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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #14-49
May 6, 2014
Contact: Pam Slater
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces 2014 Model Attendance Improvement Programs

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that six programs in California schools have been designated as models of attendance improvement and dropout prevention by the State School Attendance Review Board (SARB).

The announcement comes on the heels of news that California has increased its graduation rate to slightly above 80 percent.

"Keeping kids in school and learning is at the heart of these efforts," Torlakson said. "In California, we have a group of exceptional SARBs leading the way with strategies that help districts reduce chronic absenteeism and dropping out."

Local SARBs are created by school districts to assist students with attendance problems that sometimes are due to chronic illness, truancy, transportation problems, disabilities, behavioral health issues, or other causes. Members of SARBs represent agencies that serve youth.

Recent studies have shown that chronic absenteeism that begins in kindergarten can result in major reading problems by third grade. Many of students' academic struggles can be traced to early attendance problems.

The State SARB, authorized by the California Education Code, makes recommendations to Torlakson regarding the needs of and services to high-risk youth. State SARB members evaluated applications for the recognition program submitted by local SARBs throughout the state. The Model SARB award recognizes excellence in specific content areas, including SARB chairperson leadership, interventions prior to SARB referral, community collaboration, inventory of resources for high-risk youth, goals and objectives, program design and content, measuring and reporting outcomes, and interpersonal communication.

The six model SARBs that serve seven California districts will act now as mentors to help other county and district programs make improvements in their own districts' attendance and dropout rates. This year's model SARB awards will be presented May 9, 2014, at the State Conference of the California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance in Lemoore, California.

A list of the six SARBs and their SARB chairpersons is attached below.

For more information on the SARB process for attendance improvement and dropout reduction, visit the California Department of Education School Attendance Review Boards Web page.

2013–14 Model School Attendance Review Board Programs
  1. Chino Valley Unified School District, School Attendance Review Board (SARB) Chairperson Colleen Alton,, 909-628-1201.
  2. Corona-Norco Unified School District, SARB Chairperson Dr. Felicia Cruz-Delgado,, 951-736-5111.
  3. Covina Valley Unified School District and Charter Oak Unified School District (SARB 28), SARB Chairperson Dr. Jessica Houpt,, 626-974-7000, extension 2085.
  4. Downey Unified School District, SARB Chairperson Dr. Robert Arroyo Jagielski,, 562-469-6564.
  5. Pajaro Valley Unified School District, SARB Chairperson ShaKenya Edison,, 831-786-2390.
  6. Twin Rivers Unified School District, SARB Chairpersons Jane Claar and Tracey Wiltshire, and, 916-566-1615.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Thursday, May 19, 2016
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