All Hands Raised recently featured the story below in an email out to partners.
Meet “Sarah,” a fifth grader with a long history of chronic absenteeism. In September, Sarah was attending school less than half of the time. A Student Attendance Response Team noticed phone calls and meetings with Sarah’s parents were making no impact, so a member of the attendance team sat down to talk with her directly about the hopes she had for her future, so she could more fully understand how school is the pathway to the life she envisions for herself. As a result of the conversation, and positive reinforcement by her teacher and staff members, Sarah is now regularly attending school. In fact, since her meeting with a member of the attendance team, Sarah has attended school nearly 90% of school days.
All Hands Raised is helping our schools build attendance teams to make this example the “new normal.” With schools, social service providers and non-profits at the same table looking at data, we will begin to see more students, like Sarah, stay on course to achieve their future hopes and dreams.
Behind the data, there is an amazing person who has potential – in this case, it’s Sarah.