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					                                                                                           1

      Reducing Chronic Student
              Absence –
       A Leading Indicator for
    Planning, Action & Monitoring
               Success
April 26, 2011
_______________________________________




          In collaboration with Oakland Unified School District

Contacts: Hedy Chang (hnchang@earthlink.net), Steve Spiker (SteveS@urbanstrategies.org), Jean
Wing (Jean.Wing@ousd.k12.ca.us)
          2




PART I:
                                                      3


What is Chronic
Absence?
• Refers to missing 10% or more of school in an
  academic year for any reason—excused or
  unexcused. It is based on research.
• Different from truancy. Defined in CA as absent
  from school without a valid excuse for 3 full days or
  tardy or absent more than 30-minutes during the
  school day on three occasions in one school year.
• Different from chronic truancy - missing 10% of
  school due to unexcused absences.
                                                4



    Poor Attendance: When 90% ≠ A
Student Attendance Rate

                      Chronic Absence
                      (=> 10% absence)
                      Warning Signs
                      (<10% but > 5% absence)

                      Satisfactory
                      Attendance
                      (=<5% absence)
         Emergency: => 20% absence
                                            5


 Myths to Dispel
#1: Attendance in Kindergarten doesn’t
    really matter.
#2: Missing school isn’t a big problem
    until middle or high school.
#3: Most educators monitor chronic
    absence.
#4: Because attendance is a family
    responsibility, we cannot do anything
    to address chronic absence.
                                                                                                               6


Chronic K absence can predict lower 5th
grade achievement for poor students
  Among poor children, chronic absence in kindergarten
  predicted lower 5th grade achievement.




   Source: ECLS-K data analyzed by National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP)
   Note: Average academic performance reflects results of direct cognitive assessments developed & conducted
   specifically for this national study
                                                      7

Chronic early absence
esp. challenging for poor children
• Poor children are 4 X more likely to be
  chronically absent in K than their highest income
  peers. (Romero & Lee 2007)
• The negative impact of absences on literacy is
  75% larger for low-income children whose
  families often lack resources to make up for time
  lost on task. (Ready 2010 )
• Only 17% of low-income children in the United
  States read proficiently by 4th grade. (Annie E.
 Casey Foundation 2010)
                                                                                            8

Chronically absent 6th
graders have lower graduation rates.
              Dropout Rates by Sixth Grade Attendance
      (Baltimore City Public Schools, 1990-00 Sixth Grade Cohort)




            Severely            Chronically
                                                                        Not
           Chronically           Absent
                                                                     Chronically
            Absent                                                    Absent
                             Source: Baltimore Education Research Consortium SY 2009-2010
                                                                                                                            10


By 9th Grade, Attendance Can Predict
Graduation Better than Test Scores
         On Time Graduation Correlation to 9th Grade Attendance


                              Chronic Absence




                    Source: Allensworth & Easton, What Matters for Staying On-Track and Graduating in Chicago Public Schools,
     9                                                            Consortium on Chicago School Research at U of C, July 2007
                                                                                       10


Chronic absence
can reach high levels
                                  New York City Schools

                          COMPARING CHRONIC ABSENCE MEASURES PK-12




  A 407 alert is issued when student misses 10 consecutive days or 20 days over a 40
  day period. The 407 alert misses more sporadic absences which chronic absence
  captures.

            Source: Nauer K et al, Strengthening Schools by Strengthening Families,
            Center for New York City Affair,s New School, Oct 2008
                                                                11

Most Do Not Monitor
Chronic Absence
           Most schools only track average daily
           attendance and truancy. Both can mask
           chronic absence.
            Variation in Chronic Absence for Schools with
                       95% ADA in Oakland, CA
   20.0%

   18.0%

   16.0%                                                17.3%
   14.0%
                                               14.2%
   12.0%
                              12.4%    12.5%
   10.0%

    8.0%             9.3%
    6.0%
    4.0%
            5.8%

    2.0%

    0.0%
              1       2         3        4       5          6
                                                 12

Most Do Not Monitor
Chronic Absence
 • Data rarely used to examine problematic
   attendance patterns (e.g. by classroom,
   grade, school, neighborhood or sub-
   population.
 • Individual student attendance is not
   required by current federal laws (e.g.
   NCLB, RTT).
 • CA is one of 5 states who does not include
   attendance in its longitudinal student data
   base.
                                                 13

Schools + Communities
CAN Make a Difference
Partner with community agencies to help parents get
 their children to school.
Make chronic absence a priority, set attendance
 targets and monitor progress.
Learn about the major factors contributing to
 chronic absence by examining data and drawing
 upon student and parent perspectives
Clearly communicate expectations to parents
Begin early, ideally in Pre-K
Combine universal and targeted strategies
Offer positive supports before punitive action.
                                                                                         14

Improving attendance needs
3-tiered approach to student support
    This level targets:                                      Optimal distribution:

                                                                                5-15%
   Students who are chronically
                                                                         of a school’s
   absent & habitually truant
                                         Recovery                            students
                                         Programs

   Students at-risk for
                                       Intervention                           15-20%
   poor attendance
                                                                         of a school’s
   and/or with rising                    Programs
                                                                             students
   absence rates




                                  Universal/Preventative                     65-100%
   All Students
                                                                         of a school’s
   in the school                  Initiatives and Programs                   students
                                                                                                15

