What is Chronic Absenteeism? #success4ME

Maine’s student success indicator, chronic absenteeism is one of four (4) indicators utilized in Maine’s Model of School Supports and is used for all grades, K-12. Chronic absenteeism in Maine is defined as missing ten percent (10%) of enrolled school days where the student has been enrolled in the school for at least ten (10) days.

Is chronic absenteeism new?

At the state, district, school, and classroom levels Maine educators are committed to creating a culture of support and encouragement for families with children experiencing challenges with consistently attending school. In the past, Maine has focused on Average Daily Attendance (ADA). Average daily attendance records the number of students on average, who are in attendance at school on a daily basis. Although ADA data is beneficial to track, when conducting a more detailed analysis of data, ADA often masks students who are regularly or chronically absent from school. Maine has therefore determined that chronic absenteeism would be a data point collected beginning in the  2016/17 school year.

What does this look like in Maine?

Schools in Maine are examining their attendance data. On a daily basis, students are marked present or absent from school. In order to be present, the student must have attended 50% of their scheduled school day. One important item to note: excused absences (absences where a parent/guardian sends a note into school explaining the absence) and unexcused absences (absences where a parent/guardian provides no communication regarding the absence) both count as an absence.

Why is Maine using chronic absenteeism?

Research indicates a high correlation between chronic absenteeism and academic achievement however, the negative impact of being chronically absent isn’t only felt by the student who is absent, it can also impact the student who is present. Absent students lose valuable instruction time during the school day however, when students are chronically absent, teachers must reteach the same material during the school day, to students who missed out. This takes away from key instructional time and may impact overall student engagement and student achievement. In short, all learners in a school or classroom environment are impacted by chronic absenteeism.

How does this impact parents, students and schools and what can they do?

Parents

As schools examine chronic absenteeism data in more detail:

  • If your child is frequently absent from school, you may receive increased communication regarding your child’s attendance behavior and increased availability for support.
  • You may see increased district communication regarding attendance; every day counts.
  • You may see an increased focus and emphasis on family engagement and relationship building between the school and the family .

What can you do?

Ensure your child is in school every day. Obviously there are days when your child is sick and should remain home; however, scheduling personal appointments outside of the school day and taking vacations during school vacation breaks are two strategies that parents can immediately address to promote and encourage daily attendance. Communicate with the school should your child or the family experience issues that may impact their attendance or where you may require support.

Students

  • Individual students will not be identified publicly as being chronically absent.
  • There may be an Increased emphasis on relationship building between students and school staff.

What can students do?

Be engaged – develop relationships/friendships with peers and school staff. Share with parents and school staff when you are experiencing challenges or issues at school. Communicate.

Schools

  • Student data will be collected and combined to determine the percentage of students who are absent for more than 10% of enrolled school days.
  • This data will be utilized as an indicator within Maine’s Model of School Supports and will assist the Maine DOE in providing supports to schools experiencing challenges in the area of chronic absenteeism.
  • Availability of professional development and learning opportunities to provide best practice strategies in assisting schools address challenges related to chronic absenteeism.

What can schools do?

Continue to build engagement and relationships with families and students with frequent, sustained two-way communication. The school leadership team should examine data on a regular basis at the school, classroom, and individual student level and make a determination on how the school will inform parents of current absence rates. Seek supports and professional learning from the Maine DOE and other agencies and organizations.

How will chronic absenteeism data be presented on the school report card?

The school as a whole will receive a performance measure related to the percentage of students who are missing more than 10% of their scheduled school days. Chronic absenteeism rates will never be reported at the student level. The Maine DOE or the school will never identify your child publicly as being chronically absent.

The school level descriptors for chronic absenteeism are as follows:

School Level Indicator Descriptors

Chronic Absenteeism

Emerging Developing Meeting Excelling
All eligible student group populations have a chronic absenteeism rate of 10% or higher One or more eligible student group populations have a chronic absenteeism rate of less than 10% All eligible student group populations have a chronic absenteeism rate of less than 10% All eligible student group populations have a chronic absenteeism rate of 5% or less

Where eligible student groups include: Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latino, Two or More Races, White, Students with Disabilities, Economically Disadvantaged, Migrant students, Homeless students, English Learners and Parent in Military on Active Duty.

