THE CHALLENGE: 3 DAYS = $34 MILLION
Central Texas schools have more student absences than the state average at almost every grade level. Because schools are funded based on attendance, if we could increase average attendance by just three days, Central Texas districts would gain $34 million in annual revenue from the state that could be used to improve educational outcomes.
An E3 Alliance analysis found that there are 2.4 million student absences in Central Texas per year. Half of Central Texas students miss more than six class days per year, and account for 85 percent of all absences. When we look at absences by grade for middle and high school, we see a big jump in absences between 8th and 9th grade – 9th graders are missing three days more on average. And attendance is highly correlated with performance: those 9th graders who end up being retained in grade have four times as many absences (almost five weeks) as their peers who are promoted, and are ten times as likely to drop out.
ATTENDANCE PEER LEARNING NETWORK
E3 Alliance, in partnership with Attendance Works, is launching an Attendance Peer Learning focused on improving student outcomes by increasing attendance or reducing chronic absenteeism.
The Attendance Peer Learning Network offers local schools the opportunity to increase student attendance – and consequently, academic outcomes – through the use of disaggregated data, peer-to-peer learning, coaching, and technical assistance using evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies and continuous improvement tools. We will convene teams from local secondary schools over a 12-month period during the 2018-2019 school year to increase attendance or reduce chronic absenteeism.
All school teams selected to participate will use a common strategy (attendance) to improve student outcomes.