In-Person Conference – School Attendance Summit: Present and Accounted For

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Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School

Rep. Sally Kerans, 13th Essex District, Nyal Fuentes, College and Career Readiness Coordinator, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Lisa Harney, M.Ed., Education Specialist, DESE Michael Moriarty, Esq., Board Member, DESE, Nancy Rappaport, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Stephen Zrike, Jr., Ed.D., Superintendent, Salem Public Schools


Each year, MPY sponsors a School Attendance Summit early in the school year to highlight best practices to promote positive school attendance. Chronic absenteeism is a risk factor for several behaviors including, suicidality, substance use, unsafe sexual behavior, and increased school dropout rates. This conference discusses the dynamics of school avoidance, to define underlying causes and ways to identify it early to interrupt the pattern. Interventions will be provided to build consistent school attendance and keep students on track for learning. Presenters will be using data from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to inform programming to improve student outcomes and promote educational equity. Statewide data on key metrics such as graduation rate, dropout rate, chronic absenteeism, and 9th grade course passing is helpful to engage in progress monitoring for students at risk.

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