It’s Not About the Alarm Clock – Addressing Chronic Absence: Why It Matters, What You Can Do Shatawn Brigham Randy Koekkoek Carol Paine-McGovern
Chronic Absence Missing more than 10% of the school year Excused and Unexcused Nationwide, as many as 7.5 million students miss nearly a month of school every year. That’s 135 million days of lost time in the classroom Chronic absenteeism is a red alert that students are headed for academic trouble and eventually for dropping out of high school. Poor attendance isn’t just a problem in high school. It can start as early as kindergarten.
History of Chronic Absence Work in Kent County Welfare to Work Out-stationing DHS Staff in Schools KSSN Implementation KSSN and The SOURCE
Kent ISD Chronic Early Absenteeism Study 2006-2010 Lack of data on chronic early absenteeism in Kent County Understand the scope of absenteeism Identify areas of higher concentration Learn about related factors such as race/ethnicity and poverty
Data Source Kent ISD administrative data First through third grades 2006-2009 20 school districts
Percent of Chronically Absent Students by District District Size GRPS 16.3% 4.8% 22,705 Kelloggsvill 10.3% 2.1% 2,430 Kenowa Hil 10.6% 1.3% 3,232 Godwin Ht 9.5% 1.1% 2,537 Godfrey L 8.2% 1.2% 1,916 Wyoming 7.5% 1.1% 5,508 Sparta 6.9% 1.0% 2,764 Kentwood 6.8% 1.0% 9,705 Kent Cty 7.2% 0.5% 4,311 Comstock 6.4% 1.1% 2,612 Cedar Spr 6.3% 0.9% 3,706 Lowell 5.5% 0.7% 3,888 Thornaple 5.4% 0.5% 3,267 Northview 3.9% 0.3% 3,040 Grandvill 3.8% 0.3% 6,404 Byron Ctr 3.5% 0.3% 3,437 Caledonia 3.3% 0.3% 1,527 East GR 2.7% 0.2% 3,160 Forest H 2.2% 0.1% 10,739 Rockford 2.1% 0.2% 8,383 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% Percent of Students Chronically Absent Chronic Extreme Chronic
Summary Chronic early absenteeism was shown to be related to not meeting the MEAP proficiency standards. High percentages of chronic early absenteeism were also shown to be in geographic areas with higher population density and in areas with more people living at or below poverty level. Chronically absent students were 2 times as likely as students with satisfactory attendance to receive free lunch, another indicator of living at or below poverty level.
Summary Continued Chronic absenteeism is not pervasive throughout the county but there are substantial levels of chronic early absenteeism in urban areas with higher levels of poverty. Although a disproportionately higher percentage of African-American and Hispanic students were chronically absent, the highest number of chronically absent students is white students.
Research Findings Students Chronically Absent in Kindergarten and 1st Grade Much Less Likely to Read Proficiently in 3rd Grade. Chronic Kindergarten Absence predicted lower 5th grade performance even if attendance had improved in 3rd grade. Poor children are 4 X more likely to be chronically absent in Kindergarten than their highest income peers.
Critical Ingredients for Success in Kent County• Superintendent and Principal Leadership• District and Building Attendance Policy• Teacher/Staff Buy-In• Regular Attendance Meetings• Parent Outreach• Attendance Incentives• Interagency Case Management• Year End Assessment
Role of the Community School Coordinator• Sharing the research with parents on chronic absenteeism and its effect on their children especially in the early grades (Pre-K, K, & 1st).• Not “letting up” -- good attendance is expected and that tardiness is not acceptable.• Following-up on chronic attendance/tardy students/families.• Providing families with resources to remove barriers that are keeping their children from being at school.• Working with a Tool for Self Assessment