MV Attendance Improvement Initiative
Mount Vernon Suspension Case Conference Group
Date: Friday, April 17, 2015
Location: Longfellow Middle School
Mount Vernon Attendance and Suspension Prevention Meeting
Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Location: Mount Vernon Board of Education
- March 16, 2015
- February 25, 2015
- January 21, 2015
- Family Ties of Westchester Network Presentation Materials
- [NYC E-Summit Presentation on Chronic Absenteeism, Mayor’s Interagency Task Force On Truancy, Chronic Absenteeism And School Engagement, 11/13/2013
(See pp. 8-11 and 23-24 re Success Mentors and p.31 for other resources.)
Mayor Bloomberg's office held a webcast on 11/20/13 to share research on the city's three-year pilot program that has reduced chronic absence for students in 100 schools. Bloomberg's staff, Johns Hopkins researcher Robert Balfanz and Attendance Works Director Hedy Chang will be talking about best practices and lessons learned. The online event is limited to 500 people, and Bloomberg's office is giving priority to city leaders, advocates and community partners with a strong interest in reducing chronic absence. (Jerome Underwood, Betsy Hoffer-Goehle, and Karl Bertrand all were among those 500.)
NYC Success Mentor Corps
This page offers users access to tools for monitoring, understanding and addressing chronic absence, starting in the early grades. You will find tools for implementing strategies at the school, district and state level.
- Why Truancy Matters
In this five-minute presentation Karl Bertrand gives a rapid-fire overview of the many ways that chronic truancy negatively impacts individuals and communities. Understanding these diverse negative impacts is important because they serve as incentives for mobilizing different groups of stakeholders to support local truancy prevention efforts.
- Truancy Initiative-Part 1: What We Did
In this two-part video presentation, Karl Bertrand describes how an inner-city school district (Mount Vernon, NY) cut total absenteeism district-wide by 19.8% in two years - without any additional grant funding. In Part I, he summarizes the actions the district took to address chronic truancy.
- MV Truancy Initiative-Part 2: What We've Accomplished
In this two-part video presentation, Karl Bertrand describes how an inner-city school district (Mount Vernon, NY) cut total absenteeism district-wide by 19.8% in two years - without any additional grant funding. In Part 2, he describes the impressive results achieved to date, including an analysis of the 19.8% district-wide reduction in total absenteeism.
- "A truancy crisis" from The Buffalo News editorial page\
This article shows how one urban school district is floundering without a coherent strategy to address chronic truancy, in sharp contrast to the remarkable success that the Mount Vernon City School District has achieved in its inner-city schools.
Educators and researchers have long recognized the importance of mastering reading by the end of third grade. Students who fail to reach this critical milestone often falter in the later grades and drop out before earning a high school diploma. Now, researchers have confirmed this link in the first national study to calculate high school graduation rates for children at different reading skill levels and with different poverty rates. Results of a longitudinal study of nearly 4,000 students find that those who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers. For the worst readers, those couldn’t master even the basic skills by third grade, the rate is nearly six times greater. While these struggling readers account for about a third of the students, they represent more than three fifths of those who eventually drop out or fail to graduate on time. What’s more, the study shows that poverty has a powerful influence on graduation rates. The combined effect of reading poorly and living in poverty puts these children in double jeopardy.
- | Test, Punish, and Push Out: How Zero Tolerance and High-Stakes Testing Funnel Youth into the School to Prison Pipeline
“Test, Punish, and Push Out” provides an overview of zero-tolerance school discipline and high-stakes testing, how they relate to each other, how laws and policies such as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) have made school discipline even more punitive, and the risk faced if these devastating policies are not reformed.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) published this very detailed and useful “Tool Kit for Creating Your Own Truancy Reduction Program" in 2007.
This three-page excerpt from Yonkers' Juvenile Justice Strategy and Action Plan (as released on 4/8/08) summarizes major research findings on how chronic truancy impacts individuals and communities.
- Best Practices of the Yonkers Public Schools: Reducing Chronic Truancy Through Educational Neglect Reporting
This three-page document summarizes the Yonkers Public Schools' new initiative to reduce chronic truancy through improved educational neglect reporting. This initiative was submitted in July 2008 for possible inclusion in the United States Conference of Mayors' list of best practices for At-Risk Youth and High School Drop-Out Prevention.
This flowchart illustrates the Educational Neglect reporting process being implemented in Yonkers, as proposed on 3/16/07.
This draft protocol, revised on 4/3/09, outlines the 21 specific steps that the Mount Vernon City School District in Mount Vernon, NY is planning to follow in order to replicate the truancy reduction strategy first developed in Yonkers.
