Attendance and Child Welfare

Report
Baltimore City
Tackling Chronic
Absence
May 28, 2013
Panelists
Faith Connolly
Executive
Director,
Baltimore
Education
Research
Collaborative
Karen WebberNdour Executive
Director, Student
Support and
Safety,
Baltimore City
Schools
Sue Fothergill
Director,
Baltimore
Student
Attendance
Campaign
Molly McGrath
Tierney,
Director,
Baltimore City
Department of
Social Services
Baltimore City Public Schools
By the Numbers
•85,000 public school students prekindergarten – 12th grade
•200 schools
•83% Free and Reduced Meals
•90% Average Daily Attendance
•31% Chronic Absence
•30% Highly Qualified Teachers
•32% Student Mobility
•88% African-American
•9% White
•3% Hispanic
Chronic Absence Rates
Elementary
43.5
42.1
42.0
Middle
High
41.9
42.2
41.3
33.7
27.0
18.6
14.0
12.4
11.3
17.5
13.9
16.3 16.4
15.9
13.2
CA 2006-7 CA 2007-8 CA 2008-9 CA 2009-10 CA 2010-11 CA 2011-12
Source: Maryland State Dept. of Education
Average Daily Attendance
Elementary
95
94
94
Middle
95
94 94
94 93
93
High
94
90
88
83
84
84
83
82
81
ADA 2006- ADA 2007- ADA 2008- ADA 2009- ADA 2010- ADA 20117
8
9
10
11
12
Source: Maryland State Dept. of Education
High Attendance Rates
Elementary
33.1
32.9
29.6
26.8
21.7
21.2
16
% HA
2006-7
18.1
% HA
2007-8
High
37.8
36.7
36.1
35.8
Middle
34.9
33.6
28.3
20.8
22.2
17.1
% HA
2008-9
% HA
2009-10
% HA
2010-11
% HA
2011-12
Source: Maryland State Dept. of Education
7
Turning the Tide on Absenteeism
May 28, 2013
Karen Webber-Ndour, Executive Director
Office of Student Support and Safety
BALTIMORE CITY
PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Office of Student Support and Safety
8
Attendance
& Truancy
Suspension
Services
Choice Office
(Student
Placement)
School
Police
SST/504
Prevention
and
Intervention
Services
Alternative
Options
Programs
Student
Records
Health
Services
Student
Support
& Safety
Home &
Hospital
Athletics
BALTIMORE CITY
PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Early Strategies to Improve Attendance
9
 Attendance and chronic absenteeism were included as
components of District planning, messaging and reporting
 Actively engaged families, communities and partners in the
attendance work
 Used data to demonstrate the importance of attendance on
student achievement
 Revised the Baltimore City Code of Conduct – suspensions
contribute to chronic absence!
 Prohibited suspensions for class cutting, lateness,
absenteeism and truancy!
 Reduced discretionary suspensions from 10 days to 5 days
 Clearly messaged suspension as an alternative of last resort
BALTIMORE CITY
PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Historical Suspension Data
10
Compared to 2012
1-year chg.
#
+326
2004
2-year chg.
5-year chg.
8-year chg.
%
#
%
#
%
#
%
+2.9% +1,682 +17.3% -5,358 -32.0% -14,930 -56.7%
2007
2010
2011
NOTE: Counts show total # of suspensions in the District
SOURCE: Official MSDE files
BALTIMORE CITY
PUBLIC SCHOOLS
2012
Structural Strategies to Improve Attendance
11
 Created more Grades PK-8 and Grades 6-12 schools

Consequently reducing the number of school transitions
 Changed the middle school (i.e. Grades 6-8 schools) model to reflect
District education priorities by implementing:


Smaller learning environments, often with thematic learning
opportunities
A focus on literacy
 Increased student and family options by creating Middle School Choice
 Provided support for schools to improve attendance:



