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Duties of Attendance Supervisors

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
January 20, 2017

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

AMENDED LEGISLATION TO REDEFINE DUTIES OF ATTENDANCE SUPERVISORS

I am writing today to share important information about the new and expanded responsibilities for attendance supervisors identified in Assembly Bill 2815 (O’Donnell).

Under AB 2815, which went into effect on January 1, 2017, the role of attendance supervisors has been redefined to include more effective practices to address chronic absenteeism and truancy.

Reducing California’s high chronic absenteeism rates is a priority in the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), and this update to California Education Code sections 48240–48244 is a tool for meeting local goals for reducing chronic absenteeism rates. These changes in attendance supervision practices help promote a culture of attendance and improve local systems to accurately track pupil attendance by grade level and pupil subgroup.

You may find it helpful to review the effective practices described in this legislation as you consider the duties of your attendance supervisor and assistant attendance supervisors.

Identified duties for your attendance supervisors in this legislation include the following:

  • Raise the awareness of school personnel, parents, guardians, caregivers, community partners, and local businesses of the effects of chronic absenteeism, truancy, and other challenges associated with poor attendance.
  • Identify and respond to grade level or pupil subgroup patterns of chronic absenteeism or truancy.
  • Identify and address factors contributing to chronic absenteeism and habitual truancy, including suspension and expulsion.
  • Ensure that pupils with attendance problems are identified as early as possible to provide applicable support services and interventions.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of strategies implemented to reduce chronic absenteeism rates and truancy rates.

In addition, your attendance supervisor may refer chronic absentees and truants to critical support services and interventions that will help them get back on track with their education. Examples of these key services and interventions benefiting high-risk youth listed in the legislation are as follows:

  • A conference between school personnel, the pupil’s parent or guardian, and the pupil.
  • Promoting co-curricular and extracurricular activities that increase pupil connectedness to school, such as tutoring, mentoring, the arts, service learning, or athletics.
  • Recognizing pupils who achieve excellent attendance or demonstrate significant improvement in attendance.
  • Referral to a school nurse, school counselor, school psychologist, school social worker, and other pupil support personnel for case management and counseling.
  • Collaboration with child welfare services, law enforcement, courts, public health care agencies, and other government agencies or medical, mental health, and oral health care providers to receive necessary services.
  • Collaboration with school study teams, guidance teams, school attendance review teams, or other intervention-related teams to assess the attendance or behavior problem in partnership with the pupil and his or her parents, guardians, or caregivers.
  • In schools with significantly higher rates of chronic absenteeism, identify barriers to attendance that may require schoolwide strategies rather than case management.
  • Referral for a comprehensive psychosocial or psychoeducational assessment.
  • Referral to a school attendance review board.
  • Referral to a county truancy mediation program.

Over the past several years, many of you have already implemented policy and program changes to reduce chronic absenteeism rates in your LCAPs. I appreciate your efforts to address these problems with data-based decision making and positive family engagement. This legislation will further statewide efforts to reduce chronic absenteeism rates and truancy rates for all of California’s students.

I applaud the Legislature for addressing the attendance crisis in California, a crisis that disproportionately impacts students of color, students with disabilities, foster youth, and homeless youth.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Education Programs Consultant David Kopperud in the Educational Options Office, Student Support, and American Indian Education Office [Note: the preceding office name has changed], by phone at 916-323-1028 or by e-mail at dkopperud@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Tom Torlakson

TT:dk
2016-09033

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, April 1, 2020

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