This supplemental educational neglect reporting form helps mandated reporters in the schools organize the information needed to file an effective report to the State Central Registry. This version, prepared by the Westchester Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, is based upon a form developed by the Yonkers Board of Education, Westchester County Attorney, Westchester County District Attorney, and Westchester County Department of Social Services.
- "One Way To Guarantee More Trouble" from The New York Times editorial page
This editorial discusses how there are wide racial and ethnic disparities in school suspensions and how being suspended makes students more likely to be held back, drop out, or end up in the juvenile justice system.
Students who drop out of school don't do so impulsively but instead may fall into a dropout trajectory as early as kindergarten, according to an Arizona State University study to appear in the Journal of Education Research. "Educators may be overlooking important developmental trajectories exhibited by students prior to entering high school," said Gregory Hickman, who directed the undergraduate research. "Dropouts miss an average of 124 days by eighth grade." The Arizona Republic (Phoenix) (2/6/08)
This Powerpoint presentation summarizes the findings of the study referred to above.
- National Center for Children in Poverty: A National Portrait of Chronic Absenteeism in the Early Grades
This 2007 study, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, compares the average number of days kindergarten and elementary school students were absent across income levels and races/ethnicities, and explores how rates of early absenteeism affect absenteeism in later years as well as academic achievement.
Students who are disengaged from school are at risk for many poor outcomes beyond poor academic achievement. They are at risk of skipping classes, sexual activity, substance use, and ultimately dropping out of school. A new Child Trends brief, Assessing School Engagement: A Guide for Out-Of-School Time Program Practitioners, provides information on why school engagement matters, how out-of-school time programs can affect school engagement, and how to measure engagement. The brief includes specific measures of school engagement from three surveys and a list of additional resources.
Paying attention to early absenteeism provides an invaluable opportunity to identify and address social, emotional, cognitive and familial issues early on. It offers a chance to intervene before children have fallen years behind the academic performance of their peers and lost hope in ever succeeding in school. Using absenteeism as a trigger for early intervention could be especially important for closing the achievement gap for low-income families as well as for children from communities of color. Schools and communities, however, cannot take advantage of this opportunity to take an upstream approach to addressing problems unless chronic absence is tracked and monitored for each student. Ensuring every child has an equal opportunity to reach his or her potential requires making sure every child is present, engaged and accounted for as soon as they begin school.
This NYS Office of Children and Family Services Model Policy on Educational Neglect was released on February 28, 2008.
- In November, 2008 Student Advocacy issued “Strengthening School Attendance Policies/Practices to Address Educational Neglect and Truancy”, to all Westchester and Putnam superintendents, along with a cover letter and the 2/28/08 OCFS policy statement on Educational Neglect.
America's Promise Alliance recently commissioned Grad Nation, a new tool comprising the best evidence-based practices for keeping young people in school paired with suggestions for effectively preparing them for life after high school. With generous support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grad Nation was written by Robert Balfanz, associate professor at Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University; and John Bridgeland, president and CEO, Civic Enterprises. It is a guidebook that provides a road map to help communities tackle the dropout crisis. It is designed to help communities develop tailored plans for keeping students on track to graduate from high school, prepared for college, work and life. Grad Nation also includes ready-to-print tools and links to additional online resources, in addition to research-based guidance. It provides information and tools for developing and implementing a customized program that’s right for individual communities.
This brief from the National Middle School Association, drawing on research and field work, illuminates key policy and practice implications of the middle grades playing a stronger role in achieving our national goal of graduating all students from high school prepared for college or career and civic life. The brief is based on more than a decade of research and development work at the Center for the Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University. It also draws on direct field experience in more than 30 middle schools implementing comprehensive reform and a longstanding collaboration with the Philadelphia Education Fund.
This 60 page, June 2009 report, prepared by John M. Bridgeland, John J. DiIulio, Jr. and Robert Balfanz, presents the perspectives of teachers and principals on the high school dropout problem. A Report by Civic Enterprises in association with Peter D. Hart Research Associates for
the AT&T Foundation and the America’s Promise Alliance.
NY Daily News staff writer Meredith Kolodner reporting on the role played by New York City's underfunded and uncoordinated system of GED preparation programs.
This website provides both an information clearinghouse and a forum to examine the relationship between chronic absence in the early elementary school grades and academic performance. Be sure to follow its link to Ensuring School Success by Addressing Attendance and Chronic Absence in the Early Grades: A Call to Action for State And Local Education Leaders.