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  • Erica Peterson

Highlights from the CASCWA 86th Annual State Conference in Fresno

Brenda Tapp at the CASCWA Booth

I had the privilege of attending the recent California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance (CASCWA) Annual State Conference.

The meeting brought together educators, administrators, and professionals from across the state. Our focus? To discuss critical issues surrounding child welfare and attendance. I’m excited to share some of my key takeaways and highlights from the conference.

Thursday morning began on an inspiring note with Frank Allocco, who set the tone for the conference. His theme was "Empowering Students, Empowering Lives." He shared his journey as a student, how he got to play for Notre Dame, and then become an athletic coach himself. He left us motivated and eager to engage!

Ian Fish, Alvord USD, and Brenda Tapp, SI&A, presenting at CASCWA

The conference featured various panel discussions and sessions featuring key stakeholders. SI&A partnered up with The Achievement Initiative partners, Sanger USD and Alvord USD for sessions on attendance. The workshops provided valuable insights into the challenges districts face with attendance. They also offered perspectives on the opportunities to address attendance issues. If you weren’t able to join us, you can watch clips from our workshops here and here.

We also presented our research report, “Chronic Absence Patterns Across California Schools.” The report focuses on the attendance gaps among historically marginalized student groups. It highlights the ongoing disparities in attendance. It provides insight into patterns of chronic absenteeism. Additionally, it discusses successful mitigation strategies used in K-12 schools to improve attendance.

Erik Elorriaga, SI&A, presenting at CASCWA

It's always valuable to connect with like-minded professionals in the field. CASCWA provided ample networking opportunities during breaks, lunches, and social events. It facilitated the exchange of ideas, best practices, and collaborative partnerships among attendees. They foster a sense of community and shared purpose.

My takeaway? Our collective commitment is to empower students and improve their educational experiences. I left the conference feeling inspired, equipped with practical tools, and eager to make a difference in the lives of students. Are you an educator, district administrator, or passionate about child welfare and attendance? I highly recommend joining CASCWA.


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