South Shore School Attendance Project
The South Shore SchoolsPlus Advisory committee, and a smaller working committee, have been working collaboratively to develop a comprehensive and consistent joint response to issues for children, youth, and families around attendance. We have spent more than a year researching best practices, analyzing need, associated complexities, and common threads of concern, data for our pilot schools, language, benchmarks, and supports. Our goal is to develop a resource and system of supports for schools and families that will be:
· Time supportive, collaborative
· Comprehensive yet focussed
· Standardize language, benchmarks and processes
· Be family friendly
· Easily accessed
· Interactive by all agencies
· Support inter-school and inter-board collaboration
· Long term plan / short term focus
· Address multiple audiences, yet be useful for the schools per family
The project addresses sustainable long term goals such as wellness, environments of welcome, belonging, and safety for youth, children, families, schools and staffs, agencies and community, while focusing on a short-term smaller response in two pilot schools with families, which will allow us to have a working feedback in the coming year, starting with relational practices over summer. This begins with categories of issues around attendance, and collaborative response around these.
We have begun to develop a multi-layered communications plan, which is critical to supportive values culture, and needs to be professional in approach, to address larger over-time community awareness and environmental culture building, as well as a current on the ground beginning communications plan. This has been developed in an ongoing fashion with our communication officer, Nancy Brewster. We have also begun development of an online tool for schools and parents, which we intend to make interactive for agencies as well.