Are the Risks in Using Data to Predict Student Outcome? | MindShift.
By Annie Murphy Paul @anniemurphypaul
An article in Education Week sparked a controversy recently when Thomas C. West, an evaluation specialist at Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, announced that he had devised a tracking formula that can predict, with startling accuracy, which students will drop out of high school—as early as their second semester of first grade.
via Your First-Grader is Going to Be A High School Drop Out | TIME.com.
By Ross Brenneman
It’s not precognition, but it’s still prescient: A new dropout-warning system being built in Montgomery County, Md., can flag 75 percent of future dropouts as early as the second semester of 1st grade. My colleague Sarah D. Sparks has a big story about the tracking system, which you should read.
Some things are hard to foretell: the lottery, the NFL playoffs, love. But there is so much data and research about what increases the odds of a student doing poorly that this system seems inevitable for many more districts. It’s not perfect—it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future—but it seems workable. This is the future of big data in education: more and better comprehensive modeling systems.
via News From the Future: You’re Going to Drop Out – Rules for Engagement – Education Week.
If you are planning activities for Attendance Awareness Month this September, check out our updated Count Us In! Toolkit. We have added even more resources, tools and templates to help you celebrate Attendance Awareness Month and raise awareness about the importance of going to school every day.
via Count Us In! Toolkit 2.0 « Attendance Works.
We’re hearing great things from communities across the country about what they’re doing to mark September as Attendance Awareness Month. The Salt Lake City area already has secured a public service announcement from Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. Del Ray Beach, Florida, is working with a local arts school on a jingle for their “Rise ‘N Shine” campaign and coordinating with the local Chamber of Commerce to give mini-grants to schools for attendance incentives. Grand Rapids, Mich. and Palm Beach, Florida are planning forums on attendance. You can read all about it on the Attendance Awareness Month map.
via In Attendance Awareness Month, Don’t Forget Your Superintendent! « Attendance Works.
Attendance Works is now offering a more powerful version of our K-5 District Attendance Tracking Tool (DATT). In response to requests from many communities, the new version of the K-5 DATT generates reports showing chronic absence patterns by zip code and by gender and ethnicity combined.
via More powerful version of K-5 DATT now available! « Attendance Works.
At Castle Park Middle School in Chula Vista, Calif., where attendance is king, Principal Bobby Bleisch has taken a school that just two years ago recorded the lowest attendance rate in the school district to a school that now has the highest attendance rate in the district’s history.
With a 99 percent attendance rate, Castle Park’s teachers and students are building a record of academic excellence, dramatically increasing math and science proficiency scores and reducing behavior issues.
via In Chula Vista, doubling down on attendance and doubling up on academic gains « Attendance Works.
Legislatures in several states approved measures this spring aimed at tracking chronic absenteeism, intervening with at-risk students and improving attendance rates.
- Indiana now requires educators to address absenteeism in school improvement plans and adds chronic absence to school data reports.
- Illinois established a task force to examine “issues regarding truancy and excessive absences” and identify strategies to improve attendance. The legislation was inspired by a series of stories in the Chicago Tribune.
- California is including chronic absence as one of eight priorities for accountability in its new school funding formula, which allows more local control and adds funds for high-needs students to take into account the higher costs of educating them.
State legislative action targets chronic absence « Attendance Works.
Today is Summer Learning Day, and many of the communities and partners working on Attendance Awareness Month are also providing great summer learning opportunities. Both of these issues are priorities for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, which is working in 134 communities across the country to increase the number of low-income children reading well by the end of third grade. And both issues are animated by the same imperative: Low-income children benefit from more time on task. Just as we need to ensure that these students get the benefit of every school day possible, we need to make sure they have more time to keep learning through the summer.
Summer Learning & Attendance « Attendance Works.
by Hedy Chang
The headlines out of Texas this week have been about the strict truancy policies in Dallas: Critics say students as young as 12 are being marched out of class in handcuffs and charged with crimes for missing school or even being late to class. Interest groups filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday.
But a day early, a group of advocates and educators in central Texas came together to pursue an entirely different approach to improving school attendance. About 200 education, business and community leaders gathered in Austin to learn the results of a study of why absences occur, where they are concentrated and what can be done to reduce them.
By Kathryn Baron
Backed by the knowledge that the first symptom of academic failure is an empty desk, state education officials are putting a priority on battling chronic absenteeism by enlisting support across state agencies.
The California Department of Education convened a first-of-its-kind forum last month of state and local experts from school districts, health and social services agencies, district attorneys’ offices and advocacy groups. The goal: to get them to work cooperatively to keep children in school.
via Education officials seek team approach to fight chronic absenteeism – by Kathryn Baron.
With the school year winding down, it’s a great time to begin planning your activites and events for Attendance Awareness Month. But how do you get started?
On our webinar today, Must be Present to Win, we outlined a strategy for bringing stakeholders–educators, business leaders, community nonprofits, faith-based groups, social workers and volunteers–together in one room to talk about what approaches your school or community wants to pursue. We’re calling them “House Parties,” which in common parlance means an event that gathers potential supporters for a campaign or cause. In this case the cause is attendance awareness, and the goal is mobilizing the entire community.
via Plan a House Party, Post it on the Map.
Standing together before an audience of nearly 100 representatives of state and local agencies, California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and Secretary of Health and Human Services Diane Dooley on Tuesday discussed the need to work collaboratively to reduce chronic absence across California. “One of my top priorities is to address chronic absenteeism,” said Torlakson who seeks to build bridges to others in state leadership positions such as Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Torlakson emphasized the need to get beyond truancy and look at all the causes of chronic absence. The California Department of Education has produced a Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) handbook to help local attendance boards address absenteeism and included chronic absence as a criteria for its annual model SARB awards. “We can have our best teachers in place, but if our students are not there, it doesn’t make a difference,” he said.
via California Forum Highlights Interagency Cooperation.
One Solano County leader noted that 5,000 Solano County public school students have been identified as chronically absent. Another noted that 75 percent of habitual truants will drop out of school, and some two-thirds of U.S. prison inmates are school dropouts. And still another leader said 50 percent of all Solano 5-year-olds receive no preschool instruction before reaching kindergarten.
Jay Speck, superintendent of the County Office of Education, District Attorney Don du Bain and Supervisor Linda Siefert made persuasive links between the importance of early childhood education, regular school attendance, truancy, dropout rates and crime during a Tuesday breakfast meeting in Fairfield, sponsored by Solano Economic Development Corporation.
via Solano County leaders see link between crime, dropout rates.
Solano County businesses will receive 2013 Pre-Kindergarten Business Champion Awards at the May 29 Solano Economic Development Corporation breakfast event.
The First 5 Solano Commission, dedicated to supporting early childhood education and family support programs, will honor the private sector at the event.
via Businesses, education focus of breakfast event.
Parent and family engagement is a crucial to any effective, comprehensive approach to reducing chronic absence. Parents, especially in the early grades, play a key role in making sure their children get to school on time every day. But too many parents don’t realize how quickly absences — excused and unexcused — translate into academic trouble. “Even though I went to college, I didn’t know that missing 18 days or just two days a month—even in kindergarten—could put my son behind academically,” explained one California parent, Olga Nunez.
via New Toolkit: Parent Engagement and Attendance.