Where are we located?
1300 17th Street – SCP Blanton
Bakersfield, CA 93301-4533
Kern Stay in School
The Kern Education Pledge Chronic Absenteeism Workgroup and the Truancy Reduction and Attendance Coalition of Kern (TRACK) are countywide collaboratives that work in partnership with one another with the collective goal of improving school attendance and reducing chronic absenteeism in Kern County Schools. The workgroups meet regularly and are composed of school administrators, supervisors of attendance, attendance clerks, and school resource officers.
Learn about the benefits of good school attendance HERE.
Chronic Absenteeism Overview
School attendance is essential to academic success, but too often students, parents and schools do not realize how quickly absences — excused as well as unexcused — can add up to academic trouble. Chronic absence — missing 10 percent of the school year, or just 2-3 days every month — can translate into third-graders unable to master reading, sixth-graders failing courses and ninth-graders dropping out of high school. The impact hits low-income students, who most depend on school for providing opportunities to learn, particularly hard.
What can you do to help?
Everybody has a role to play: parents, schools, city agencies, community nonprofits, after-school programs, healthcare providers, businesses and others. While it is important to emphasize attendance throughout the year, the start of the Fall is when schools and communities lay out expectations for the coming year and can develop a culture of attendance that will continue throughout the year.
Getting your child to school on time, every day, unless he or she is sick, is something that you can do to ensure your child has a chance to succeed in school. While others can help, you are the bottom line. You can promote good attendance when you:
- Establish and stick to the basic routines (i.e., setting a bedtime and sticking to it, laying our clothes and packing a backpack the night before, waking up on time, etc.) that will help your child develop the habit of on-time attendance.
- Talk to your child about why going to school every day is critical and important unless they are sick. If your child seems reluctant to go to school, find out why and work with the teacher, administrator or afterschool provider to get them excited about going to school.
- Come up with back up plans for who to turn to (another family member, a neighbor or fellow parents) to help you get your child to school if something comes up (e.g. another child gets sick, your car breaks down, etc.).
- Reach out for help if you are experiencing tough times (i.e., transportation, unstable housing, loss of a job, health problems) that make it difficult to get your child to school. Other parents, your child’s teacher, principal, social worker, school nurse, afterschool providers or community agencies can help you problem solve or connect you to a needed resource.
- If your child is absent, work with the teacher to make sure she or he has an opportunity to learn and make up for the academics missed.
As teachers, you are the first line of defense against chronic absence. You can:
- Take roll regularly showing students that you care when they miss school.
- Reach out to frequently absent students to find out in a supportive manner why they are missing school and what would help them attend more regularly.
- Work with parents to stress the importance of early education and to learn about any barriers to good attendance.
- Create a nurturing, engaging classroom that will encourage children to come to school.
- Work with colleagues to develop and implement a school-wide system of incentives and reward for good attendance.
Leaders within schools and districts must own the issue of chronic absenteeism. You can:
- Make it clear that improved student attendance is one of your top priorities.
- Ensure teachers take roll regularly so students know someone cares when they miss school.
- Ensure all classrooms are nurturing and engaging so children want to come to school every day.
- Invest in accurate collection and entry of attendance data into student data systems.
- Calculate and analyze chronic absence and good attendance to discern patterns for students and schools.
- Partner with families and community groups to develop and address attendance challenges affecting large numbers of students (i.e., unreliable transportation, lack of access to health care, unstable and unaffordable housing).
- Develop and implement a school-wide system of incentives and rewards for good attendance.
- Reach out to frequently absent students to find out in a supportive. manner why they are missing school and what would help them attend more regularly.
- Invest in professional development to help teachers and administrators understand chronic absence.
- Make attendance a community priority: City agencies, volunteer organizations, church groups, foundations and parents can all help schools improve attendance.
- Faith-based leaders can talk with your congregations regularly about the importance of regular school attendance.
- Identify and address barriers to attendance: City resources, from social service agencies to transit authorities, can help break down barriers that are keeping children from coming to school.
- Provide literature about the importance of attendance to parents during back-to-school checkups.
- Educate families and students about the importance of attending school unless a child is truly ill.
- Encourage parents to schedule routine check ups when school is not in session; if they come during the school day, encourage them to return their children to school after the appointment.
- Work with your superintendents to ensure the district is tracking chronic absence numbers.
- Work with a local school to provide incentives for good or improved attendance, such as gift certificates, books, healthy snacks or backpacks.
- Host a community forum to discuss the need for good attendance and build support for solutions.
- Talk to other business leaders about the role attendance plays in improving achievement and school success.
- Educate your own employees about the power of attendance.
Attendance Awareness Toolkit
Kern County will be recognizing Attendance Awareness Month from mid August through mid September 2019. The goal is to mobilize schools and communities not only to promote the value of good attendance but also to take concrete steps toward reducing chronic absence in Kern County Schools. This year’s campaign is titled “Strive for Less Than Five.”
2019 Campaing Logo
Less Than Five PNG: English | Spanish
2019 Animated PSAs
:30 General PSA
:40 General PSA (SPANISH)
:60 General PSA
2:00 Parent PSA
2:00 Parent PSA (SPANISH)
2019 Printed Materials
- Chronic Absenteeism Fact Sheet
- Attendance Awareness Infographic: English | Spanish
- Talking points for addressing parents and students about attendance issues
- Attendance Awareness 8.5 x 11 Handout: English | Spanish
- Attendance Awareness 11×17 Poster Version 1: English | Spanish
- Attendance Awareness 11×17 Poster Version 2: English | Spanish
Holiday Attendance Materials
Attendance Resource Handbook
Many times, there are extenuating circumstances that make it difficult for parents to ensure their children are in school all day, every day. The School Attendance Resource Booklet contains many helpful community resources that may be of help if you find your family needing extra support.
Keep Learning California
Launched in September, Keep Learning California (KLC) provides tools and resources that families and educators can use to help keep elementary aged children learning and participating in school every day in order to help ensure the equity gap in education doesn’t widen — whether classes are remote, in-person or hybrid. KLC is a collaborative effort involving Attendance Works, Families In Schools and Parent Institute for Quality Education.