The second Bold Goals Education Attendance Workshop, held on January 25th, was an overwhelming success. Representatives from school systems across five counties (Blount, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair and Walker) gathered at United Way of Central Alabama, and actively participated in a series of presentations and open discussion about the issue of chronic absenteeism and how to overcome and/or prevent it. They received practical, ready-to-use information and guidance on topics including best day-to-day practices and ways to structure and manage methods for reducing absenteeism. They also heard from powerful community resources, such as the Helping Families Initiative (HFI) of the District Attorney’s office. And there were testimonials of school-driven success stories from right here in Central Alabama.
The theme of the day was that chronic absenteeism in schools is a major concern, proven by data to be a precursor to even more serious problems in a child’s future. Workshop participants demonstrated that they were ready to roll up their sleeves, share their experience and get to the root of the problem. Q & A was open and honest with solutions coming from all over the room – from presenters and attendees alike.
Bold Goals Education expects to generate even more engaging opportunities in the near future with the launch of Professional Learning Communities (PLC). PLC partners will come together to cultivate a school-wide culture of attendance, use the chronic absenteeism data to determine the need for additional supports, develop staff capacity to adopt effective attendance practice and advocate for resources and policies to improve attendance.