Chronic absenteeism data will be presented on the initial page of the report card in the following way:

reportCard

To assist parents and community members in understanding chronic absenteeism, the report card provides “hover over” features that explain the definition of the performance level.

chronicabreportcard

Parents, educators and community members also have the opportunity to examine chronic absenteeism data by student group and to see the progress the school is making in reducing instances of chronic absenteeism school wide.

report card 2

Download the Maine DOE’s Chronic Absenteeism Info Graphic as an additional resource.

For further information or questions contact, Interim Director of Learning Systems Janette Kirk at (207) 624-6707 or Janette.Kirk@maine.gov.

Upcoming Maine Assessment Literacy Professional Development Opportunities

As part of the Maine DOE Assessment Literacy Professional Development series, a MAARS webinar and three in-person sessions focused on the eMPowerME assessment (grades 3-8) and science assessment (K-12) have been scheduled.

MAARS Webinar

October 31, 2018
10:00 – 11:00 am

The audience for this session is returning and new District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) and Career and Technical Education (CTE) Directors. The content of the webinar will include:

  • Role of DACs
  • MAARS Public Reports Overview
  • MAARS Confidential Reports Overview
  • How to add/delete/change MAARS roles and permissions (‘districtadmin’, ‘districtuser’ ‘schooluser’ ‘rosteruser’)

The updated above listed roles within MAARS will be a critical element to prepare for the upcoming November MAARS Workshops.

To access the October 31, webinar please use this link.

State Assessment & Released Items Professional Development

As part of the Maine DOE Assessment Literacy Professional Development series the Maine DOE will be hosting three regional sessions in Presque Isle, Bangor and Portland on November 13, 14 and 15, 2018 respectively. Where applicable, the DOE encourages that a team representative across grade spans be in attendance at the session. An opportunity for team time will be incorporated into the days agenda.

Each of the three (3) sessions will focus on the eMPowerME assessment (grades 3-8) and science assessment (K-12) and will include:

  • AM session will primarily focus on Confidential Reports in MAARS
    • Navigation within MAARS* to access data
    • Overview of the state assessment data
  • PM session will primarily focus on the utilization of released items
    • Review of released item data
    • An advanced session for data analysis
      • How this analysis can impact curriculum development and instructional practices

* DACs should ensure that staff attending have necessary permissions and log-in information to access MAARS.

The audience for this session is District Assessment Coordinators (DACs), teachers, principals, and central office staff. Registration begins at 8:30 am with the session beginning promptly at 9 am (until 3:30pm). Lunch will be provided.

Presque Isle – November 13, 2018

University of Maine at Presque Isle
Campus Center – Multipurpose Room
Parking map

Bangor – Orono – November 14, 2018

University of Maine
Wells Conference Center, Orono

Portland – November 15, 2018

Keeley’s Banquet Center
178 Warren Ave
Portland, ME 04103

To register for any of the regional MAARS Review and Released Item sessions please click here.

For questions contact Maine DOE’s Assessment Team at (207) 624-6770 or eric.buckhalter@maine.gov

PRIORITY NOTICE: 2017-18 MEA Confidential Assessment Results Now Available to Districts

The 2017-18 Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) Confidential Results are now available in the Maine Assessment and Accountability Reporting System (MAARS). The confidential portal is now open to district personnel with “DRAFT” district/school/student reports containing 2017-18 Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) data.

Schools and districts have until October 31, 2018 to review and verify the district and school data. Should a district determine there are discrepancies in the data, please contact Varun Motay, Data Analyst at Varun.Motay@maine.gov. Access the data in the link below:

MAARS Portal »

Once verified, the MAARS Public portal will be available with 2018 MEA results on November 5, 2018.

