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Barriers to Attendance

compiled by education new york online

Scroll down to read entries organized by topic alphabetically OR use the topic links at the right to jump to categories of interest.

Updated Saturday August 18, 2007 07:59 PM

Health

Truancy could result in tickets
Date CapturedSaturday August 18, 2007 07:59 PM
Farmington Press reports, "The absence policy is on a semester basis. After three absences, a letter is sent to the parents about the school attendance policy. This letter is sent out automatically to those students who have missed that number of days, even if they have a doctor’s excuse. 'There is a contact number to call on the letter. Many times, parents who have received this first letter will call and say they have sent doctor’s excuses,' said Swinarski. 'They should not worry — if they’ve called, then that means they’re doing what they should do.' She explained this also gives parents an opportunity to perhaps let the district know about a certain health issue a child may have that can keep them from attending school. 'We can help them in whatever way they may need (after reviewing the case),' she said. A letter is also sent when a student has six absences in a semester. At seven absences, more steps are put into place. 'When a student reaches that seventh day, a letter is sent to the parents saying that anymore absences over that number would not allow the student to make up the work. We send out a date and time for a meeting that we would like to discuss this with them,' said Burch."

News

Local schools make radical changes to battle dropout rate
Date CapturedSunday June 03, 2007 10:10 AM
The Journal News reports, "From creating evening and weekend classes to instituting formal programs that allow students five years to graduate, the schools have made radical changes in an effort to boost achievement and keep kids in school. But officials say there are more complex reasons behind this life-changing decision made by too many teens. Often, schools are blamed for a student's choice to leave, but educators say many drop out for myriad reasons, including incarceration, drug abuse, problems at home or other reasons outside the purview of the classroom."
Student claims school discriminates against her as a teen mom
Date CapturedSaturday April 07, 2007 09:14 AM
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, "According to the complaint, A.C. has missed a number of school days to care for her child. Some of those absences are because she had to take the boy to doctor's appointments, she claims. Other times, if her mother cannot watch her son, she has no other available child care. But the school district has ruled that those absences are unexcused and, therefore, its officials believe A.C. and her mother are guilty of violating state truancy laws. The school district has filed charges against A.C. four times and against her mother five times, according to the lawsuit."

Policy

Should teen mothers be held to truancy standards?
Date CapturedSaturday April 14, 2007 08:49 PM
A Shrewdness of Apes blog: "Well, here's an interesting dilemma: Well, here's an interesting dilemma: A 16-year-old student who claims in a lawsuit that her school district discriminated against her because she is a teen mother has missed 211 days of school over the last four years, according to officials in the Harrisburg area school district. A 16-year-old student who claims in a lawsuit that her school district discriminated against her because she is a teen mother has missed 211 days of school over the last four years, according to officials in the Harrisburg area school district."

Research

Why Students Don't Attend School
Date CapturedSaturday May 12, 2007 08:10 PM
Excerpts from "Increasing Student Attendance: Strategies from Research and Practice," Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory , written by Jennifer Railsback -- "Corville-Smith et al. (1998) found six variables that were statistically significant predictors for distinguishing absentee high school students from regularly attending students: Students' school perceptions: Absentees are less likely to perceive school favorably; Perception of parental discipline: Absentees perceive discipline as lax or inconsistent; Parents' control: Absentees believe parents are attempting to exert more control over them; Students' academic self-concept: Absentees feel inferior academically; Perceived family conflict: Absentees experience family conflict; Social competence in class: Absentees are less likely to feel socially competent in class;" ADDITIONALLY -- "Below are other commonly cited reasons that students have given for not attending school (Clement, Gwynne, & Younkin, 2001;Wagstaff, Combs, & Jarvis, 2000): Viewed classes as boring, irrelevant, and a waste of time; Did not have positive relationships with teachers; Did not have positive relationships with other students; Was suspended too often; Did not feel safe at school; Could not keep up with schoolwork or was failing (and there were no timely interventions); Found classes not challenging enough (worksheets and reading with lectures were the predominant activities), and students can miss class days and still receive credit; Couldn't work and go to school at the same time.

Student Mobility

Matching Foster Care and School Records: How Children's Foster Care Experiences Affect Their Education
Date CapturedSaturday May 12, 2007 09:30 PM
Vera Institute of Justice researchers Dylan Conger and Alison Rebeck find, "In comparison to children in the general student population, foster children have very low attendance rates. Yet, many foster children’s attendance rates improved from before to after entry into care. Younger children, those who remain in care for at least the entire semester after placement, children with stable placements, children in foster boarding homes or kinship homes, and those who entered care on charges of abuse or neglect show greater gains than other children. This finding indicates that these foster care experiences may improve an important aspect of school stability. Other foster care experiences contributed to declines or smaller gains in attendance. Children with short stays in foster care do not progress as well as children who stay longer, suggesting room for improvement during discharge planning conferences. These discussions could place greater importance on the consequences of educational disruptions and ensure that aftercare services are sufficient to help families provide for their children’s educational needs."
Educating Children in Foster Care: The McKinney-Vento and No Child Left Behind Acts
Date CapturedWednesday April 25, 2007 09:44 AM
Casey Family Programs write, "The recommendations, included as part of a comprehensive report released at a congressional briefing, deal with the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. The recommendations are: Improve school stability by ensuring that the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act applies to all children in out-of-home care, and increase funding for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to a level that covers all eligible children. Ensure that children and youth in foster care have access to education-related support services by making them automatically eligible for Title I, Part A services and including them in the set-aside that exists for homeless children. Increase funding for school counselors and mental health services."

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