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Columbus City Schools Takes the National Stage to Address Chronic Absenteeism

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May 13, 2024 — Columbus City Schools' commitment to addressing chronic absenteeism and student success is taking a significant step forward as Superintendent/CEO Dr. Angela Chapman and Director of Whole Child Community Partnerships Tyree Pollard prepare to attend the prestigious Every Day Counts Summit: Addressing Chronic Absenteeism and Increasing Student Engagement at the White House. 

The Summit brings school districts from around the nation together to address chronic absenteeism and enhance student engagement; it will also be an opportunity to highlight the work of Columbus City Schools’ staff in implementing new strategies to improve attendance and support student well-being within the District. Pollard shares the hopes, challenges, and strategies he hopes to take from the Summit. 

What insights or strategies from other school districts or organizations are you excited to bring back to Columbus City Schools to address chronic absenteeism?

“In particular, Richmond, Virginia, uses an extremely unique strategy where its judges attend hearings inside the schools. Essentially, they have a courthouse at select schools twice a month. Before parents/students go to their court hearing, there are pathways of resources from the city and community to assist them in getting back on track.”

How can Columbus City Schools effectively leverage its strengths to tackle chronic absenteeism and relate that to other school districts?

“We were selected for our data on two strategies, one of which is our PBIS strategy. We are one of the few states that mandate PBIS, and we were the first to integrate our attendance practices into our PBIS strategies. The second strategy that we are being noticed for is our partnerships. We have various partnerships with Stay In The Game Network (Columbus Crew/Cleveland Browns), the mayor's office, Columbus Public Health Department, The Ohio State University and the Columbus Clippers, to name a few. With those come conversations around how to make impact in a more intentional way.”

How do you see the Every Day Counts Summit aligning with the goals and priorities of Columbus City Schools?

“One of our priorities is reducing chronic absenteeism and taking a system-wide approach. CCS's attendance at this Summit will allow us to showcase the great work our District has done and, more importantly, learn from other districts around the nation. Chronic absenteeism has become a new phenomenon over the last five to ten years, and we are starting to see how it hinders school districts from achieving their goals.” 

In the future, where do you hope Columbus City Schools will be regarding chronic absenteeism rates?

“Our goal for our school improvement plan was to be below 50% by the 2025-26 school year. We are currently there; we are already at our three-year stretch goal. We want to continue to hit that and hopefully be in the 30-percent range, where we were pre-pandemic. To do that, we must continue to implement our strategies so we can ensure that the students, parents, and educators have what they need to succeed at school.”

The Every Day Counts Summit is an incredible opportunity for the District. Our superintendent and Pollard emphasize the efforts to support CCS students, bringing knowledge from the nation’s capital back to the District. With abundant collaboration opportunities, this is only the beginning for CCS and other school districts around the nation to work together to prioritize attendance and student engagement.

View the latest update to the Every Day Counts Summit: Addressing Chronic Absenteeism and Increasing Student Engagement at the White House below.

Power of One

Priority 1 - Whole Child FocusedPriority 2 - Equitable Opportunities for AllPriority 3 - Strong Learning Communities in Every RegionPriority 4 - Authentic Engagement