Developed the role of the attendance monitor
Updated attendance best practices and absentee protocols
Provided intensive annual training for attendance monitors
BALTIMORE CITY
PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Chronic Absence rates declined across the district
in SY11-12
12
42.2% 42.4% 41.5%
23.8% 24.7%
22.5%
21.0%
22.5%
18.8%
17.5%
16.3%
14.0%
District Total
PK & K
SY0910 (EOY)
16.4% 16.0%
13.3%
Grades 6-8
Grades 1-5
SY1011 (EOY)
SY1112 (EOY)
NOTE: Data includes AOP Schools but NOT AOP Programs
DATA SOURCE: MSDE Official files
BALTIMORE CITY
PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Grades 9-12
Strategies to Improve Attendance
NEXT STEPS
13
 Creating a bifurcated data-informed approach to attendance work
Focus on early grades with family-oriented attendance
strategies
 Focus on high school using strategies derived from student
voice
Partnering with the Mayor of Baltimore City, Stephanie Rawlings
Blake, to provide school-wide incentives for improved attendance
Robust media campaign to increase awareness and disseminate
attendance information
Simplifying and distributing attendance best practices and
expanding attendance training to administrators and teachers
Joining attendance work with district-wide School Climate efforts





BALTIMORE CITY
PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Connecting School Climate to
Attendance Work
14
BALTIMORE CITY
PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Relationships Matter
15
Positive relationships are critical to creating a
positive school climate
Types of relationships in schools:
 Adult to Adult
 Adult to Student
 Student to Student
Theory – school climate and relationships contribute
to the school’s attendance
BALTIMORE CITY
PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Climate Work
16
 A cohort of 32 schools received Climate Training in
the summer of 2012
 Climate Training included:



Defining and unpacking School Climate
School-specific suspension and attendance data
Individualized Climate plans for the SY1213
 The cohort of 32 schools have shown:
 A greater reduction in YTD suspensions
 A slight increase in YTD attendance rates
 Chronic absence rates will be analyzed at end of SY 1213
BALTIMORE CITY
PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Sue Fothergill, Director
The Baltimore Student Attendance Campaign
The Campaign operates by:
Sharing best practices (frameworks & strategies)
Acting as an advisory board
Supporting data and research
Advocating for the implementation of attendance
related policies and practices
Leveraging partners to promote and work on good
attendance
Connecting the school district and individual schools
to resources and information
Providing training and professional development
Identify and Address Barriers to School Attendance
Baltimore’s Mayor and City Schools Chief Executive Officer
established the Student Attendance Work Group. Open
Society Institute – Baltimore funded researchers and a facilitator
for the Work Group.
The work group was charged with identifying and understanding
causes of absenteeism and making recommendations for the
removal of barriers to attendance.
The work group involved over 100 public and private partners in
the process.
Topics analyzed included: laws, regulations, and policies that
govern attendance, the prevalence of chronic absence,
attendance best practices, transportation, health, homelessness,
food and nutrition, data, youth voice, and parental engagement.
Student Attendance is a Community Priority
The Family
League of
Baltimore City
Baltimore
based nonprofits
The Baltimore
Education
Research
Consortium
The Mayor's
Office
The 3rd Grade
Reading
Campaign
Baltimore City
Public Schools
Local Agencies
like BCDSS*
Schools
and
Students
*BCDSS = Baltimore City Department of Social Services
Local
Foundations
The Baltimore Student Attendance Collaborative
Advancing Community Schools
Baltimore
Baltimore Grade Level Reading
Campaign
Baltimore's Safe and Sound
Campaign
Maryland Out-of-School Time
Network
BUILD
Baltimore Urban Debate League
Family League of Baltimore City
Elev8 Baltimore
Experience Corp
Higher Achievement
The Gay, Lesbian & Straight
Education Network
Maryland Disability Law Center
(MDLC)
The Mayor's Office, Chief Services
Coordinator
The Perfectly Punctual Campaign
Play Works
Public Allies
Public Justice Center
Share Our Strength
University of Baltimore - Truancy
Court
Wide Angle Youth Media
Twenty non-profit and public partners in 108 schools
Advocate for Policies and Public Investment to
Increase Student Attendance
Policy opportunities that have been identified in
Maryland and Baltimore:
•Increased after-school opportunities
•Breakfast in the Classroom
•Include pre-kindergarten and kindergarten in state
reporting systems
•Include kindergarten attendance data in school attendance
measures for accountability
•Utilize attendance data as a cross-cutting measure for
planning
•Focus on vulnerable populations of students
Students with two or more years of chronic absence
Students entering kindergarten without prior formal
care
Students transitioning 5th – 6th grade and 8th – 9th
grade
Nurture a Culture of Attendance
Support from the Mayor and the District CEO to set the
expectation that attendance is a city-wide priority
Leverage Mayoral social and political capital to create a
public attendance campaign including involving local
celebrities and sponsoring events
Utilize capital resources for school building projects that
will help students and teachers feel valued while addressing
facility deficiencies that can trigger absence like poor heating
and ventilation (Spending $1.1 billion on school facilities
improvements)
Establish and strengthen partnerships between City
agencies, non-profits and the school district such as data
sharing agreements, leveraging of agency resources, and
shared planning
Attendance and
Child Welfare
Baltimore City
May 28, 2013

