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Reducing Chronic Early Absence


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Keynote Address Presentation
Hedy Nai-Lin Chang, Attendance Works

Published in: Education, Technology
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Reducing Chronic Early Absence

  1. 1. Reducing Chronic Early Absence Spring 2013 Hedy Chang, Director Why it Matters, What Can You Do
  2. 2. Average Daily Attendance • The % of enrolled students who attend school each day. It is used in some states for allocating funding. Truancy • Typically refers only to unexcused absences and is defined by each state under No Child Left Behind. It signals the potential need for legal intervention under state compulsory education laws. In MI, unlike most other states, definition of truancy left to each district; MI reports 10 unexcused absences primarily for purposes of NCLB. Chronic Absence • Missing 10% or more of school for any reason -- excused, unexcused, etc. It is an indication that a student is academically at risk due to missing too much school starting in Kindergarten. Unpacking Attendance Terms 2
  3. 3. 90% and even 95% ≠ A High Levels of ADA Can Mask Chronic Absence 7% 12% 13% 13% 15% 16% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% A B C D E F Chronic Absence For 6 Elementary Schools in Oakland, CA with @ 95% ADA in 2012 % Chronic Absence 3 98% ADA = little chronic absence 95% ADA = don’t know 93% ADA = significant chronic absence 20% 20% 20% 21% 23% 26% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% A B C D E F Chronic Absence for 6 Schools in New York City with 90% ADA in 2011-12 % Chronic Absence
  4. 4. Truancy (unexcused absences) Can Also Mask Chronic Absence 4
  5. 5. Sporadic – Not Just Consecutive – Absences Matter • A 407 alert is issued when a student misses 10 consecutive days or 20 days over a 40 day period. It misses more sporadic absence. • 1 out of 5 elementary school children were chronically absent. Source: Nauer, K. et al, Strengthening Schools by Strengthening Families, Center for New York City Affairs New School, Oct 2008 New York City Schools (2008) 5
  6. 6.  Nationwide, as many as 10-15% of students (7.5 million) miss nearly a month of school every year. That’s 135 million days of lost time in the classroom.  In some cities, as many as one in four students are missing that much school.  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 and pre-kindergarten. 6 Chronic Absence: A Hidden National Crisis
  7. 7. Kent County Data Shows Chronic Early Absence is a problem in MI 7 Community Research Institute 2011 Report - Grades 1st – 3rd
  8. 8. The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is focusing on three challenges to reading success that are amenable to community solutions: • The Readiness Gap: Too many children from low-income families begin school already far behind. • The Attendance Gap (Chronic Absence): Too many children from low-income families miss too many days of school. • The Summer Slide (Summer Learning Loss): Too many children lose ground over the summer months. 8 The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
  9. 9. 9 Students with more years of chronic absenteeism, starting in preK have lower 2nd grade scores * Indicates that scores are significantly different from scores of students who are never chronically absent, at p<.05 level; **p<.01; ***p<.001 Some risk At risk
  10. 10. 64% 43% 41% 17% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% No attendance risks Small attendance risks Moderate attendance risks High attendance risks Percent Students Scoring Proficient or Advanced on 3rd Grade ELA Based on Attendance in Kindergarten and in 1st Grade Students Chronically Absent in Kindergarten and 1st Grade are Much Less Likely to Read Proficiently in 3rd Grade No risk Missed less than 5% of school in K & 1st Small risk Missed 5-9% of days in both K & 1st Moderate risk Missed 5-9% of days in 1 year &10 % in 1 year High risk Missed 10% or more in K & 1st Source: Applied Survey Research & Attendance Works (April 2011) 10
  11. 11. Chronic Absence Associated with Early Academic Trouble in Kent County, MI CRI Report, 2011 11
  12. 12. The Long-Term Impact of Chronic Kindergarten Absence is Most Troubling for Poor Children 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 0-3.3% in K 3.3 - 6.6% in K 6.6-10.0% in K >=10.0% in K AverageAcademicPerformance Absence Rate in Kindergarten Reading Math Source: ECLS-K data analyzed by National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) Note: Average academic performance reflects results of direct cognitive assessments conducted for ECLS-K. 5th Grade Math and Reading performance by K attendance for children living In poverty. Academic performance was lower even if attendance had improved in 3rd grade. 12
  13. 13. 13 Multiple Years of Elementary Chronic Absence = Worse Middle School Outcomes Oakland Unified School District SY 2006-2012, Analysis By Attendance Works Chronic absence in 1st grade is also associated with: • Lower 6th grade test scores • Higher levels of suspension Years of Chronic Absence in Grades 1-5 Increase in probability of 6th grade chronic absence Each year of chronic absence in elementary school is associated with a substantially higher probability of chronic absence in 6th grade 5.9x 7.8x 18.0x
  14. 14. The Effects of Chronic Absence on Dropout Rates Are Cumulative 14 With every year of chronic absenteeism, a higher percentage of students dropped out of school.
  15. 15. 15 Reducing Chronic Absence is Key to Reducing the Achievement Gap 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 %ofActiveStudents Grade Level % Chronically AbsentStudents By Ethnicity 2011-12School Year African American Asian Latino White
  16. 16. 16 Why Are Students Chronically Absent? Myths Absences are only a problem if they are unexcused Sporadic versus consecutive absences aren’t a problem Attendance only matters in the older grades Barriers Lack of access to health care Poor transportation No safe path to school Aversion Child struggling academically Lack of engaging instruction Poor school climate and ineffective school discipline Parents had negative school experience
