Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Attendance Commission seeking comments

The Illinois Attendance Commission will be hosting a public hearing at this year’s Joint Annual Conference on Friday, Nov. 18 from 2-3 p.m. at the Sheraton Grand Chicago in the Michigan A/B room. The forum is intended to provide school officials an opportunity to comment on various attendance-related experiences, share success stories and challenges, and discuss how attendance figures may be impacted by state and federal education policies.

The Attendance Commission, created by Public Act 099-0432 in 2015, is charged with generating recommendations to help prevent chronic absenteeism. Those suggestions are compiled and sent to the General Assembly each year in December.

Among the immediate goals of the Commission are to look at what constitutes an absence and chronic absenteeism, develop better data systems to track and monitor absenteeism across the state, craft multiple measures for reporting absences, and improve responses to challenges presented by chronic absenteeism.

A list of questions to assist those who wish to submit public comments is available here. Board members and administrations should consider the local impacts of potential attendance policies and what solutions have been shown to improve attendance figures at their schools. Additionally, school officials should think about how they have approached attendance issues with regard to special student populations and what type of coordination with community stakeholders could be used to improve attendance numbers.

This will be the third and final public hearing of the Commission before the end of the year.  The panel was scheduled to ensure that school administrators and board members have an opportunity to share their opinions on attendance-related matters before the final report is submitted.

The hearing will be led by Chairwoman Antoinette Taylor and commissioners Jennifer Gill, superintendent of Springfield CUSD 186 ; Scott Wakeley, superintendent of Bradley-Bourbonnais CHSD 307; and Deanna Sullivan, IASB director of governmental relations. A full list of Commission members is available on the Illinois State Board of Education’s website.
For more information about the Illinois Attendance Commission and the Attendance Works campaign, click here.

The attendance hearing is open to the public, but if guests wish to attend other Conference-related events and activities, registration is required.