Three quick reminders that will assist you when logging into MAARS to review confidential data:

1. Use the Focal Point link

Please ensure you are clicking “Focal Point” icon and not the ‘Google’ icon when signing into MAARS.  The “Google” icon is not supported for the MAARS application. If you inadvertently click “Google” please clear the browser cache, close all browser windows, and (if on a Mac) QUIT/EXIT the browser. Then open a new browser and go the https://lms.backpack.education and click on the FocalPointK12 icon to login. If any additional problems arise, please contact the Focal Point Helpdesk.

                                                     

2. Ensure you have your log-in credentials in hand

For username and/or password information, please check with your District Assessment Coordinator. If there are any further issues, contact the Focal Point Helpdesk.

3. Use a browser other then Firefox

Firefox is not recommended and may lead to instances of blank screens after logging in. Please use a different browser if you are currently using Firefox to ensure a stable user experience.

If you are using another browser, try clearing your cache and cookies, restarting the browser completely (as outlined above in issue 1), and try opening the page once more. If the issue persists, please contact the Focal Point Helpdesk

Focal Point Helpdesk Contact information
Phone: 866-377-4265 ext. 1
Helpdesk Access: https://support.focalpointk12.com
Email: support@focalpointk12.net

For questions contact Maine DOE’s Assessment Team at (207) 624-6770 or eric.buckhalter@maine.gov or contact Interim Director of Learning Systems Janette Kirk at (207) 624-6707 or Janette.Kirk@maine.gov.

ESSA & Accountability: Why does accountability matter? #success4ME

Every element of our education system, including our expectations for students, how we understand if students are meeting those expectations, and how we are working with and supporting teachers and leaders, work toward the goal of ensuring all students are prepared for success after high school. Accountability is one piece of that system.

Accountability systems are intended to help us focus on what matters most, give us a better understanding of what is working well, and determine where we need to make improvements so we can help all students succeed. Just as state standards and assessments set expectations for what students should know and be able to do, state accountability systems set expectations for school performance helping schools determine next steps in accessing available supports from the state.

Statewide accountability systems set goals for achievement and growth for all schools regardless of race, income and zip code, and provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to understand school and district profile, and performance information.

Maine’s accountability system is now known as Maine’s Model of School Support. Through the implementation of the model,  Maine will identify schools eligible to receive additional supports in January 2019.

What is Maine’s Model of School Support?

Maine has moved towards a more purposeful approach to supporting Maine Schools. Maine’s Model of School Supports utilizes the following indicators:

Elementary/Middle Schools High Schools
Chronic Absenteeism Chronic Absenteeism
Academic Progress English Language Proficiency
English Language Proficiency Academic Achievement
Academic Achievement Graduation Rate

As you can see, the indicators remain a constant across grade spans with the exception of academic progress and graduation rate. Graduation rate only applies to high schools and as such is a high school model indicator. Progress can only be calculated when there are multiple years of data and this is currently only possible between grades 3-8 or Elementary/Middle level, therefore, progress is utilized in Elementary/Middle schools.

Data related to these indicators will be utilized to determine performance levels for each student population. Student populations include: white, Asian, black, two or more races, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, economically disadvantaged, English language learners, migrant, homeless, foster care and students with disabilities (data for bolded student groups is included in the model. Data for non-bolded student groups is used for reporting purposes only).

In order for a school to receive a performance level within the above indicators, there must be a minimum count of 10 students. If there are less than 10 students in a student group, the data is not utilized, is suppressed, and the indicator will not be applicable for that specific student group.

The method by which 2018/2019 determinations are made is a new process to Maine containing many new indicators (listed above). The Department in collaboration with stakeholders, believe the inclusion of a wide variety of indicators will provide a more comprehensive view of school success. Maine uses performance on these indicators to determine schools who would benefit from the provision of school supports. Schools determined eligible to receive supports will receive additional assistance from the state and their districts. Additional assistance and support through the Maine Department of Education will include professional development and learning, regional leadership coaching, and other supports as determined by the tier of support.

