In this age of COVID and remote learning Revere Public Schools are putting plans in action to quickly address attendance issues and reach out to students here that are not fully engaged in remote learning before they slip through the cracks.
At the last Revere Public School Committee meeting Dr. Danielle Mokaba presented members with the latest school engagement and attendance report and said while trends are improving work still needs to be done at places like the Seacoast School.
“Attendance trends are heading in the right direction,” said Mokaba. “The last report by (Superintendent) Dr. (Dianne) Kelly showed attendance at 93 percent but that number is now 96.8 percent districtwide.”
Mokaba said since the pandemic began last spring, RPS has ratcheted up its attendance policy and attendance is taken daily and reported to the state.
At the elementary school level attendance was 96.7 percent while the middle school attendance rate was 97 percent. Over at Revere High School attendance was at 95 percent but the Seacoast School falls way behind with an attendance rate of 56 percent for remote learning.
Mokaba said intervention at all levels, but especially at the Seacoast, has been a priority and parent liaisons, social workers, and teachers are all working to get more kids online and engaged
“One of the things I want to highlight is the Seacoast is still struggling 56 percent (attendance),” said Mokaba. “Right now, administrators are reaching out to families and students, our parent liaisons are beginning to connect with new and existing students and families to identify the tools they need for their children to engage and be present.”
While many students struggle in a traditional setting, the pandemic and remote learning has amplified the need to intervene when students are not engaged.
Mokaba said RPS also looks at student engagement alongside attendance.
“Engagement is used as a basic metric on how students are participating in learning in a remote setting,” said Mokaba.
Mokaba said overall at the elementary school level 74 percent of RPS students are fully engaged in their learning while 19 percent are moderately engaged and 7 percent have little or no engagement during online instruction.
“We see students with disabilities are continuing to struggle at this level and we hope to start seeing more improvement starting with elementary school,” said Mokaba.
At the middle school level the staff and administrators at Revere’s three middle schools found that 64 percent are fully engaged while 26 percent are moderately engaged and 10 percent have little engagement during remote learning classes.
“Again there is definitely a need for improvement here,” she said. “All three middle schools are now doing weekly focus meetings and reach out efforts to students that are struggling to engage.”
At RHS, the engagement report was broken down by grade.
In 9th grade the report found 79 percent are engaged, 15 percent are moderately engaged and 4.95 percent have little or no engagement.
At the 10th grade level 79 percent of students are fully engaged, roughly 15 percent are moderately engaged and around 6 percent have little or no engagement.
However, Mokaba points out as you look at the upperclassman at RHS the engagement percentages increase.
In 11th grade 88.9 percent of students are fully engaged, 9 percent are moderately engaged and 2.7 percent have little or no engagement.
Moving to 12th grade the report found 82.5 percent are fully engaged, 15 percent are moderately engaged and only 2.5 percent have little or new engagement in their online studies.
“We see it as a positive trend that as the grade level increases so does the percentage of engagement,” said Mokaba. “Our parent liaisons have been calling RHS families non-stop to get students participating more (during online classes).”
Again, Mokaba highlighted the work that needs to be done at the Seacoast School.
At the Seacoast the level of engagement was broken down by subject
The report found only 42 percent of students at Seacoast were fully engaged in ELA classes while 10 percent were moderately engaged and a majority, 48 percent, had little or no engagement in the subject.
History and Civics was even worse with only 28 percent of students fully engaged in the subject, 27 percent moderately engaged and 45 percent having little or no engagement.
However, there was a bright side according to Mokaba.
“We see a swing towards a positive trend when it comes to science and math,” she said.
At the Seacoast 53 percent are fully engaged in science while 47 percent have little or no engagement.
In math the report found that the numbers of those engaged and those that were not the same as science.
“One of the things the team at the Seacoast has done, which includes school counselors and social workers, is set up a three tier system and create individual student action plans to get more students engaged at the school,” said Mokaba.