How to Improve School Attendance

A Practical Guide for Schools and School Districts
A Project of the Los Angeles County Education Coordinating Council


Three-Tiered Approach to Attendance

A comprehensive program to improve and maintain good school attendance is usually based on a three-tiered intervention model, sometimes called a positive behavioral pyramid.

Figure 1

Universal Level

Universal supports are intrinsic to the school culture and are offered to all students with the goal of establishing 96 percent attendance (proficient) or better throughout the student body. These preventions and interventions include teaching attendance, reinforcing good habits, creating a positive school climate, communicating goals, and establishing an attendance plan.

Early Intervention Level

Early interventions are provided to students with basic attendance (92 to 95 percent) and below basic attendance (87 to 91 percent). These include re-teaching attendance practices, identifying atrisk students, offering student and family supports, and documenting and monitoring attendance.

Intensive Intervention Level

Students with far below basic attendance (less than 87 percent) receive intensive intervention, including the development of specific individual plans, educational alternatives, and intensive case management.

The Components of a Comprehensive Plan

The components of such a comprehensive plan include:

eound bullet  A formal attendance program (Module 1: Attendance)

eound bullet  A student discipline/positive behavior support framework
(Module 2: Student Discipline andPositive Behavioral Support)

eound bullet  Parent involvement tools and initiatives (Module 3: Parent Involvement)

eound bullet  Partnerships with community-based and faith-based organizations, along with other governmental agencies
(Module 4: School-Community Partnerships)

eound bullet  Mental health services and linkages

eound bullet  Anti-bullying programs

eound bullet  A school safety manual

eound bullet  Pre-kindergarten programs

eound bullet  Governance structures and integration across categories

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