If a student is not present, engaged and participating in school, they are not learning what is being taught. Period.
A meaningful connection to friends, caring adults, engaging subject matter and activities in class is at the core of what our students need to learn and thrive in any environment. We believe this to be true regardless of what school looks like when we return this fall. Not only do we want students to be present or “logged in,” we want them to be engaged by interacting, thinking and connecting. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult to monitor attendance and engagement, but we have learned new best practices as a result of the efforts of teachers, administrators, and staff during the spring of 2020. When students are not at school, either in person or virtually, they are not learning and they are not connecting. Students absent just 2 days per month, for any reason, are considered chronically absent. Research shows these students fall behind and have a difficult time ever catching up with their peers. Students who are chronically absent in kindergarten are often not reading proficiently in 3rd grade. Students not reading well by 3rd grade are four times more likely to dropout of high school.
In 2018-19, SCUSD’s Kindergarten through 8th grade students had a chronic absence rate of 14.8%. That’s nearly 5% higher than the state’s average of 10.1%! Our numbers are far bleaker for children of color and our most vulnerable children who are in foster care or experiencing homelessness. We want ALL of our students to succeed in school and life and the only way to do that is to Be HERE!
Last year nearly 7,000 students in Sacramento City Unified School District missed more than 10% of the school year and were considered chronically absent!
Sacramento City Unified School District’s
Student Attendance & Engagement Office Vision Statement:
Authentic relationships with students, families and the community are at the core of our work to reduce chronic absence, increase student engagement and ensure academic success for ALL students, especially our most vulnerable .
How Sacramento City Unified found ‘lost’ students during distance learning featuring Principal Nate McGill of Ethel I. Baker and Jennifer Kretschman of SCUSD.
Nate McGill and Jennifer Kretschman As a social worker and as a mother, it was a little bit of panic, right? Like, ‘Oh, what's happening to these families?’” SCUSD Attendance and Enrollment Specialist Jennifer Kretschman said. “So, first we realize that contact...
Hundreds of Sacramento Kids Stopped Schooling Due To COVID-19 Together, Principal Nate McGill and Jennifer Kretschman of SCUSD go door to door to locate students who never checked in after schools closed in spring. The duo started delivering lunches to Baker kids the...
Creating a District Attendance and Engagement Office