  A 3-tiered Approach Universal Attendance Supports
                                              • Safe and supportive school environment
     Improving attendance takes an            •Inviting and engaging classroom environment
                                              •Intentional family involvement and participation

     integrated approach
                                              • Accurate taking of roll every day in a caring manner
                                              •Rapid parent contact for unexplained absences
                                              (including truancy notification).
                                              •Incentives for good and improved attendance
                                              •Access to school-based health supports
                                              •Collaboration with afterschool programs and early
                                              childhood programs to build a culture of attendance
                                              •School plan & budget reflects attendance priorities

                                              Individual Assessments and Intervention
                                              •Refer chronically absent/ truant students for
                                              intervention (includes SART & if needed, SARB)
                                              •Identify and remove barriers
                                              •Provide on-going support

                                              Recovery Strategies
                                              •Interagency Staffing
                                              •Case management and wrap-around services
Adapted from Baltimore Student Attendance     •Referral as last resort for court -based
Work Group & Scott Perry, Attendance Audit,     intervention
Oregon
                                                  16

Tailored Approaches
are Most Effective
1. When chronic absence occurs in the early
   years, consider the role that schools, families
   and communities each might play in
   contributing to and addressing attendance.
2. As children grow older, pay more attention to
   issues affecting youth as well (e.g. boredom in
   school, family responsibilities, peer pressure.)
3. Key factors contributing to chronic absence can
   vary by community.
4. High levels of chronic absence suggest systemic
   challenges affecting the school or community.
        16
           17




PART II:
Methodology
• Data sharing agreement with OUSD - 11 years of
  data
• Records aggregated to schools and census tract
• Caution for partial enrollments
• Combined aggregated attendance with school
  performance indicators
                                                                                               19

Chronic Absence is
A Significant Problem
    14.3% (nearly 1 in 7) are chronically absent
                                Percent Chronically Absent Students by Grade
                                     in Oakland Unified School District
                                                 2006 to 2010
                      25%
    CHRONIC ABSENCE




                      20%

                      15%                                                              2006-2007
                                                                                       2007-2008
                      10%
                                                                                       2008-2009
                      5%                                                               2009-2010

                      0%
                            K   1   2   3   4   5    6    7     8   9   10   11   12

                                                 GRADES

If the 5,421 students chronically absent in 09/10 had each attended 6 more
days, OUSD would have received more than $1,147,000 in additional ADA.
                                                                20

African American and
Latino Students Most Affected
              Chronic Absence by Ethnicity
                       For 2009-2010
25%
      23%                                22.2%
                         21.3%                   African
                                                 American
20%
                                                 Hispanic

                                         16.1%   Asian
15%   13.6%
                        13.1%            14.9%
      14.3%              11.9%                   Other Race
      11.9%                              11.8%
10%                      9.5%
                                          9.6%   White

      6.7%                                       All Students
      6.0%               4.7%             6.1%
 5%

                         3.7%
 0%
      Elementary        Middle         High
                                                      21

Levels Increase with Age
for Special Education Students and
English Language Learners
             Chronic Absence for SPED & ELL
                      for 2009-2010
 30%

          25%                           26%
 25%
                         21%
 20%


 15%                                    13%    SPED
          10%                                  ELL
 10%                     8%

  5%


  0%
       Elementary       Middle          High
                                                        22

More than 10% of students
are chronically absent in
majority of schools
  Chronic Absences Levels for Oakland Schools 2009-10
                                                   23

Chronic absence is
affected by community conditions
     High correlations are found with:
      Foreclosures
      Poverty
      Single Parenthood

     Association with health indicators (infant
     mortality, diabetes, hospitalization for asthma)
     to be explored.
               24




Elementary
Absenteeism
Concentrated
in West
Oakland
25
                 26


By High
School
Prevalence
Shifts to East
Oakland As
Well
27
                                                            28


Progress To Date:
Responding to Chronic Absence
• Chronic absence data for district and schools is produced
  weekly.
• Chronic absence data is currently used as a leading
  indicator, not just a lagging indicator.
• Data is being used to identify promising practice schools to
  document which have low-levels of chronic absence despite
  serving large numbers of low-income students
• Professional Development will take place re: attendance and
  chronic absenteeism for principals within regional networks.
• OUSD is partnering with Oakland Housing Authority to
  promote improved attendance.
                                             29

How Can the City
and District partner to reduce
chronic absence?
 1. Jointly monitor chronic absence data
 2. Make student attendance a community
    priority
 3. Nurture a culture of attendance via
    public education campaign, rewarding
    good & improved attendance, &
    leveraging investment in afterschool &
    early childhood education.
                                                30

How could the City
and District partner to reduce
chronic absence?
 4. Identify and address barriers to school
    attendance
 5. Advocate for stronger policies and public
    investment
                                                          31


Key Components
of Bloomberg’s NYC Campaign
• Interagency task force
• Celebrity Wake Up Calls & PSAs
• 25 Pilot Schools
  ▫   Principal data dashboard
  ▫   Weekly attendance review teams
  ▫   Success mentors (working w/15 -20 students)
  ▫   Attendance Incentives & School Wide Events
  ▫   Collaboration with health dept, homeless shelters
      and faith-based organizations
                                                      32

In Summary:
  Increased Student Absences are:
  • An early warning sign of potential drop-outs
  • Predictive of academic failure
  • A flag for student disengagement and struggling
    schools
  • Costly for each school and surrounding
    community.

  Measures of Attendance are:
  • Available
  • Easily understood
  • Predictor of failure in school
  • A potentially powerful shared outcome that can
    facilitate collaboration

				
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posted:5/19/2011
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