Last week, we hosted our second Chronic Absence Working Session. The convening brought together more than 40 people representing 21 different schools and organizations. The slides from the session are available here. In the interest of time, we were only able to get through slide 15, however, we plan to follow up specifically on the power of Empathy Interviews soon.
Early intervention can be helpful in reducing chronic absenteesim and promoting attendance. To this end, school team’s began the session by looking at their attendance data from the first weeks of school. With this data in hand, school teams reflected on the touchpoints they have in place for the students that have been absent.
Next we discussed how “nudging” families can be a relatively low-cost,impactful whole-school strategy for reducing absences. Each school team then spent time planning how they can better “nudge” families to help improve attendance.
Feedback from the session was very positive so please stay tuned as we determine when we maybe be able to host another session.
One week ago, we hosted a Chronic Absence Working Session for that brought together 37 people from 16 different schools and organizations across Oakland. The slides from the session are available here. As a reminder, a student is considered chronically absent if they are absent (excused or unexcused) for 10% or more of the days for which they are enrolled. So for a typical 180 day school calendar, a student would need to miss at least 18 days (or about 3 1/2 weeks) of school in order to be considered chronically absent.
One of the focuses of the working session was for each school to create a group of current students that are just above or just below the chronically absent threshold. It’s likely that combination of tier-1 (whole-school) and tier-2 (targeted) attendance strategies (see image below) can be used to help improve attendance next year for this group of students. A sample data spreadsheet for identifying an attendance intervention group is available here.
As a next step, we would encourage all school teams to review qualitative data to better understand their quantitative attendance data. One particularly useful method for obtaining qualitative attendance data is conducting empathy interviews with students and families to learn more about attendance patterns. An empathy interview is an open-ended interview structure that allows you to get a deeper understanding of why a student may be absent. You need not interview every student – even a handful of interviews can provide valuable information.
After analyzing data, school teams brainstormed potential tier-1 and tier-2 strategies to employ at their school based on the following categories: A) Engaging Students and Families, B) Recognizing Good and Improved Attendance, C) Monitoring and Attendance Data and Practice, and D) Providing Personalized Early Outreach. The results of the brainstorming session are available here.
The next Chronic Absence Working Session will take place on Thursday, 9/12/19. You can RSVP here: bit.ly/oakcore091219. In the meantime, please make sure to check out Attendance Works for more resources related to attendance. You can check out his page to learn about past and future webinars related to attendance.
On April 11 we hosted the first of four College Data Study Sessions to examine college matriculation, persistence, and degree completion data for Oakland students. During the kick-off event, stakeholders representing 20 different schools and organizations from across Oakland collaborated to review college data and brainstorm how Oakland can use this data as a community. For those that were unable to attend, the agenda and slide deck are available here.
During the session, we reviewed anonymous college matriculation and persistence data for Oakland schools made available from the CORE Data Collaborative. In the spirit of using data as a flashlight, we started with reviewing anonymous data, however, over time as we learn and build trust we plan to make school-level data available publicly. As we analyzed this data we considered the following questions:
Not surprisingly, the data generated more questions than answers. We hope to address many of these questions in future study sessions.
To inspire our work for future sessions, we also reviewed several college data artifacts from other communities. From these artifacts, we hope to learn how we can use college data to support Oakland students to and through college. Here are the artifacts that we investigated:
I look forward to working with community members to craft the agenda for our next session on Tuesday, 9/24, Noon – 2pm (RSVP HERE). Lunch will be served and location is to be determined.
While we won’t be convening as group again until September, Lighthouse Community Public Schools will be hosting several webinars highlighting best practices for College and Career readiness in the next few weeks. Sign up here.
Preparing Students for the 21st Century Workforce: Adding a CTE Pathway to a Small School (April 25, 2019 @ 9:15 – 10:00am PDT)
College and Career Best Practices (April 25, 2019 @ 10:15 – 11:00am PDT)
Attend to the Language of the Standards: Planning for Mastery and Student Supports (April 25 @ 1 – 2:15pm PDT)
Chronic absence is a key barrier to achievement for many students in Oakland and other undeserved communities. In this working session we will share tools and protocols for school teams to analyze the current year’s chronic absence data. Using this information, school teams will identify steps that can be taken between now and the beginning of the 19-20 school year to help improve overall attendance and decrease chronic absence.
The Chronic Absence Working Session will take place on Thursday, 5/9, 10am – Noon (lunch will be served) at Oakland International High School (4521 Webster St). The school is about about a 10-15min walk from the MacArthur BART station and several AC Transit bus stops. Street parking is also available nearby. RSVP HERE to attend.
Which schools can participate? Any Oakland public school can participate. The agenda will be focused on supporting schools that are still developing their practices around reducing chronic absence. Schools with more developed practices are more than welcome to participate and share their systems with other schools.
Who should attend from my school? Participating schools are asked to bring at least 2 people but not more than 4 people. Schools are encouraged to bring members of your your attendance team, which will vary from school to school. Participants could include: principal or assistant principal, family engagement coordinator, attendance clerk, operations manager, or other staff members.
What do I need to bring with me? In order to fully benefit from this working session, you will need to bring up-to-date, student-level chronic absence data. This information can generally be exported from your student information system (Aeries, PowerSchool, Illuminate, etc.). If you need assistance accessing this data, please contact Jonathon Stewart (firstname.lastname@example.org).