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Absenteeism and Achievement

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  1. Absenteeism and Achievement Jennifer Doptis Sara Seckel John Belasco Sean Kueppers, Jay Hansen

  2. Our Goal: To decrease student absenteeism by 5% of the targeted population through positive intervention supports and following through with a uniform consequence organization Problem being Addressed: Absenteeism

  3. Chronic Illness Low Parent Involvement Possible Root Causes:

  4. Why do we think this matters? *Students need assistance with homework *Need the materials and support at home, not just at school *Parents provide direction and focus Parent Involvement

  5. “Improving student attendance at school requires a holistic approach that addresses school and classroom factors, as well as factors outside of school” (Sheldon). Research Shows…

  6. “Specific parental behaviors such as monitoring students’ whereabouts, parent-child discussions about school, volunteering at school, and PTA/PTO membership have all been shown to predict lower levels of absenteeism among students” (Sheldon). Parent Involvement Continued…

  7. Achieve more, regardless of socio-economic status, ethnic/racial background, or the parents’ education level; Have higher grades and test scores, have better attendance, and complete homework more consistently; Exhibit more positive attitudes as well as decreased alcohol use, violence, and antisocial behavior.

Benefits are not confined to the elementary years; there are significant gains at all ages and grade levels.
 When parents are involved, students…

  8. Create a home environment that encourages learning; Communicate high, yet reasonable, expectations for children’s achievement and future careers; Become involved in children’s education at school and in the community The most accurate predictor of a student’s achievement the extent to which that student’s family is able to:

  9. When parents collaborate with the teacher, educators hold higher expectations of students and higher opinions of the parents When parents are involved in full partnerships, student achievement for disadvantaged children not only improves, it can reach levels that are standard for middle-class children; Different Involvement= Different Gains

  10. Chronic illness does affect a small percent of any population. The percentage of U.S. children and adolescents with a chronic health condition has increased from 1.8% in the 1960’s to more than 7% in 2004 (CDC) Chronic Illness:

  11. Children with chronic illness, such as asthma, can be affected in their academic performance when the illness keeps them out of school. Forty-five percent of school-aged children with chronic illness surveyed in a national health interview survey reported to be falling behind in work” (Krenitsky-Korn) Chronic Illness:

  12. -Students with chronic illness are at higher risk of dropping out and have higher rates of absenteeism than students that do not have a chronic illness. (Orr, Weller, Satterwhite, & Pless, 1984) -Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA), attempts to be inclusive of children with illness; however the definition of a health impairment is restrictive as it requires a child to be actively experiencing “. . . . Limited strength, vitality, or alertness due to chronic or acute health problems” and this lack of vigor must adversely affect the child’s educational performance. Chronic Illness:

  13. Educators surveyed reported a lack of knowledge of the diseases, as well as lowered academic expectations and pedagogical goals for these students with chronic illness” (Krenitsky-Korn) Chronic Illness and Teacher Expectations:

  14. For example: Comparing academic achievement in mathematics and English between students with asthma and those without, lower mathematics scores were evidenced in both groups where rates of absenteeism were higher” (Krenitsky-Korn) Chronic Illness:

  15. Data:

  16. What Does the Data Mean? JMS has 821 students. Of those students, 753 missed 10 or more days. That’s over 90%! Of those 753 students, 48% either fail 2 or more classes, 2 subjects on MEAP, or both. So does student absenteeism have a negative impact on achievement? Data:

  17. Every state has its own set of laws • National trends do not always reflect local policy. • Requires a holistic approach (Epstein & Sheldon p.39) • School factors • Classroom factors • Factors outside of school. • Chronic absenteeism is more problematic in (Teasley p.118) • Large schools • Urban schools (10% more) • High-poverty schools • Secondary schools Intervention:

  18. Meet with counselor • Assign truant officer • Peer tutoring (Teasley p.122) • Older students tutoring younger students with attendance issues • Coca-Cola program had 12% increased compared to control of 1% • Mentoring • Best with students who have a disconnection with family or a single-parent home • Helps build a connection within the school • Utilize peers as attendance monitors • Interventions with ethnic minority students • Curriculum must apply to real world • Special classes (ELL or support) • Group work within classes • In-school/after-school programs Individual Intervention:

  19. Research supports that districts with a plan for absenteeism are more effective. • Comprehensive approach • Students • Families • Community • School-wide programs • To reduce bullying • Beaumont Hospital – outside programs • To manage medical conditions • Increase hand washing • Flu immunization • Positive involvement activities (Balfanz & Byrnes p.8) • Rewarding/incentives students for excellent or improved attendance • Prizes for perfect attendance (week/month/quarter) • Names printed in newsletter • Free homework passes • Ice cream socials/pizza lunch party • Focus on improving attendance overtime School-Based Interventions:

  20. Communicate with families about student attendance (Epstein & Sheldon p.50) • Study showed largest improvement 68% • Timely phone calls home • Make home visits • Discuss attendance policies and practices • Conduct workshops • Including information about how to help get their children to school • Use contracts with parents • Parents state they will help their children get to school • Provide families with information about people to contact at school • Invite parents to award ceremonies • Family therapy (last resort) • Family structure and functioning • Family values • Attitudes toward school Interventions with Families:

  21. Enforcement of mandatory attendance laws (Kearney p.260) • Meaningful sanctions for continued noncompliance • Reduces transportation problems and relapse • Awareness programs • Abolish Chronic Truancy (ACT) Now Program (Teasley p.225) • Connect students with community mentors • Mentors check in with students • At home • During lunch • After school (homework) • Bring in community/business leaders to speak to students about the importance of completing school • Why attendance is important Neighborhood and Community Intervention:

  22. Schools need to take a comprehensive approach to involve students, families and the community • Frequent and positive communications with parents about attendance • Provide positive attendance activities/rewards for students and their parents Intervention Conclusion:

  23. We will know we are making progress when students start attending school more regularly and as academic scores start to increase from the improved attendance. This will require monitoring of controlled groups and allowing for constructive feedback. Evidence:

  24. We will use data to track the improved attendance as the interventions are put into place. If the data shows a positive trend, then the new plan will continue to be used and analyzed Evaluation: