Attendance & Truancy Among Virginia Students Module 11: Creating Opportunities for Peer Learning Reducing Chronic Absence: Why Does It Matter? What Can We Do? 1 The Purpose This PowerPoint serves as No. 11 in a series of modules designed to equip Virginia school divisions to reduce truancy and absenteeism. This module identifies opportunities to provide peer learning to educators and school leaders. Reducing Chronic Absence: Why Does It Matter? What Can We Do?
2 Todays Agenda I. Learning goals review II. The value of peer learning III. Typical goals of a peer learning network IV. Attendance Works cycle of inquiry V. Learning from Bright Spots about promising practices VI. Resources Reducing Chronic Absence: Why Does It Matter? What Can We Do? 3 Learning Goals
Educators will learn how to create opportunities for peer learning and exchange on effective attendance practices. Educators will learn how to use their data to identify bright spots that can share successes and create a space to discuss common challenges. Reducing Chronic Absence: Why Does It Matter? What Can We Do? 4 Warm Up and Introductions What peer learning opportunities currently exist for principals, teachers or staff in your school or
division? Reducing Chronic Absence: Why Does It Matter? What Can We Do? 5 The Value of Peer Peers are believable messengers. Learning Theyre in the trenches with other educators. Peers can share among themselves more openly and honestly than with
outsiders. Peers know the locality, schools and student population. They often face common challenges. Peers often have solutions that can Reducing Chronic Absence: Why Does It Matter? What Can We Do? help one another so they avoid re-
6 Purpose of a Typical Peer Learning Network To create a peer learning community in which teams can: a) analyze their attendance data. b) learn about and develop strategies for reducing chronic absence. c) craft a plan for addressing chronic absence. d) implement their approach to reducing chronic absence starting in the
Reducing Chronic Absence: Why Does It Matter? What Can We Do? next school year. 7 Cycle of Inquiry for Peer Learning Reducing Chronic Absence: Why Does It Matter? What Can We Do? 8 How Can You Create Peer Learning Opportunities? Create a new peer network: Bring a group of schools or educators together to meet
regularly about attendance practice: what works and what doesnt? Provide a facilitator who can guide the network through a cycle of inquiry. Piggyback on an existing network: Build in time during an existing meeting for peer learning. Join an online learning network: Take Reducing Chronic Absence: Does It Matter? What Can We Do? advantage of Why online resources.
9 Finding Bright Spots A key step to promoting peer learning is finding the schools and educators who are reducing chronic absence and then learning from the practices they use. Reducing Chronic Absence: Why Does It Matter? What Can We Do? 10
Use Data to Identify Bright Spots Once you have calculated your chronic absence levels for all the schools in your division, compare them to see which schools stand out for having low levels of absenteeism. Pay particular attention to schools that have low levels of chronic absence despite school characteristics and student demographic factors that are associated with high levels of absenteeism. School leaders can do the same analysis to look
Bright Reducingfor Chronic Absence: Spot Why Doesclassrooms. It Matter? What Can We Do? 11 How to Identify a Bright Spot Look at schools or classrooms with low chronic absence rates. Examine rates from year to year are they consistent or are there significant improvements needed? Compare to schools with similar student populations
Assess proportion of students in challenging circumstances: living in poverty, special education, English language learners. Assess school size and neighborhood composition. Chronicdata Absence:with Why Does It Matter? What Can We Do? or Reducing Confirm school principal 12
Data Can Tell the Story Reducing Chronic Absence: Why Does It Matter? What Can We Do? 13 Site Visits Can Uncover What Once you have identified possible Bright Spots, plan site Works visits to assess attendance practices and policies. Here are some questions to consider: What do you want to learn from this site visit? Are you looking for practices to share district-wide? Are you seeking to understand what works and what does not work?
Are you seeking to understand what motivated the school community to become focused on attendance? Do you want to identify how the district office can support sites through providing data, resources, professional development? Reducing Chronic Absence: Why Does It Matter? What Can We Do? 14 Site Visit Logistics Who should go? The site visit is a collaborative learning opportunity for the leaders in your district, as well as a chance to build capacity and buy-in, so consider including key district leaders, funders, or a principal who is widely respected by her colleagues. Do you want a written product? Determine if you want a case study or a PowerPoint summary, and
who the audience will be before the site visit. For written products, ensure you have a strong writer involved in the process. What questions should you ask? Attendance Works has sample interview protocols. Reducing Chronic Absence: Why Does It Matter? What Can We Do? 15 Sharing What You Learn Once youve identified Bright Spots and promising practices, you need to put them in a position to share their success: Invite attendance leaders to speak at staff professional development sessions. Host a recognition ceremony for schools beating the odds on attendance (PALs).
Ask these educators to lead or participate in peer learning networks bringing together several schools to talk regularly about reducing absenteeism. Reducing Chronic Absence: Why Does It Matter? What Can We Do? 16 Documenting What You Learn Create a PowerPoint that principals can share with staff. Write a brief or case studies documenting the Bright Spots and their promising practices. Develop a local community toolkit with messaging materials and step-by-step instruction for instituting promising practices.
Reducing Chronic Absence: Why Does It Matter? What Can We Do? 17 Learn More Positive Outliers Toolkit (which includes sample questions for site visits) http://www.attendanceworks.org/tools/f or-school-districts/positive-outliers-tool kit/ Principal Attendance Leader award: http://www.attendanceworks.org/tools/f or-school-districts/nominate-a-principal / Reducing Chronic Absence: Why Does It Matter? What Can We Do? 18
Virginia Absenteeism & Truancy Professional Development Series 1. Understanding Chronic Absenteeism 2. Frameworks for Reducing Chronic Absence 3. Establishing School Attendance Teams 4. Using Data to Drive Action 5. Messaging Attendance 6. Integrating Attendance In Parent Engagement 7. Utilizing Parent-Teacher Conferences to Talk with Families about Attendance 8. Recognizing Good and Improved Attendance 9. Providing Personalized Early Outreach 10. Identifying barriers 11. Creating opportunities for peer learning
12. Engaging Community Partners 13. State Attendance Laws and Regulations Reducing Chronic Absence: Why Does It Matter? What Can We Do? 19
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