Child Welfare is responsible for the well being of
children in foster care and for the prevention of abuse
and neglect.

Success is dependant on partnerships with
organizations that are already in children’s lives –
such as the public school system.

Attendance is a powerful data point for well-being
and prevention.

Simple data sharing techniques help both social
services and schools better care for vulnerable
children.
Priorities in Child Welfare

The school district
provides the
attendance rate of
every child in
foster care last
month.
Attendance rate of
children ages 3 to 12
in foster care in
Baltimore City for the
past two years:

Social Services
ensures a case
worker intervenes
with any child
who’s attendance
rate is below 85%
95%
Well-being: Attendance for children
in foster care


Upon request, the
schools release the
information on a
child’s Emergency
Contact Card.
Social Services asks
those named on the
card to be the foster
care placement for
the child.
Well-being:

Reduces trauma for
children coming into
foster care by placing
them in a home with
someone they already
know, and

Helps ensure that coming
into foster care does not
mean you also change
schools.

In Baltimore City =
~25% of placements.
School stability for
children in foster care

Chronic absence in
young children is a
early warning sign of
stress at home.
Cause of Absenteeism
Behavior


Schools provide data
on children in Pre-k
who are chronically
absent from school.
Social Services visits
and intervenes with
prevention services.
Asthma
Homeless
Month over month
comparison shows young
children do not re-appear in
data after DSS Intervention
Prevention: Attendance of young
children in Baltimore
Early Elementary Performance and
Attendance in Baltimore City Schools
Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten
Early Grades CA in Baltimore
City
Grade
Pre-K
201011
26.5%
200910
27.4%
200809
19.5%
200708
21.6%
200607
21.7%
K
22.9%
22.5%
17.8%
19.4%
20.6%
Grade 1
21.0%
19.5%
15.6%
16.4%
18.7%
Grade 2
17.9%
18.2%
13.6%
14.5%
15.2%
Grade 3
17.6%
16.1%
12.2%
12.8%
14.4%
Repeating Patterns of Chronic
Absence
Percent CA in PreK (2006-07)
PreK
(n=505)
36.4%
21.8%
20.2%
That Year
Only
12.1% 9.5%
Once More
Twice More
Percent CA in K (2007-08)
K
(n=903)
29.5%
0%
24.8%
25%
24.1%
50%
Three
Times
More
21.6%
75%
100%
Four More
Times (only
PreK)
CA in PreK & K and Attendance
• Significant predictor of ADA and CA in
later grades
• Two to 3 times more likely to be
retained before they reached third
grade
• Being CA in PreK only has a smaller
negative impact compared with CA in K
CA in PreK K and Achievement
• Lower achievement scores in reading
and math in G1 and G2, and lower
math in G3
• Performance improved as students’
attendance improved
• CA in PreK and K were more often
identified to receive special education
services in later grades
Implications
• Patterns of low attendance
established in PreK and K linger
• Lower attendance leads to
• lower performance, and
• higher rates of retention, and
• identification for Spec Ed services
Baltimore City Public Schools
Efforts to Improve Early Grades Attendance
•Partnership between Offices of Student Support
and Safety, Engagement and Early Learning to
develop cross cutting strategies
•Early Grades Attendance Initiative
•Parent Organizing Pilot Project
•Training for prekindergarten and kindergarten
teachers
• Increased communication with parents about
the importance of attendance in prekindergarten
and kindergarten, connecting attendance with
student learning
Attendance Messaging in
Baltimore City
◦ Every Day Counts…
A Baltimore City Public Schools
Attendance Messaging Campaign
◦ Messages developed by students for
students
◦ The Mayor’s attendance competition

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