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August 2016 Alliance Newsletter - Reduce chronic absenteeism                         View this email on the web.
September is Attendance Awareness Month
Help your students get a great start to the year!
This newsletter provides Utah-specific and national resources to help staff, students, and families understand how important regular attendance is to student success, and help you work together to get kids to school every day to learn.

Governor Gary Herbert declared September in Utah Attendance Awareness Month -- for the 4th year!

*Please share these resources with your staff, PTA, parents, community partners & other colleagues. 
New video highlights Utah bright spots!
Focus on three key attendance strategies
Reducing Chronic Absenteeism: Every Day Counts!  This video from REL West first describes the prevalence, causes, and academic consequences of chronic absenteeism in Utah and across the nation. 
It then addresses promising strategies for reducing chronic absence, highlighting three schools in Utah that have built schoolwide cultures of good attendance, used data to identify students missing school to trigger outreach, and personalized outreach to support students. The 19-minute video is designed to be viewed in its entirety or can be stopped after each segment for discussion and reflection.

Also: See accompanying viewing & discussion guide.
See special Attendance Awareness Month website 
Free resources for you to use and customize
Attendance Works, the nation's go-to source for reducing chronic absence, promotes September as Attendance Awareness Month to kick off the new school year and because student attendance in the first month of school can impact behavior and success throughout the year.

Their Attendance Awareness Month website has great action ideas and outreach campaign templates, and connects you to others working on this issue.

A key resource is their Count Us In! Toolkit (2016).

On their site you can also sign up for regular updates and an August 16 webinar on cross-sector partnerships to increase student attendance.
Revisit Utah event videos and resources
Statewide events galvanized attendance action!
Check out these REL West/USOE event web pages that provide video clips of presenters and related materials that you can review with your teams:

Every Day Counts: Increasing Attendance to Improve Student Outcomes in Utah
Featuring Hedy Chang, Director of Attendance Works; a panel of Utah educators; and a presentation of Utah research on chronic absence

Every Day Counts: Utah Policy Forum
Featuring Hedy Chang, Lt. Governor Cox, and
a panel of national practitioners
Resources for reducing chronic absence
Selected research and tools 
Every Student, Every Day: A Community Toolkit to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism (2015)
New Action Toolkit, broken out for variety of audiences, from the U.S. Departments of Education, Justice, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development.

The Honor of Their Presence is Requested (2016) Slides presented by Susan Loving and Lisa Wisham, USOE Specialists, at Utah's 2016 statewide Student Advocacy Summer Conference. Links to resources and helpful discussion questions are included.

Webinars from Attendance Works: Recorded webinars covering everything from working with parents to motivating teens to attend school all year.

Research Brief: Chronic Absenteeism 
Report from the Utah Education Policy Center about the number of students who are chronically absent in Utah, and how attendance relates to outcomes.
Share your story! Connect with colleagues!
Have you tried new attendance strategies?
Spread your successes: If you have implemented new student or family supports, created new communications focused on attendance, looked at your student data in a different way, or done anything else that has shown results, let us know so we can share your ideas with other Utah educators.



Free support: Would you like REL West to come to your school/district to facilitate a conversation about improving student attendance, anchored by our new video? If so, email Kenwyn Derby. Every Day Counts!
Look soon for a special section of the Utah Education Network (UEN) website dedicated to reducing chronic absence in Utah!



The Dropout Prevention Alliance for Utah Students with Disabilities
brings together schools and other organizations working to decrease dropout rates and increase graduation rates for all students, including students with disabilities. In partnership with the Utah State Office of Education, the National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities, and REL West at WestEd, schools learn together through training, technical assistance, research, and collaboration.  


Key Contacts

Utah State Office of Education: Susan Loving
REL West: BethAnn Berliner
REL West Utah: Kenwyn Derby
Map Highlight: Utah
 
 
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This newsletter was prepared under Contract ED-IES-12-C-0002, from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, by the Regional Educational Laboratory West, administered by WestEd. The content of the publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IES or the U.S. Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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