RIVERSIDE – Students whose academic careers include frequent and recurring absences are subject to lower academic performance, are more susceptible to dropping out of high school, and are less likely to complete college according to a 2014 research report from the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP). With social, economic, and educational outcomes dependent on student attendance and achievement, leaders in law enforcement, education, and community organizations will gather at the 4th Annual Chronic Absenteeism Conference on Friday, September 30, 2016, at the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center (14075 Frederick Street, Moreno Valley).
The conference is a Riverside County initiative bringing together schools, community, and statewide leaders to strengthen the connection between school attendance and academic achievement through research-based practices and strategies. The conference’s general and workshop sessions will focus on trauma-informed practices, engaging and effective parenting strategies, and strategic planning to increase attendance that align to the state priorities in the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) requirements with specific emphasis on school climate, student engagement and parent involvement.
“When school districts focus resources and use research-based strategies, attendance rates increase and chronic absenteeism decreases due to targeting and addressing the need rather than strictly using punitive measures,” said Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Kenneth M. Young.
The Chronic Absenteeism Conference, as part of Attendance Awareness Month throughout September, includes a full day of workshops from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is $100 and includes breakfast, lunch, and event materials. Online registration is available at http://rcoe.k12oms.org/eventdetail.php?id=115268.
Scheduled participants include:
- Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Kenneth M. Young
- Riverside County District Attorney, Mike Hestrin
- California Department of Education Coordinated Student Support Division Director, Gordon Jackson
- Moreno Valley Unified School District Governing Board President, Jesus M. Holguin
- Martin Luther King High School Theater Students
The keynote speaker will be Gordon Jackson, Director of Coordinated Student Support Division at the California Department of Education. Jackson’s team is responsible for coordinating funding processes and providing technical assistance for a wide array of statewide programs, including Coordinated School Health, School and Community Violence Prevention, Tobacco-Use Prevention, Foster Youth Services, Mental Health Services, School Climate/School Engagement, American Indian Education, Educational Options, and more.
“The importance of this conference to discuss best practices for keeping our youth in school cannot be stressed enough. There most certainly is a link between school attendance and the success of our youth later in life,” said Riverside County District Attorney, Mike Hestrin. “When I took office in January 2015, one of the first things I did was form our Crime Prevention Unit. That unit, and the DA’s Office as a whole, work closely with our schools and our community to help keep our youth in the classroom and out of our judicial system.”
School Attendance Awareness Month is a national initiative sponsored by Attendance Works (http://www.attendanceworks.org/join-us-attendance-awareness-campaign-2016/) that brings together families, schools, community, and statewide leaders to publicize the connection between school attendance and academic achievement.
For additional information on the conference, please contact Catherine Belcher, Administrative Assistant, Riverside County Office of Education at (951) 826-6321, or Jasmine Marquez, Riverside County District Attorney’s Office at (951) 358-3764.