Betances STEM Magnet School Shares Attendance Successes
Student attendance has always mattered when it comes to establishing a positive school culture, high academic achievement, and the social-emotional well-being of our kids. This year, the challenges with student attendance are perhaps greater than ever before. And yet, even with these unprecedented circumstances, opportunities to connect with students and families for their benefit still rise. In that light, teachers at Betances STEM Magnet School are finding new ways to collaborate and meet the challenges head on.
B STEM’s 5th Grade Team serves as one example. By the end of October, Chronic Absenteeism school-wide was at 30%, with 5th Grade having the one of the highest rates among the school at 35%. At that point, 5th Grade teachers revised their attendance-taking strategies. They decided, as a team, to implement station rotations and independent work at the beginning of each period. This freed up the chance for the teachers to call the families of their absent students to remind them to join class remotely.
The strategy and teamwork has yielded results. Since November 1st, Chronic Absenteeism in 5th grade has dropped from 35% to 27%. More amazingly, the 5th Grade Team celebrated 100% attendance for the entire 5th Grade on Friday, December 11–a remote learning day for B STEM!
Here is what some of our staff shared about their attendance efforts.
We fully understand and appreciate that building a learning culture whereall students feel appreciated, challenged and supported creates an environment where students want to be present. An important part in building such a culture is to develop a culture of accountability where students understand when they are absent, teachers will do everything possible to get them back into the classroom including check in calls home. Building partnerships between home and school have been instrumental to our success as a team to ensure students are present whenever possible without exception. –Rahsaan Yearwood, 5th Grade Math
We have amazing students and families here at BSTEM. The relationships we have formed with our students and our families has been an important factor in our success. Our families now know, when their child is not in class, they can expect to be called. I have been more successful with reaching out to parents once I made a phone list of each 5th grade homeroom for easier access instead of spending time locating numbers on PowerSchool. We are all dedicated to the cause of having our students be successful in this challenging year and getting them to the meetings is half of that battle. I feel honored to work with this outstanding 5th grade team. –Andrea Hamilton, 5th Grade Science
First, we’re awesome. Second, we really love working with these kids and they can tell. We’re happy to see them every morning and they’re happy to see us. Lastly, Mrs. Delisle, our Special Education teacher, has done an unbelievable job contacting families and getting students into the classrooms, and the rest of the team has done a great job with making calls and sending messages as well. –Richard Roberts, 5-8 Music
We are proud of all our Nerdy Birds–students, staff, and families, alike–for their perseverance. Our work is never done, but Betances STEM Magnet School is committed to working together to provide the best connection to our kids and school community.