Checking attendance

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On Tuesday, May 14, new Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Angélica Infante-Green paid a visit to Winsor Hill Elementary School, meeting with school and district leaders and visiting classrooms to learn more about the school’s approach to teaching and learning. The Commissioner selected Winsor Hill as one of the school visits in her first three weeks because of their participation in a pilot program with the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) to reduce chronic absence. RIDE built an Attendance Tool that updates attendance daily and allows school leaders to track students who are at risk of being chronically absent. The tool then generates a backpack letter or a text message, notifying the family that their child is at risk of being chronically absent and underscoring the importance of school attendance. Chronic absence is defined as missing 10 percent of the school year, which translates to 18 days each year. The Attendance Tool is designed to encourage positive attendance behaviors, and open up a line of communication with families to talk about why a student is absent and how schools can support improved attendance. (Submitted photos)

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