** Per conversation with Brett- Perception data is not always pre/post. It is difficult to assess pre/post data related to obtained skills. Perception data is related to post data skill attainment. Instead of uploading pre/post assessment, the attendance group survey was uploaded (3 steps to reach goals).
For the 2016 -2017 school year, we identified and chose to focus our goals in the area of Attendance based on school data. Attendance data was used from the previous year (2015-16) and we identified 39 students with 18 or more absences.
Our Attendance goal of increasing class time by 10% for targeted students was met. We reviewed a report generated by our Central Office and identified 39 students with 18 or more absences during the previous school year. Counselors worked closely with the school Social Worker to support students through small group sessions, individual contracts, and parent contacts. 39 students from all three grade levels were invited to participate in the attendance small groups. Due to groups being held at lunch and scheduling conflicts, on the first day only 8 students attended and completed the survey. Fifteen of the identified students participated regularly in a small group which focused on attendance awareness, responsibility and goal setting over an 8 week period. Due to these students already missing class time, we structured groups during lunch and were dependent on teachers sending students at the appropriate time. On the onset, many students did not show up or showed up late. Due to this, our survey data is based on the 8 students who attended the entire first session. Due to time constraints the survey was discussed in session 2, however students arriving late did not have the opportunity to fully complete the survey. Overall, 31 of the identified students gained days during the 2016-17 school year. One student had zero gain and seven had a loss of days compared to the previous school year due to illness or home issues. The 39 students had a total of 1164 days missed during the 2015-16 school year compared to 750 missed during the 2016-17 school year. This is an increase of time in class by 36% with an average of 10.6 days gained per student. 100% of the students were promoted to the next grade level.
For the students with chronic absences the year before, a day was set aside for parent conferences. Parents and students met with a student services staff member. We found this beneficial in that the parents provided additional information which we used to help with writing plans for the individual students. This activity also held parents accountable for getting their child to school each day.
During the group sessions, each student completed a data sheet on the reasons why they missed 18+ days the year before. After reflecting on this, students created an attendance goal and kept a weekly visual chart of days missed. Students were asked to come up with 3 ways to reach their goals. In addition, counselors provided weekly researched based activities to help with academic success. Some examples include organization and test taking skills. These specific activities were chosen to assist students in identifying long and short term academic, career, social/emotional and attendance goals.
The activities and interventions were chosen after collaboration with our school social worker narrowed down evidence based strategies. Materials were used from Attendance Works as well as other research based attendance websites.
How Results Will Affect Next Steps:
Counselors will continue to monitor the needs of at-risk students through the use of data and referrals from students, teacher, parents, and administration. The interventions with the best outcomes were parent conferences, student contracts and incentives for individual goals. Our department set aside a day for parent conferences for students with attendance issues. Many of the parents who attended we appreciative of our concerns and the information we were able to share about their child's attendance and school progress.
Student comments and evaluations indicated that the group and individual sessions were beneficial but where the outcomes were not satisfactory some additional adjustments will take place, such as finding an additional time to work with students other than the lunch period. Additional home contacts would be another positive adjustment based on feedback from the parents we conferenced with.