Comprehensive Supports and Interventions (CSI) or Tier III supports are determined as a result of all student populations within Title I schools experiencing challenges across all indicators within Maine’s Model of School Supports. This comprehensive support assists in accelerating  improvement schoolwide. Schools will receive supports for a period of three (3) years. These are schools similar to those identified as priority schools in Maine’s previous accountability model.

Targeted Supports and Interventions (TSI) or Tier II Supports – are determined as a result of specific student populations experiencing challenges in a specific indicator consistently for three(3) years.  These schools are similar to schools that were previously identified as Focus schools; however, under ESSA, Maine  now must identify any school with a consistently underperforming subgroup of students. Maine will not be making determinations for schools eligible for Tier II supports until the 2019/20 school year and then annually thereafter as four (4) years of data is required in order to determine three (3) years of consistently underperforming.

Additional Targeted Supports and Interventions (ATSI) or Tier I Supports – are determined as a result of a single student population(s) experiencing challenges across all indicators. These determinations will be made on an annual basis. Support is provided to schools due to a need based on the performance of at least one student group.

Upcoming articles in the DOE Newsroom will focus specifically on each of the five (5) indicators.

Questions regarding the above information can be sent to ESSA.DOE@maine.gov or Janette Kirk via email at janette.kirk@maine.gov or 624-6707.

 

Regional PD Opportunities Based on CNAs and Provided Under ESSA #success4ME

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Maine has developed a differentiated model of school supports that includes statewide professional development targeted to regional needs. Upon review of submitted statewide Comprehensive Needs Assessments/SAU Consolidated Plans, the Maine DOE is providing regional professional development to address the explicit needs outlined in submitted CNAs.

The Department invites district, school, and classroom leaders, and their staff to attend the many regional professional development opportunities being offered by the Department this fall. These sessions are offered at no cost and sessions information is available on the Department’s professional development calendar.

Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools:  Using Relationships to Promote Growth & Learning

Session Description: Schools across the country are adopting a trauma-sensitive approach in order to effectively educate students who have been exposed to adverse experiences. Neurodevelopmental impacts resulting from childhood adversity hinder a student’s ability to engage in the academic setting and manifest as disruptive, and often unsafe, behavior in the classroom. Creating trauma competent schools has become an imperative for educators who work to ensure safety and promote learning for ALL students. The field of social neuroscience draws from vast disciplines to explain how we have evolved in the context of interpersonal relationships through attachment and group cohesion, and how we have subsequently developed the capacity to shape the brains of those with whom interact and connect. This presentation will describe how educators can use our knowledge of interpersonal neurobiology to create classrooms and student relationships that maximize growth and learning. Participants will understand their role in creating trauma-competent systems and be able to employ trauma-sensitive principles, practices, and procedures to address the impact of trauma on learners and increase their students ability to succeed in the school environment.

Facilitator Information: Cassie Yackley, Psy.D.,  has spent more than 25 years committed to understanding and effectively addressing the impact of traumatic/adverse experiences on children, caregivers/families, and systems. She brings together recent discoveries from developmental neuroscience, attachment, implementation science, and reflective practice to help audiences develop skills of relationship and self-awareness in ways that transform organizations, promote staff professional growth and wellness, and improve outcomes for the consumers they serve.

The three session dates and locations are listed below with a link to each registration.  Space is limited so we recommend you register at the earliest possible opportunity.  Please register no later than, October 9, 2018 for the session closest to you.

Oct. 16, 2018                           
Elks Lodge – Brewer  
Register now »

Oct. 17, 2018                                              
State Armory – Augusta 
Register now » 

Oct. 18, 2018                                              
Elks Lodge –  Portland  
Register now »   

Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. with each session running from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with a break for a provided lunch.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact ESEA Federal Programs and Title I Director, Chelsey Fortin-Trimble at chelsey.a.fortin@maine.gov.