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We Are Teaching Them, But Are We Reaching Them?

This is the first post from a three-part series addressing the basic necessities of school culture that must be met before we can talk about engaging students in a classroom. Stayed tuned for part two!

Reflections on School Culture Necessities Before We Can Talk About Student Engagement

There are a number of tried and true effective components that support scholarly focus and learning. However, I want to explore this idea from another perspective. There are actually three steps to engaging a scholar even before we can dig into the academic engagement piece. In order for a scholar to perform at high levels, three things must be true. The scholar must be at school, be in class, and be focused on listening and learning.

Before we can even attempt to get our scholars thinking, working, and growing, the school team must attend to these preliminary layers of engagement in order to reach 100% of scholars.

Step 1: Get the Kids to School! On Time. Every Day.

In reviewing data on school truancy and chronic tardiness, many schools are struggling with this step. In schools across the country, truancy rates have not fully returned to pre-pandemic levels. Mindsets have shifted about the necessity of attending school each day as a result of the inconsistency of schooling during the height of the pandemic. The average U.S. high school truancy rate is approaching 20% according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Education. This is an urgent issue that needs collective thought and attention. At the very basic level, our scholars must be in school to learn.

Let’s take a look at some potential root causes for school absenteeism and ways your school can respond: 

Building a school culture that values student attendance is the first step to ensuring students are set up for success.

by Stephanie Jarrett-Thorpe, Managing Associate

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