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Every Child in School Every Day. Supporting Homeless Students’ Attendance through Afterschool and Other Strategies. Agenda. The Importance of Attendance Homelessness as a Barrier to Attendance Supporting Homeless Students’ Attendance Attendance Collaborative Afterschool Programs

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Every child in school every day

Every Child in School Every Day

Supporting Homeless Students’ Attendance through Afterschool

and Other Strategies


Agenda
Agenda

  • The Importance of Attendance

  • Homelessness as a Barrier to Attendance

  • Supporting Homeless Students’ Attendance

    • Attendance Collaborative

    • Afterschool Programs

  • Case Study

  • Group Questions


Every child in school every day

Importance ofAttendance


What do we mean by school attendance
What do We Mean by School Attendance?

Chronic Absence is missing 10% or more school over the course of an academic year for any reason. Research shows 10% is associated with declining academic performance. No standard definition exists.Satisfactory Attendance is missing 5% or less over the course of an academic year for any reason.Truancy refers only to unexcused absences and is defined by each state, according to NCLB.Average Daily Attendance is the % of enrolled students who attend school each day.


Chronic early absence adversely affects academics especially for low income children
Chronic Early Absence Adversely Affects Academics Especially for Low-income Children

Among low-income children, chronic K absence predicted lower 5th grade achievement.

Source: National Center for Children In Poverty


Poor attendance predicts drop out by 6 th grade
Poor Attendance Predicts Drop Out by 6 for Low-income Childrenth Grade

Source: Destination Graduation: Baltimore Education Research Consortium, February 2011


By 9 th grade attendance can predict graduation better than test scores
By 9 for Low-income Childrenth Grade, Attendance Can Predict Graduation Better than Test Scores

On Time Graduation Correlation to 9th Grade Attendance

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

Chronic Absence


Sporadic not just consecutive absences matter
Sporadic, Not Just Consecutive, Absences Matter for Low-income Children

COMPARING CHRONIC ABSENCE MEASURES PK-12

New York City Schools

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 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, October 2008



Absenteeism among homeless students
Absenteeism among Homeless Students for Low-income Children

  • 2005 Evaluation of Prince George’s County Public Schools: 87% average daily attendance among homeless students

  • 2002 DOE Study (National): 77% of homeless children attend school regularly

  • 1994 Survey of Homeless Children in (Urban/Suburban Setting): 48.5% described as absent during one-third of school days, 11.1% described as absent during one-half of school days

    Homeless students are more likely to miss school than poor, housed children.


Reasons for absences
Reasons for Absences for Low-income Children

  • High mobility

  • Lack of transportation

    • 40% of homeless families report that lack of transportation or delay in records transfer present barriers to attendance

  • Enrollment barriers

  • Lack of uniforms – especially where failure to wear uniform results in punishment/being sent home


Reasons for absences cont
Reasons for Absences for Low-income ChildrenCont.

  • Poor relationships

    • Relative to housed peers, fewer homeless children report having a close friend

  • Physical/mental illness

    • 1 in 7 homeless children has a severe physical condition (compared to 1 in 16 middle class children)

    • 50% suffer from mental illness


Reasons for absences cont1
Reasons for Absences for Low-income ChildrenCont.

  • Prejudice/stigma

    • Homeless students are teased at school for lack of clean clothes, poor performance  reduced attendance  drop out

  • Obstacles to parents’ involvement

  • Preoccupation with food/shelter



1 baltimore student attendance collaborative
1 Baltimore Student Attendance Collaborative for Low-income Children

  • Coalition of advocates and experts in special education, student homelessness, transportation, school safety, afterschool programming, education policy/research

  • Meet monthly to examine issues impacting student attendance, particularly attendance of vulnerable student populations

  • Report regularly and provide input to school district personnel


1 baltimore student attendance collaborative cont
1 Baltimore Student Attendance Collaborative for Low-income ChildrenCont.

