Blog Article

VA’s Online Training Series: Leveraging the Power of Technology

May 20, 2016

Virginia’s Department of Education has created an online training series to address and eliminate chronic absenteeism in schools across the state.

“This training will assist schools and districts in looking at current practice and in looking at ways to improve future practice with the goal of addressing and eliminating chronic absenteeism,” said Jo Ann Burkholder, Director, Office of Student Services, VDOE. “Creating a culture of good attendance will help Virginia reach its ultimate goal – to boost each student’s achievement and success later in life.”

Each of the 12 modules includes a video and power point slides that provide, in a step-by-step progression, information to understand the importance of addressing chronic absenteeism and how a school or district can create a culture of good attendance and strategies to turn-around a chronic absence problem. The training, dubbed Attendance and Truancy Among Virginia Students, can be viewed individually or in a group, and each lesson includes a facilitator and participant guide for reflection on each session that can create a working document to address chronic absenteeism.

Attendance Works is proud to partner with VDOE on this training. Through its leadership on the critically important issue of reducing chronic absenteeism, VDOE has developed an innovative approach to help districts and schools build programs to address chronic absenteeism. It serves as an excellent example of how today’s technology can be used to build capacity around addressing chronic absenteeism. VDOE’s modules also can inform how states across the country approach providing much needed technical assistance on implementing strategies that address chronic absenteeism.

VDOE announced the training series in April at its two-day spring institute: Every Student, Every Day: Strategies to Address Attendance and Truancy. Including chronic absenteeism in the state’s accountability system is key to making sure schools meet the needs of families today, said Steven Staples, Virginia’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. “When I look at families today I see only about 4% that meet that ideal created by [the 1950s-60s television show] Leave It to Beaver,” Staples said during the spring institute. Schools have to change how they operate to support students and families in today’s reality, he added.

The modules start with an introduction by Joseph Wharff, School Counseling Specialist with VDOE. The topics in the modules are:

  • Module 1: Understanding Chronic Absenteeism
  • Module 2: Frameworks for Reducing Chronic Absence
  • Module 3: Establishing School Attendance Teams
  • Module 4: Using Data to Drive Action
  • Module 5: Messaging Attendance
  • Module 6: Integrating Attendance In Parent Engagement
  • Module 7: Leveraging Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • Module 8: Recognizing Good and Improved Attendance
  • Module 9: Providing Personalized Early Outreach
  • Module 10: Identifying Barriers
  • Module 11: Engaging Community Partners
  • Module 12: Creating Opportunities for Peer Learning

Click here to find the 12 part Module: Attendance & Truancy Among Virginia Students.

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