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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #24-29
May 9, 2024
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Model School Attendance Review Board Recipients for 2024

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced that 23 school attendance review boards (SARBs) have been designated as model programs by the State SARB for exemplary practices that contribute to reducing chronic absenteeism rates and improving student attendance.

Being recognized as a Model SARB signifies more than just excellence. These Model SARBs have voluntarily committed to serve as expert role models and support providers for other SARBs in school districts and counties seeking technical assistance throughout the state. Their support includes sharing resources, offering peer-to-peer coaching, and hosting visits to discuss their successful strategies in person. Additionally, Model SARBs may share their best practices through webinars and workshops at both statewide and regional conferences.

The Model SARB Recognition Program identifies and recognizes multi-tiered school attendance improvement programs at the district or county level. These include efforts to reduce the use of exclusionary school discipline practices of suspensions and expulsions and replace them with prevention efforts and positive alternative means of correction.

  • Early Intervention: The exemplary practices implemented by this year’s recipients share similarities. Among them are the frequent and consistent practices of School Attendance Review Teams, whose members recognize their role as “the catalyst in supporting and improving student attendance and behavior.” A focus on early interventions is key to de-escalating trends toward chronic absenteeism, truancy, and suspension.
  • Professional Development and Added Staff: Recipients have taken the vital step of utilizing increased school funds to invest in new and existing staff. Improved professional development focuses on enhancing cultural competencies, elevating social and emotional learning, recognizing and addressing mental health needs, and engaging practices for students in remote learning. The addition of counselors and social workers allows for rapid and positive response aimed at mitigating the needs of disengaged students.
  • Family Engagement and School Connectedness: To best meet the needs of students and families, some recipients have adjusted the processes for attendance improvement as a way to provide students and families with individual and needed support to ensure they are successful, feel valued, and are connected to their school community. A key part of the SARB process involves asking about, respecting, and understanding students and their families within their lived experience. Communications and interventions at the school and district levels provide education to families via newsletters and attendance presentations to inform and empower parents and guardians. Community resources and partnerships help further mitigate the many barriers to attendance faced by students and families.

State Superintendent Thurmond convenes the State SARB, which brings together key agencies, professional organizations, and community partners for statewide policy coordination and personnel training to divert students with serious attendance and behavior problems from the juvenile justice system and to reduce the number of dropouts in the state public education system.

The Model SARB Recognition awards were presented at the California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance State Conference on April 26, 2024, in Monterey.

2024 Model SARBs and their Chairpersons
  • Alvord Unified School District, Ian Fish
  • Anaheim Elementary School District, Yvette Magana
  • Campbell Union School District, Pablo Viramontes
  • Fontana Unified School District, Jose Luis Barzaga
  • Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, Karen Dabney-Lieras
  • Hemet Unified School District, Tammy L. Griffiths
  • Kern High School District, Roberto De la Rosa, Jr.
  • Las Virgenes Unified School District, Angie Falk
  • Lindsay Unified School District, Laura Cortes
  • Long Beach Unified School District, Lushandra Prioleau
  • Los Angeles Unified School District, Elsy Rosado
  • Menifee Union School District, Melinda Conde
  • Moreno Valley Unified School District, Tim Biland
  • Morgan Hill Unified School District, Jessica Swift
  • Needles Unified School District, Jamie Wiesner
  • Rowland Unified School District, Annette Ramirez
  • Sanger Unified School District, Johnny P. Gonzalez
  • Santa Ana Unified School District, Orlando Navarro
  • School Attendance Review Board 14—Hawthorne School District and Wiseburn Unified School District, David Mallchok
  • School Attendance Review Board 16—El Segundo Unified School District, Hermosa Beach City School District, Manhattan Beach Unified School District, Redondo Beach Unified School District, Jens Brandt
  • Sequoia Union High School District, Jarrett Dooley
  • Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools, Rob Egger
  • Upland Unified School District, Antonio Moreno

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

Last Reviewed: Thursday, May 09, 2024
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