Collaborative/Individual Projects

  • Data gathering:

    • Kindergarten/Pre-K Chronic Absence Study,

    • Rate Your Ride

    • School Climate Survey

  • Advocacy: School uniform policy

  • Outreach/awareness raising: peer outreach campaign

  • Door-knocking: School Every Day program



Research shows impact of quality ost
Research Shows Impact of AttendanceQuality OST

  • 7th and 8th graders attending afterschool programs at a Boys & Girls Club skipped school fewer times, increased school effort and gained academic confidence. (2009)

  • Afterschool participants attending Pathways to Progress in Minneapolis and St. Paul came to school an average 18.4 more days than their peers. (2004)

  • Homeless students who participate in the HERO Center's afterschool program have 90% school attendance, higher than most homeless kids and consistent with the district wide average for all students. (2000)


What we know from field experience
What We Know from Field Experience Attendance

Good OST programs engage in activities that contribute to better school attendance such as:

  • Provide socialization and peer attention in a supervised venue

  • Re-establish the link between effort and results in a non-school activity

  • Engage students in challenging activities that help them develop persistence.

  • Provide consistent contact with caring, stable adults.

  • Increase a sense of belonging at school.


Obstacles to homeless students participation in afterschool
Obstacles to Homeless Students’ Participation in Afterschool

  • Lack of transportation

  • Shelter rules – e.g. children must be in by afternoon

  • Fees/costs

  • Enrollment deadlines

  • Grade requirements

  • Mobility

  • Need for physicals/health assessments

  • Potential bias/low expectations of families?

    • 2011: Families perceived that educators/counselors did not expect low-income parents to be as invested in children’s achievement


Facilitating homeless students access to afterschool
Facilitating Homeless Students’ Access to Afterschool Afterschool

  • Recruit through school district McKinney-Vento Liaisons, at shelters, through homeless-serving agencies

  • Provide onsite meals, groceries – e.g. MD “Afterschool Supper” program reimburses afterschool programs in high FARMS areas for offering meals

  • Provide transportation

  • Conduct afterschool program onsite – e.g. in shelter (caveat: Most homeless students are not in shelter)

  • Use repeated school absences to trigger automatic referral to afterschool program - e.g. NJ HERO program


Facilitating homeless students access to afterschool cont
Facilitating Homeless Students Access to Afterschool AfterschoolCont.

  • Waive fees and enrollment deadlines

  • Offer opportunities for play, field trips – may not be available at shelter, or other temporary residence

  • Build relationships with/seek input from homeless serving organizations, shelters

  • Include staff with socialwork skills/training

  • Train staff on needs and rights of homeless students


Every child in school every day

Case Study: Afterschool

Carbon and Schuylkill SHINE

21st Century Afterschool Program


Case study setting the tone
Case Study – Setting the Tone Afterschool

  • Parents sign a contract – Parent Teacher Agreement and Handbook

  • No school, no SHINE

  • Build a positive relationship with parents before any attendance problems occur

  • Middle of the year letter; importance of attendance; policy reminder


Case study data collection
Case Study – Data Collection Afterschool

  • Center teachers fax weekly; entered into database for the month; teachers receive monthly reports

  • Report includes: average daily attendance and the % each child attends during the month

  • Teachers receive report cards i.e. attendance every nine weeks from schools

  • Results 2010: 88% of students were regular attendees (high % 60-90 day attendees)


Case study raising the bar
Case Study – Raising the Bar Afterschool

  • Initiating incentive program for students and family – based on 80% monthly attendance

  • Incentives include: family dinners, drawing for gas cards, food, board games for those families who have children that have 80% monthly attendance or higher that month

  • Students choose from SHINE treasure box – composed of books and educational materials


Case study raising the bar cont
Case Study – Raising the Bar AfterschoolCont.

  • Report includes: average daily attendance and the % each child attends during the month

  • Teachers receive report cards i.e. attendance every nine weeks from schools

  • Results 2010: 88% of students were regular attendees (high % 60-90 day attendees)


Every child in school every day

Group Questions Afterschool


Group 1
Group 1 Afterschool

  • What data does your school district collect on student attendance?

  • How can you use this data to inform policies and practices for supporting homeless students’ attendance?

  • What additional data would you want to collect?


Group 2
Group 2 Afterschool

  • Could your district pursue afterschool enrollment as a strategy for improving homeless students’ attendance?

  • What barriers prevent homeless students from participating in existing afterschool programs?

  • What supports do they need to have better access?

  • What other strategies could you pursue to support homeless students’ attendance in your district?


Contact information
Contact Information Afterschool

Kacy Conley

(717) 763-1661 ext. 210

kconley@csc.csiu.org

www.psaydn.org

  • Monisha Cherayil

    • cherayilm@publicjustice.org

    • (410) 625-9409 ext 234

    • www.publicjustice.org

www.Attendanceworks.org