Opinion
Education Opinion

Multi-Tier Attendance Intervention Plan

By International Perspectives on Education Reform Group — May 04, 2011 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

By Gene Roundtree

One problem that my small learning community (all of the academic teachers that share our group of students) at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School has focused on is the school performance of students who have not passed MCAS tests or are in danger of not passing these tests during their 10th grade year. We wanted to investigate the effect of problematic absenteeism (school absences and skipped classes) on the performance of a number of students within our cluster and to see if student performance would improve if we mobilized resources to better communicate with parents and improve school attendance.

In order to better support these students we designed an inquiry project in collaboration with the Boston Plan for Excellence (BPE). The inquiry project involved the creation of a three-tiered intervention plan to support all students, but provides more focused support and parent communication for students who do not meet attendance/performance expectations: (1) the collection of attendance and student performance data analyzed by BPE so that we could respond to trends in the data; (2) the adoption of a common grading/student information system used by all of the teachers in the cluster; and (3) the organization of school and city resources to support these targeted students.

We did face some significant challenges while designing and implementing this intervention plan. The first issue was time. We were able to engage in this work because our cluster is organized as a small learning community. We had to find common planning time for teachers to meet. We decided to use our non-contractual time planning periods, which worked only because we were willing to sacrifice that hour every week in addition to the time the group facilitator had to spend planning meetings. We looked at our schedules and decided to meet during our overlapping planning periods, which still required us to use substitute teachers in two classes for our meeting period. We were able get some support from the administration to pay for the substitute teachers.

The second challenge we faced was finding and receiving funding for a student information system, and then keeping that system updated with contact information for our students and their parents. In the age of cell phones, numbers change more frequently and at times are out-of-service, which forces us to constantly update contact information. We chose Snap Grades as our student information system, and we were able to get funding for it (about $40 per teacher for the year) from our school.

This model demonstrates both the importance and the benefits gained by developing a professional culture among teachers, administrators, guidance staff, mental health practitioners and social workers that allows these professionals to collaborate to support student performance and school attendance. I think the model also demonstrates the wide range of inputs that are necessary to improve student performance, and that many of these inputs take place outside of the school. The model also demonstrates how non-profit organizations in the education space, like the Boston Plan for Excellence, can contribute to student performance by providing teachers with strategic support and training.

Eugene Roundtree is a 10th grade biology teacher at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School in Boston, MA.

The opinions expressed in The Futures of School Reform are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Using Integrated Analytics To Uncover Student Needs
Overwhelmed by data? Learn how an integrated approach to data analytics can help.

Content provided by Instructure
Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
How Can Data-Driven Instructional Programming Promote Equity and Student Achievement?
By now, you’ve started the new school year and begun gathering new academic data on your learners from interim, summative, and perhaps even social and emotional learning (SEL) assessment sources. These data points help you
Content provided by ACT

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Students Argue Civics Education Is a Constitutional Right, Continue Court Fight
Students nationwide need to know how to participate in the political process and exercise their constitutional rights, their lawyers argue.
4 min read
High school teacher Natalie O'Brien, center, hands out papers during a civics class called "We the People," at North Smithfield High School in North Smithfield, R.I., on March 8, 2017. Students in Rhode Island are asking a federal appeals court to affirm that all public school students have a constitutional right to a civics education because they feel they aren't taught how to meaningfully participate in a democratic and civil society.
High school teacher Natalie O'Brien, center, hands out papers during a civics class called "We the People," at North Smithfield High School in North Smithfield, R.I., on March 8, 2017. Students in Rhode Island are asking a federal appeals court to affirm that all public school students have a constitutional right to a civics education because they feel they aren't taught how to meaningfully participate in a democratic and civil society.
Steven Senne/AP
Education Senators Put YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat on the Defensive on Kids' Online Safety
Senators questioned executives from YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat about what they’re doing to ensure young users’ safety on their platforms.
5 min read
The Youtube, left, and Snapchat apps on a mobile device in New York, on Aug. 9, 2017. The leaders of a Senate panel have called executives from YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat to face questions on what the companies are doing to ensure young users’ safety. The hearing Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, comes as the panel bears down on hugely popular social media platforms and their impact on children.
The Youtube, left, and Snapchat apps on a mobile device in New York, on Aug. 9, 2017. The leaders of a Senate panel have called executives from YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat to face questions on what the companies are doing to ensure young users’ safety. The hearing Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, comes as the panel bears down on hugely popular social media platforms and their impact on children.
Richard Drew/AP
Education Briefly Stated: October 27, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Vulnerable Students Left Behind as Schooling Disruptions Continue
The effects of unpredictable stretches at home can mirror those of chronic absenteeism and lead to long-term harm to learning.
4 min read
Students board a school bus on New York's Upper West Side on Sept. 13, 2021. Even as most students return to learning in the classroom this school year, disruptions to in-person learning, from missing one day because of a late school bus to an entire two weeks at home due to quarantine, remain inevitable as families and educators navigate the ongoing pandemic.
Students board a school bus on New York's Upper West Side on Sept. 13, 2021. Even as most students return to learning in the classroom this school year, disruptions to in-person learning, from missing one day because of a late school bus to an entire two weeks at home due to quarantine, remain inevitable as families and educators navigate the ongoing pandemic.
Richard Drew/AP