The latest Oakland Grade Level Reading Update, written by Urban Strategies Council and Oakland Reads 2020 staff, finds notable improvement in attendance among early grade learners in the Oakland Unified School District.
Why focus on attendance in the early grades?
Kindergarten and first grade students with good attendance are almost four times more likely to read at grade level by third grade, compared to students who are chronically absent in those years (missed over 9 days a semester). But kindergarten and first grade students in OUSD have historically had the highest rates of absence of any grade, which creates an early barrier on the path to third grade literacy. The latest figures show this is changing – for the better.
How many students does this change represent?
- 516 more students in kindergarten through third grade (K-3) have “satisfactory attendance,” meaning that they attended 95% or more of enrolled school days.
- 159 fewer K-3 students were chronically absent (absent 10% or more of enrolled days, e.g. 9 days in a semester).
- 144 fewer African American students were chronically absent in 2013-14, a group that has historically had some of the highest rates of chronic absence.
Work in the community is making a difference!
These changes suggest that Oakland’s focus on school attendance in recent years — through the work of multiple organizations and collaboratives including Attendance Works, the Oakland Attendance Collaborative, Oakland Reads 2020, the Oakland Achieves collaborative, and the mayor’s Attendance Challenge — is having an impact.
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