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Attendance Effort Named Statewide Model

The Long Beach Unified School District is one of 23 honorees designated as models of attendance improvement by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.

The Model School Attendance Review Boards honor goes to school systems that demonstrate innovative and effective practices to reduce absenteeism.

“In order for students to reach their full learning potential, they need to be in school,” Thurmond said. “These exemplary attendance programs have reduced chronic absenteeism rates at the district level and have been able to provide the necessary support to students who are the most vulnerable and at risk of becoming a chronic absentee.  This recognition is well-deserved, and I hope that other districts will follow the lead of the model SARBs and replicate their methods so we can get all of our students back in class and on the pathway to graduation and a successful future.”

The state’s own School Attendance Review Board (SARB), an expert panel convened by Thurmond, reviewed the applications.  The state SARB brings together key agencies and community partners to promote a three-tiered model for reducing chronic absenteeism rates and drop-out rates in the state: prevention, early intervention and intensive intervention.

“Schools cannot succeed alone in addressing high chronic absenteeism rates,” Thurmond said.  “It is not just about what schools can do but what schools, communities and parents can do working together.”

LBUSD staff have made a concerted effort to work more closely with families who face challenges such as transportation barriers, or situations in which older siblings are kept home to care for younger ones.  The school district also has partnered with local agencies such as the City Prosecutor’s Office on a program called “All In,” which assists students who are chronically absent from school, linking them to support systems.

All 23 of the honored SARB programs will be recognized at the state conference of the California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance on April 19 in Napa.  The chairperson of each SARB has agreed to mentor other SARB chairpersons in the state.