• Erica Peterson

Enrollment, Engagement & ADA

Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in a webinar hosted by the California Association of Latino School Administrators (CALSA) alongside FCMAT and Attendance Works. They asked me how our districts are approaching attendance differently this year. My answer came down to several key recommendations:


Watch this short 2:34 clip from the webinar.

  • Assume nothing: Do a top-to-bottom review of existing processes and practices. In SY2019-20, attendance-taking practices blew up overnight. Look at your attendance code table. Ask school sites how they code specific absences (give them scenarios if you need to) to ensure everyone knows and uses attendance codes in the same way.

  • You can’t change, what you can’t measure: Data is critical to determine what is working or not working related to why students miss school. If you haven’t already, update your excused absence attendance code table to include a pandemic-related absence code and mental health absence code.

  • Turn the negative into a positive: Districts need to take a positive, proactive approach to instill good attendance habits. We are focused on positive communications to families-- increasing the number of communications that schools currently use to rebuild the habit of attendance. We are repeatedly talking about attendance and explaining the benefits of kids coming to school to parents.


You can watch the entire CALSA webinar with SI&A here.