CFLeads Chronic Absence Network
In partnership with Attendance Works, CFLeads implemented an innovative issue network with community teams in California to promote reading proficiency and better school performance in the early grades by reducing chronic absence and creating a local culture of regular school attendance.
A recently completed evaluation found the following:
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- The goals of the Chronic Absence Network were met and "a new innovative model has been developed which has the potential to have a ripple effect across the country if it can be successfully replicated and brought to scale".
- Community foundation staff played a strong role in advancing the work. According to Hedy Chang of Attendance Works, "It was important having community foundations as partners. They valued the work and kept it going. The community foundations played a central role and helped to sustain the change over time. They were ongoing champions from outside the school district raising the flag around chronic absence."
- The Chronic Absence Network is affecting other areas of work at the participating community foundations and is helping to inform other initiatives in the community. In addition, community foundations are sharing resources and are being viewed as resources.
About the Chronic Absence Network:
- An initiative to improve school attendance and advance needed local or state policy reforms by analyzing local data and identifying and building on what is already working;
- A chance to build community teams of community foundations, schools, and parents to work together on an important education issue; and
- A peer-focused, cross-sector learning opportunity designed to strengthen the community leadership capacity of community foundations.
The participating community foundations in California:
- Fresno Regional Foundation
- Marin Community Foundation
- The San Francisco Foundation
- Silicon Valley Community Foundation
The Annie E. Casey Foundation was the lead funder of this effort as part of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
Interested in learning more about upcoming issue networks?
Contact Caroline Merenda, CFLeads Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 800-292-6149 ext. 610.