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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
March 1, 2023

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

Reducing Chronic Absence through Expanded Learning Programs and Existing School Resources

I invite you to join our Reducing Chronic Absence through Expanded Learning Programs and Existing School Resources webinar this Friday, March 3, 2023, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. This webinar is open to local educational agencies, school administrators, educators, support staff, and community partners. This virtual event is an opportunity to learn about proven strategies to support schools, students, and families in the efforts to improve attendance. The webinar will also uplift initiatives that directly address chronic absenteeism at the district, school, familial, and communal levels. This is the second in a series of webinars the California Department of Education (CDE) will be presenting in partnership with Attendance Works, one of the nation’s leading authorities on attendance supports for schools, students, and families.

Clearly, we face an unprecedented crisis. Reducing chronic absence had always been a priority of my administration, but the recent spike in chronic absence numbers has elevated our focus even more. Critical to our approach is expanding partnerships and collaboration at every level. Our goal is to provide both immediate resources to respond to urgent challenges and provide examples of initiatives that address the worsening inequities that challenge families—especially our most vulnerable communities. Participants will learn from experts in research and data analysis as well as practitioners from the field who will offer examples of successful programs that increase attendance.

This series of discussions will explore how especially engaging expanded learning programs, particularly afterschool and summer learning programs, can help to reduce chronic absence. This webinar will include the voices of practitioners offering examples of how they address chronic absence in their own communities. Panelists include:

  • Steve Zimmer, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, CDE Student Support and Services Branch
  • Michael Funk, Director, CDE Expanded Learning Division
  • Hedy Chang, CEO, Attendance Works
  • Zandra Jo Galván, Superintendent, Greenfield Union School District
  • Dr. Martinrex Kedziora, Superintendent, Moreno Valley Unified School District

This is our moment to join together to engage this crisis. We all know that all of the wondrous things that are possible through public education cannot happen for a child unless they are in school. Please join us.

Register in advance via Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_MaEgwxZ4RViQwz69KBcwJA, or you can watch a livestream of the webinar on the CDE Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CAEducation.

Sincerely,

Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, March 01, 2023

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