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Report: Decline in absenteeism at WUESD

The Wasco Union Elementary School District received good news with the 2017-2018 Attention 2 Attendance report.

The district ranked first out of four local school districts who also utilize the Attention 2 Attendance software program to track chronic absenteeism.

At the board’s meeting on Oct. 8, Assistant Superintendent Brad Maberry stated that the district has made attendance a high priority in order to minimize student absences.

“This is not a state-mandated report,” Maberry said. “Several school districts subscribe to this program to track their absenteeism. At this time, I’m not sure all the districts which use the system.”

District Title I teachers Jennifer Fendrick and Teri Acosta presented the A2A report to the board and attendees.

After the board meeting, Maberry provided additional information on attendance tracking for Kern County and the state by Dataquest.

The following are the results of the latest tracking data for the following districts, Kern County and the state:

▪ Arvin Union has a cumulative enrollment of 3,291 with a chronic absenteeism of 274 with a score of 8.5%.

▪ Bakersfield City has a cumulative enrollment of 33,278 students; 4,966 chronically absent students for a rate of 14.9%

▪ General Shafter Elementary with a cumulative enrollment of 156 students; 19 chronically absent students for a rate of 12.3%

▪WUESD has a 3,877 cumulative enrollment with 288 students chronically absent for a 7.1%.

▪Wasco High School (the only high school listed on the study) has 1,965 cumulative students, a total of 271 chronically absent for a rate of 15.0%.

▪Cumulative enrollment for Kern County is 199,474 students with 24,042 chronically absent for a 12.2%

▪Cumulative statewide enrollment is 6,384,619 for a chronic absenteeism count of 702,531 for an 11.1%.

Maberry stated that the district should see a drop in chronically absent from 7.1% to 6.1% for the 2019-2020 year.

Superintendent Kelly Richers explained that the Title I teachers (Fendrick and Acosta) monitor the A2A attendance report and provide updated information to the principals on a monthly basis. They also provide the student and families with assistance in getting outside agency help for food, school supplies, housing and clothing, and whatever other assistance the families might need.

The great report stated that the WUESD received a 24.49% improvement above Tehachapi’s 21.6% improvement, Norris Elementary 21.0% improvement and Greenfield Union Elementary 18.49% improvement.

The report also gave the following numbers:

▪Some statistics reported included 83% of students chronically absent in kindergarten and first grade cannot read on level by the time they are in third grade.

▪Students not reading by third grade are four times more likely to eventually drop out of school and high school dropouts are more likely to be incarcerated than people with high school diplomas. Many students who obtain a General Education Diploma are in school but do not graduate for various reasons such as poor grades, incomplete classes or poor attendance.

“Another part of the A2A study showed the comparison between attendance before and after parent-teacher conferences with a decline in absenteeism after parents met with the teacher,” Maberry said.

In additional board business, Superintendent Richers told the board members that while the district has been seeking a speech and language pathologist for the district and that position is very difficult to fill, consequently, Richers stated that the district would be using a computer system, which costs approximately the same as hiring an instructor. The program will cost $100,000.


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