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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Week #5

       This week has given me a run for my money, as I am preparing my students for their semester exams and trying to plan for the Attendance Reward Program that we are implementing in the spring.  It's been busy to say the least.

       After reading chapter 6 in Leading With Passion And Knowledge, I have begun to ponder the quality of my  own inquiry or topic of study.  It is my understanding that assessing the quality of an inquiry can be difficult for several reasons, but is important for the fact that as administrators we are continually improving our practice as well as making efforts to improve our school campus.

I have read and studied the five quality indicators and thought that I might want to detail a few of these for my blog followers to have a better understanding of where I am coming from and why I have chosen my action research plan.

Action Research Question:  What motivates students from a low socioeconomic status to attend school daily?

Quality Indicator 1:  Context of Study

District- We are a small district with only one high school, two middle schools, and five elementary campuses.

School/Students-  Our campus currently has a membership of 770 students.  We are currently not a Title I campus, and16% of our students are eligible for free or reduced lunches.  We received an Exemplary rating in 2009, and a Recognized rating for 2010.  Approximately 21.85% of our students are labeled as economically disadvantaged.  

Staff- One of the biggest frustrations that I hear from our staff is, "Why are our kids absent all of the time?"  "They are missing so much information."  Teachers get very frustrated with students that miss school frequently, because they are missing so much instruction and it is very difficult to get them caught up.  Students that miss school frequently, thus missing valuable instruction time, also affect our mandatory state assessment scores.  These test scores are often a reflection of the teacher's efforts as well.       This is another reason our teachers are adamant about getting our students to school everyday.

Student Population (Race)


Quality Indicator #2:  Wondering(s) and Purpose

Action Research Question:  What motivates students from a low socioeconomic status to attend school daily?

This year I was nominated to serve on the Campus Site-Based Decision Making Committee, where we reviewed and made changes to our CIP (Campus Improvement Plan).  One of the things that was discussed was our school attendance.  The discussion was centered around how we could improve our school attendance and what possible solutions we could come up with.  

Upon further research, I discovered that the majority of the students that are absent from school are students labeled as "economically disadvantaged" and are in low income homes.   These are the same students that are also struggling academically, and need to be at school the most.  

During lunch in the teacher's lounge, the topic is often centered around teacher's that are gripe about students always missing their class.  Teachers make comments like, "How on earth is he going to pass the STAAR test if he isn't even in my class?" or "Why is Billy always sick?  He is never going to get caught up at this rate"

Furthermore, there are two Title I elementary campuses in our district that have a much higher percentage of "economically disadvantaged" students, yet their attendance rate is AMAZING.  This is when I decided that I would like to research this topic and attempt to make a change that could possibly improve our campus attendance.

I hope that some of this background information helps to explain where my question came from and why I would like to pursue this action research plan.  

1 comment:

  1. Your plan sounds very thought out and it will offer information that you will be able to offer to many others. I'm sure the outcome of your research will give guidance to other campuses with similar problems.