Attendance & Engagement Program

Attendance and Engagement Program
Posted on 08/01/2022
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Throughout the pandemic, students have been disconnected or disengaged from their education at unprecedented levels. The Attendance and Engagement Program aims to reconnect youth and families who have disconnected from education and prevent youth who are at-risk of disengaging through district and community programs.

During the 2022-23 school year, ESD 123 is collaborating with four districts for additional support through Attendance and Engagement Specialists. Clarkston and Kiona-Benton City School Districts have received direct iGrants through the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), while Finley and Columbia School Districts are partnering directly with ESD 123 for coordination of attendance and engagement specialists. Districts were identified based on three indicators: attendance, graduation rate, and course completion.

The Attendance and Engagement team aims to build attendance and engagement systems that will keep students engaged long term. Specialists will work to lower chronic absenteeism by working with building leaders, utilizing needs assessments to identify areas of improvement in the building.

According to the Washington State Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), attendance and engagement falls in the continuum of supports. Tiered support identifies needs for all students. Overarching themes on which specialists will focus:

  • Monitoring data to proactively provide services to students
  • Teach and recognize attendance expectations
  • Respond to identified barriers
  • Ensure a positive school climate for all students
  • Identify community resources available

Additionally, Attendance Works is partnering with Washington State to provide professional development to all districts and specialized support to identified districts.

ESD 123 Regional Engagement and Attendance Coordinator, Malorie Kahl, says, “The key to attendance and engagement support in buildings is utilizing real time data to address early warning signs and, in turn, create relationships that build a bridge back to educational pathways for all students.”

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