LCFF Priority 5 Statement of Model PracticesLocal Control Funding Formula (LCFF) Priority 5 Statements of Model Practices are intended to support LEAs and their stakeholders in the Local Control and Accountability Plan development process.
Desired Results: From preschool through grade 12, all students experience a positive self-identity in relation to school. Students enjoy an engaging educational curriculum and supportive relationships at school. Barriers to regular school attendance including mental health, nutritional, and transportation needs are reduced if not eliminated.
All student groups, including students of historically disadvantaged groups, students with disabilities, students in poverty, English learners, and foster youth, benefit from improved access to mental health and other appropriate student support services.
LEAs implement data driven strategies to reduce chronic absenteeism and dropout rates and to increase attendance and graduation rates.
Model Practices: Model practices that promote student engagement in preschool through grade 12 may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Implement a Plan to Address Student Engagement.
- LEAs address absenteeism, dropout, and graduation rates systematically through a planned process that monitors and responds in real time to students who are chronically absent and at risk of dropping out and not graduating.
- When developing a plan for addressing student engagement, LEAs consider many factors, including but not limited to:
- Students’ perceptions of the relevancy of education to their lives (i.e. does school provide real-world experiences?);
- Class sizes;
- Effectiveness of classroom discipline/behavior management;
- Current and long-term needs of all significant student groups, including mental, physical, and nutritional health;
- The extent to which students have a sense of belonging and feel that they matter.
- Schools form attendance review teams that meet regularly (ideally at least twice a month) to: (a) review overall data on patterns of chronic absenteeism, (b) oversee implementation of a school-wide approach to improving attendance, and (c) ensure chronically absent students receive needed supports, including health services. The schoolwide plan includes attendance strategies that stress prevention and early intervention, as well as intensive interventions, such as a School Attendance Review Board (SARB) referral.
- Comprehensive school safety plans are reviewed and updated by March 1 of each school year to address opportunities for plan improvement, including how the plan addresses excessive school suspensions and bullying.
- The goals of the local school attendance review board reflect the goals, actions, and services in the LEA’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) that address priority 5.
- Include baseline data when setting targets for chronic absenteeism, dropout, attendance, and high school graduation rates. Set expected goals and measurable outcomes for specific student groups as well as outcomes that apply to all students.
- Seek to Understand Needs of All Students.
- Through a planned process for engaging students, LEAs seek to understand current and long-term needs of all significant student groups, including mental, physical, and nutritional health. The effectiveness of strategies implemented to improve student engagement is evaluated at least on an annual basis through the development of the annual update section of the LCAP.
- LEAs track and respond to students who do not show up at the start of the school year or do not show up after expected school transfers.
- Schools develop/maintain the capacity to quickly intervene on behalf of students who are chronically absent or at risk of being chronically absent. Different supports exist to build this capacity, including access to regular attendance reports showing an analysis of chronic absenteeism rates. The analysis reports the chronic absenteeism rates for a variety of groups and locations, which may include rates for schools, grade levels, and student group populations as well as a list of chronically absent students as appropriate. The analysis considers state and LEA-wide averages.
- On an annual basis, LEAs conduct root cause analyses at the school level to determine barriers to attendance and what actions or supports may be needed to address attendance barriers for student groups with high chronic absenteeism rates.
- School staff call parents of absent students and report reasons for absences to school leadership.
- School staff participate in Youth Mental Health First Aid or other similar professional learning programs to learn specific skills to support students experiencing a mental health crisis.
- Support Students and Families Through Positive Learning Environments.
- LEAs raise the awareness of school personnel, parents, guardians, caregivers, community partners, and local businesses of the effects of chronic absenteeism and truancy and other challenges associated with poor student engagement, especially (but not only) during Attendance Awareness Month (September).
- LEAs recognize the relationship between a supportive school climate and positive rates of student engagement.8 Schools provide learning environments that are both physically and emotionally safe in accordance with California’s social and emotional learning guiding principles.
- In contexts where chronic illnesses or mental health challenges result in poor student engagement, LEAs establish school-based health centers to provide additional services to students.
- Challenging student behavior is addressed through positive, proactive interventions that are not reactive or punitive in nature.
- Schools assign adult mentors to chronically absent students, especially those in high-risk student groups.
- Schools hold conferences with students/families/guardians/caregivers for chronically absent students and habitual truants to work collaboratively with the student’s family to identify barriers to attendance as well as resources to overcome the identified barriers.
- Develop and implement individual attendance improvement plans to provide needed student supports for chronically absent students.
- LEAs expand school counseling or school social work services to student groups and grade levels at risk of poor school attendance.
- LEAs ensure students, including foster and homeless youth, have access to safe, adequate school transportation options.