Calvin M. Rodwell Elementary School (Community School): How Literacy and Attendance Connect!

By: Gwendolyn Unoko, Community School Coordinator, Calvin M. Rodwell Elementary School

Last year (2014 – 2015) our focus areas at Calvin M. Rodwell were Literacy and Attendance. We made significant gains in Literacy with a 17% increase in students reading on grade level. Being a part of the Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) and Attendance Team provides me, the Community School Coordinator, with a prospective of connecting the data and looking at literacy growth and attendance patterns in a variety of ways such as the relationship between a student’s literacy achievement and attendance as well as attendance patterns among siblings, by grade bands, by teachers and reported illnesses (for example are more students becoming ill or being absent because of ventilation in the room, general contact or because more hand washing and hand sanitizers are needed). From our data, stories, observations and the attendance patterns this year (2015- 2016) we are remaining focused on students receiving “Bell to Bell” instruction which means they must be in school on time and remain for the entire school day, which is critical if we want to continue to increase our literacy levels. Research supports and proves that students who attend school daily outperform their peers who are tardy and/or absent. Frequent absences also are indicators that that student will be more likely to drop out of high school. We hope we have already met the last drop out!

As a Community School that provides supports and opportunities we are intensifying our efforts to connect Parents, Families and Students with the importance of attendance and how it impacts present academia and a student’s future. How showing up to school and being engaged develops life long patterns for students even as early as Pre-k through 1st Grade. Literacy and Great Attendance are like Siamese twins. These two aspects are connected so deeply and are the foundation for success. Join me in continuing this great work!




Kim Eisenreich September 28, 2015 Blog