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    Rainier View Elementary Leading the Way in Attendance
    Posted on 06/05/2017
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    Reducing Chronic Absenteeism

    Good attendance matters. It matters for school success, starting as early as pre-school and kindergarten and it matters for success throughout elementary, middle and high school and beyond.

    Rainier View Elementary School is leading the way for schools across the district with their unique approach to attendance. Named a School of Distinction by the Puget Sound Educational Service District, and Washington Achievement Award Winner by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, the school is un-locking doors to success for students by creating an atmosphere of success and high achievement for staff then leveraging that atmosphere to positively reinforce a sense of belonging and trust for families and students. The result has been students excited about coming to school every day and a growing belief they can achieve great things.

    "We want to create an environment where teachers have a place where they can teach students at a high level, an environment where families are welcome, and they have that trust in our school that they are receiving a quality education,” explains Rainier View Principal Anitra Pinchback-Jones. “If you are in school you are learning and we share that excitement with our students as well as our families.”

    Research shows students in pre-school, kindergarten, and first grade who are chronically absent (students who miss 18 or more days in a school year) are much less likely to read at grade level by third grade. Students who cannot read at grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely than proficient readers to drop out of high school. According to the U.S. Department of Education, one out of seven students across the country are chronically absent while one out of five high school students are chronically absent.

    Increasing attendance across the district is one of the district’s strategies to eliminating opportunity gaps in the classroom and in life. The very students who face significant challenges and need the most educational supports are often missing the most school.

    Schools across the district are concentrating on growing positive relationships with families and working with various community partners to address the underlying causes of chronic absenteeism. More and more schools across the district are implementing programs like My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Success Mentors Initiative, an evidence-based, data-driven model that connects chronically absent students with trained adults who can serve as mentors.

    For Rainier View, cultivating a high achieving teaching staff and high achieving classroom environment is quickly creating a pathway to high academic achievement for students. Just like the old adage, ‘If you build it, they will come’, by building great classrooms, students will want to get to school, learn, and grow.

    Look for a new district-wide, attendance campaign starting this August including tools and tips for students, families and communities to create pathways for academic success.

    Here is more information on the district’s strategies for eliminating opportunity gaps.

    Here is more information about attendance on the district’s website.