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Reducing Chronic Absenteeism with Positive Behavior Reinforcement

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education launched an initiative to eliminate chronic absenteeism in U.S. schools. With a goal to take “immediate action to address and eliminate chronic absenteeism by at least 10 percent each year, beginning in the current school year,” schools are likely wondering what resources are available to help them get started.

A key strategic focus of ours is developing solutions that target chronic absenteeism of America’s most vulnerable children. We recognize that it certainly does take a village to ensure children consistently attend school and are provided with the tools they need to succeed. In addition to strong support networks and communities focused on children’s growth and development, education technology solutions in the classroom can go a long way in keeping children engaged, focused, and committed to success.

Improving Student Attendance With Education Technology

Positive behavior reinforcement programs such as the company’s Learning Earnings solution make a huge difference in student attendance. The results of a year-long study conducted with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) found that students in the Chalkable Learning Earnings program had an 18 percent year-over-year decrease in student absences, resulting in five and a half extra days of instruction per participating student over the academic year. Failing grades were reduced by 36 percent, and discipline infractions were cut by 50 percent over the previous academic year.

Beyond these incredible results across the board, the use of Learning Earnings also extended academic gains into subgroups, helping to close the achievement gap with the general student population. African American, special education and Hispanic students participating in the study all increased attendance and academically outperformed non-participants. From an attendance perspective, African Americans received an additional eight days of instruction; special education students received five and Hispanic students received two and a half more days.

Frequent absences from school can be devastating to a child’s future. Simply put, regular and consistent attendance is critical. As the U.S. Department of Education cites in its announcement, a student who is chronically absent in any year between the eighth and twelfth grade is seven times more likely to drop out of school. By high school, regular attendance is a better dropout indicator than test scores.

We are committed to delivering solutions that help students succeed. From digital learning that enables personalized instruction, to positive behavior reinforcement that improves school culture, we are committed to helping districts and schools drive student achievement and improve student attendance, grades, and behavior.

Want to learn more about how Learning Earnings transformed school culture across Alabama? Learn more here.

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