Evaluation of School Attendance Model Kindergarten Program (Attendance Works)

Primary Investigator: Ron Sabatelli

Co-Investigator: Valerie LaMotte (Office of Policy and Management – State of Connecticut)

Project Manager: Joy Heafner

Research shows that students who miss school score lower than their classmates on standardized tests. Kindergarten attendance is especially important, and regular attendance in kindergarten sets the stage for better attendance and academic achievement throughout the school years. The CARHD is evaluating a partnership between the CT Office of Policy and Management and ten school districts across Connecticut. The objective is to help improve kindergarten attendance with the hope that it will influence

This project focuses on tracking attendance for each kindergarten student and reaching out to families as soon as a student starts missing school frequently. Trained outreach workers contact families and provide information about school policies and the importance of school attendance. Importantly, outreach workers identify barriers to attendance, such as transportation or housing challenges, and connect families with appropriate supports that may help them keep their child in kindergarten.

The CARHD’s role is twofold: We supported the development of the program model, and evaluation of its effectiveness. CARHD staff train outreach workers, manage data collection, provide regular feedback reports to the schools, conduct data analyses, and provide evaluation results to the project funders.