RI Department of Education rolls out data on chronic student absenteeism

RI Department of Education rolls out data on chronic student absenteeism

September 22, 2019 1 By Ronny Jaskolski


THROUGH 20-43. (MM) NEW TONIGHT – THE RHODE ISLAND DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION IS LAUNCHING A NEW ——STUDENT ABSENTEEISM TOOL FOR BOTH ——THE PUBLIC AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS. (HE) THE PLATFORM IS MEANT TO HELP SCHOOLS REDUCE THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS WHO ARE “CHRONICALLY ABSENT” — MEANING THEY’VE MISSED 10-PERCENT OR MORE OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. (MM) EYEWITNESS NEWS REPORTER KIM KALUNIAN SPOKE WITH THE STATE’S NEW EDUCATION COMMISSIONER ABOUT THE DATA – SHE JOINS US NOW LIVE IN STUDIO WITH MORE. KIM? (KK) MIKE, SHANNON – MORE THAN 120 SCHOOLS STATE WIDE HAVE SIGNED UP TO USE THE TOOL SO FAR – MEANWHILE THE STATE WILL ALSO NOW BE PUBLISHING DATA ON ALL STUDENT ABSENTEEISM FOR THE PUBLIC TO KEEP TABS ON. This is a tool for us to actually be proactive RHODE ISLAND’S NEW EDUCATION COMMISSIONER, ANGELICA INFANTE-GREEN SAYS THE DEPARTMENT’S NEW “ATTENDANCE NUDGE TOOL” IS AIMED AT REDUCING CHRONIC STUDENT ABSENSE – What this portal does for the schools is it allows them to track the attendance, to see patterns, to actually address the attendance instead of just recording SCHOOLS CAN ALSO SEND HOME LETTERS OR TEXT MESSAGES ALERTING PARENTS OF WHAT’S HAPPENING. THERE’S ALSO A PUBLIC FACING PORTAL – AN ATTENDANCE LEADERBOARD THAT SHOWS THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS ON TRACK TO BE CHRONICALLY ABSENT – NOT ALL DISTRICTS HAVE REPORTED THEIR NUMBERS BUT AMONG THOSE THAT HAVE: WOONSOCKET, PAWTUCKET AND PROVIDENCE HAVE THE HIGH PERCENTAGES OF STUDENTS WHO ARE MISSING MANY DAYS OF SCHOOL – SOMETHING INFANTE GREEN SAYS PUTS KIDS BEHIND ON READING AND CAN LEAD TO HIGHER DROP-OUT RATES. I know that everybody is talking about Providence but it’s not just a Providence problem, it’s a Rhode Island problem. INFANTE-GREEN HAS ALSO PROMISED TO PUBLISH SIMILAR DATA ABOUT TEACHERS – SHE SAYS THE PUBLIC CAN EXPECT THAT SOON. What we’re trying to be transparent about a problem we all know we have, that we’re tryng to work on and correct and I think the community needs to know that that’s happening. That’s important information. (KK) INFANTE-GREEN SAYS THE DATA ON TEACHERS SHOULD BE PUBLISHED IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS – MEANWHILE RIDE SAYS THEY’LL BE WORKING WITH HARVARD UNIVERSITY TO RESEARCH PATTERNS OF TEACHER