Increasing Attendance One Student at a Time

By Allyson Wilkins; Tonya Edrington

Increasing Attendance One Student at a Time
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Project Goal

The goal of the research is to increase school attendance by implementing lessons designed to inform students about the importance of school attendance for school achievement.

Project Context

This research will be conducted at the fieldwork site where Allyson Wilkins is currently interning. Midland Elementary School is located in Poway, California and serves students in grades K-5. It has the unique title of being the oldest school in the district with first serving students in 1925. Approximately 35% of our students qualify for free/reduced meals and Title I support. Our racial/ethnic student population breaks down in the following way: 3% African-American, 7% Asian, 4% Filipino, 32% Hispanic, 50% Caucasian, and 3% other. English Learners (ELs) comprise roughly 35% of our student population. There are more than 20 different languages represented on our campus, with Spanish being the most predominant behind English. During the reporting periods for the No Child Left Behind Act, our Academic Performance Index (API) increased from 827 to a high of 911. The majority of Midland students demonstrated proficiency on the California Standards Test in both Math and English/Language Arts in the 2014-2015 school year and a positive trend was seen of students who performed at the Far Below Basic and Below Basic levels toward the Basic and Proficient levels of understanding. Improved school attendance will help increase student performance.

Project Significance

Student attendance has been one of the major problems in student performance at school. Although high achievement is a goal of most students, when students do not attend the classes, their learning will be impeded. The significance of this project is primarily for making an impact on school attendance, which has been a considerable problem in students’ steady academic development. Findings from this action research on this topic may promote similar efforts by counselors, teachers and other school staff for increasing school attendance.

Four weeks of lunchtime lessons will be held on Tuesdays in March and April 2016. Lunchtime lessons will be conducted to give students information on various topics related to attendance. An incentive will be provided each week that includes lunch and snacks. In the first cycle of this action research, Ms. Wilkins conducted a classroom lesson and then monitored participants on their attendance for four weeks. In the second cycle, she will hold lunchtime lessons where she will focus on a certain aspect related to attendance each week; that is, attendance review, ways to stay healthy, ways to ensure daily attendance, and so on.

 

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