State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that 23 school attendance programs were recognized as model School Attendance Review Boards (SARBs) for outstanding strategies to reduce chronic absenteeism and increase student attendance.
“In order for students to reach their full learning potential, they need to be in school,” said State Superintendent Thurmond. “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.”
Statewide chronic absenteeism data became available for the first time in 2017 and demonstrated chronic absenteeism patterns in schools districts and counties. Last year, chronic absenteeism became a state indicator on the California School Dashboard and increased awareness of the high chronic absenteeism rates in the state, particularly among the following student subgroups: Students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged students, homeless, and foster youth.
Students are considered chronic absentees if they miss 10 percent or more of the school days they have been enrolled. Students and families are referred for SARB meetings when a school has tried and failed to prevent or resolve attendance or behavior problems.
State Superintendent Thurmond convenes the State SARB to bring 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,” said Thurmond. “It is not just about what schools can do but what schools, communities, and parents can do working together.”
Thurmond has spent years working to reduce chronic absenteeism. As an Assemblymember, he authored and helped to pass the Learning Communities for School Success Program (AB 1014), which has provided over $68 million in grants to schools seeking to resolve attendance problems for students in grades K–12.
The expert panel appointed by Thurmond reviewed the applications submitted by local and county SARBs throughout the state.
The Model SARB award recognizes excellence in specific content areas, including establishing goals and objectives, implementing prevention and intervention strategies, and developing collaborations with local agency resources.
All 23 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:
- Alhambra Unified School District, Lindsey Ma, Chairperson, 626-943-3410, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alvord Unified School District, Sandy Fielding, Chairperson, 951-509-5139, email@example.com
- Banning Unified School District, Dr. Janet Gray and Dr. Barbara Wolford, Chairpersons, 951-922-0200, extension 104005, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
- Bellflower Unified and Paramount Unified School Districts, Malcohm Heron, Chairperson, 562-866-9011, extension 7410, MalcohmHeron@BUSD.k12.CA.US
- Corona-Norco Unified School District, Kathy Lee, Chairperson, 951-736-5093, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Desert Sands Unified School District, Catherine Bennett, Chairperson, 760-238-9708, Catherine.Bennett@desertsands.us
- Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified School District, Terry Anderson, Chairperson, 559-659-3899, email@example.com
- Fontana Unified School District, Craig Baker, Chairperson, 909-357-7600, extension 29087, Craig.Baker@fusd.net
- Glendale Unified School District, Dr. Ilin Magran, Chairperson, 818-241-3111, extension 1500, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, Cynthia Cabello, Chairperson, 626-933-4335, email@example.com
- Hemet Unified School District, Dennis Massey, Chairperson, 951-765-5100, extension 3700, Dmassey@hemetusd.org
- Jurupa Unified School District, Sandra Amatriain, Chairperson, 951-360-4137, Sandrafirstname.lastname@example.org
- Lake Elsinore Unified School District, Dr. Steve Behar, Chairperson, 951-253-7033, email@example.com
- Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District, Scott Vernoy, Chairperson, 925-606-3207, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Long Beach Unified School District, Dr. Erin Simon, Chairperson, 562-986-6870, extension 241, ESimon@lbschools.net
- Los Banos Unified School District, Dan Martin, Chairperson, 209-509-5949, email@example.com
- Menifee Union School District, Caroline Luke, Chairperson, 951-672-1351, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Perris Elementary School District, Cynthia Leon, Chairperson, 951-940-4942, ext. 3210, Cynthia.email@example.com
- Redondo Beach Unified School District, Hermosa City Beach School District, Manhattan Beach Unified School District, and El Segundo Unified School District, Anthony Bridi, Chairperson, 310-798-8690, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rialto Unified School District, Adam Waggoner, Chairperson, 909-873-4336, extension 2381, email@example.com
- Romoland School District, Ricky Alyassi, Chairperson, 951-926-9244, extension 1221, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Santa Ana Unified School District, Gaudencio Marquez, Chairperson, 714-433-3476, email@example.com
- Vacaville Unified School District, Ramiro Barron, Chairperson, 707-453-7126, extension 225, RamiroB@vacavilleusd.org