  17. 17. Hope for a better future + Faith that school will help you or your child succeed + Capacity Resources, skills, knowledge needed to get to school 17 Going to School Every Day Reflects…
  18. 18. 18 Universal Strategies for Building a Culture of Attendance & Identifying Barriers
  19. 19. Increased Attendance Involves a 3-Tiered Approach that Fits with Most Reform Efforts A small fraction of a school’s students Students who were chronically absent in prior year or starting to miss 20% or more of school Some of a school’s students Students at risk for chronic absence All of a school’s students All students in the school Recovery Programs Intervention Programs Universal/Preventive Programs High Cost Low Cost 19
  20. 20. Variation Across Schools Helps Identify Good Practice and Need for Intervention Chronic Absence Levels Among Oakland Public Schools (2009-10) 20
  21. 21. • Data-driven action: Data are used identifying where to place counselors, which students to target & to evaluate success. • Attendance Improvement Counselors: Attendance Improvement Counselors, along with Vista national service members helped the schools track data, adopt universal and targeted interventions, create incentives for good attendance, reach out to students and parents, and ensure a timely response to poor attendance. • Capacity-building: The Attendance Improvement Counselors also charged with building the capacity of the school staff, parents and community partners to understand attendance laws, use data, and develop a comprehensive approach that includes prevention and early intervention. Los Angeles Attendance Improvement Program
  22. 22. LAUSD Attendance Improvement Program Outcomes Note: Program operated in 77 schools including 52 elementary and 25 high schools with poor K and 9th grade attendance
  23. 23. • Strength-based approach with more positive perceptions of parents, higher expectations of their students and parents • Greater levels of parent engagement • A shared belief that everyone had a role in improving attendance and should work together • Deeper levels of commitment to program implementation and delving into the causes of absence • School leadership made improving attendance a high priority Characteristics of More Successful AIP programs
  24. 24. • Professional development: trained site administrators and teams to interpret attendance data, adopt best practices and engage in peer learning. • Actionable data: sent report every 10 days pm how many and which students are chronically absent • School attendance teams: monitored the data and ensured appropriate support s are in place. • Home visits: hired two outreach workers to conduct home visits to chronically absent kindergartners. • Parent engagement and communications: Messaged thru newsletters, daily interactions with parents & attendance incentives. • Community partnerships: used community agencies to offer supports at school sites and thru a district Attendance Review Committee formed to avoid referrals to juvenile court. New Britain Connecticut
  25. 25. New Britain, CT – Year 1 Results 30% 24% 19% 15% 13% 15% 15% 19% 24% 20% 18% 13% 14% 11% 11% 12% 11% 14% 15% 13% K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ALL Chronic Absence Drops from 20% to 13% in grades K-8 in New Britain, CT 2011-12 Baseline 2012-13
  26. 26. KSSN experience – Impact Is Possible & Implementation Matters 26 Chronic absence, 2005-2012 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Alger Burton Elementary Coit Harrison Park Elementary MLK - K-8 Sibley Elementary
  27. 27. • Superintendent and Principal Leadership • District and Building Attendance Policy • Teacher/Staff Buy-in • Regular Attendance Meetings • Parent Outreach • Attendance Incentives • Interagency Casemanagement • Year End Assessment KSSN Insights into Elements of Success 27
  28. 28. Ingredients for Success & Sustainability in a District and Community 28
  29. 29. Chronic Absence = The Warning Light On A Car Dashboard • Ignore it at your personal peril! • Address early or potentially pay more (lots more) later. • The key is to ask why is this blinking? What could this mean? 29 The Parallels
  30. 30. Own the Issue Mobilize the Community Drive With Data The Superintendents Call to Action To sign-up for the Call to Action, or to learn more, please visit: 30
  31. 31. • The beginning of school is when expectations and norms are set for the year. • The more days of instruction a student misses, the larger the negative impact on achievement. • Chronic absence is missing 10% of days which would be 2 days by the end of the first month of school. Schools could use this as a trigger to intervene before students fall so far behind they need more intensive remediation. Why September Counts 31
  32. 32. 32 Join us in September for Attendance Awareness Month
  33. 33. Key Message #1: Good attendance helps children do well in school and eventually in the work place. 33 Key Messages
  34. 34. Key Message #2: Absences add up. Excused and unexcused absences result in too much time lost in the classroom. 34 Key Messages
  35. 35. Key Message #3: Chronic absence, missing 10 percent of the school year or more, affects the whole classroom, not just the students who miss school. 35 Key Messages
  36. 36. Key Message #4: We need to monitor how many days each student misses school for any reason — excused, unexcused or suspensions — so we can intervene early. 36 Key Messages
  37. 37. Key Message #5: Chronic absence is a problem we can solve when the whole community, including parents and schools, gets involved. 37 Key Messages
  38. 38. Key Message #6: Relationship building is fundamental to any strategy for improving student attendance. 38 Key Messages
  39. 39. Key Message #7: Reducing chronic absence can help close achievement gaps. 39 Key Messages 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
  40. 40. Attendance Works Hedy Chang, Director Cecelia Leong, Associate Director Phyllis Jordan, Communications Lead 301.656.0348 Sue Fothergill, Senior Policy Associate Elise Dizon-Ross, Manager, Research & Development