Syracuse City School District highlights their partnership with Proving Ground in the following article. Thanks to a three-year partnership with Harvard University’s Proving Ground, the Syracuse City School District is trying new methods to help improve student attendance and make sure that every student attends school every day!
The partnership brings SCSD together with other school systems across the country, all working together to help remove the barriers to student achievement. Proving Ground helps districts analyze their data to find areas that are preventing student success. In the Syracuse City School District, chronic absenteeism has been a challenge. In order to help improve academics, we first need to improve attendance.
Through looking at SCSD data, Proving Ground discovered that students who are chronically absent in kindergarten are more likely to be chronically absent in first grade; and that chronic absenteeism is more prominent in middle school than in elementary school. They noted that students are more likely to be absent when they have a sibling or other family member in the household who is absent. They also discovered that just seven absences can put a student up to two months behind academically.
To address these challenges, Proving Ground and our network of school partners help suggest solutions that have brought about success in other districts. They create ‘prototype’ solutions with district administrators and test the ideas with parents and students, seeking feedback that will allow them to address potential challenges before the idea is even launched.