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LBUSD Attendance Initiative Earns State Recognition

State of California Department of Education

The Long Beach Unified School District is one of 23 honorees recognized as models of attendance improvement by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.

The prestigious Model School Attendance Review Board (SARB) honor is awarded to California school systems that demonstrate innovative and effective practices to reduce absenteeism. This year, the application was revised to prioritize and elevate multi-tiered attendance improvement programs that emphasize nonpunitive, comprehensive student and family support. The Model SARB recognition program is sponsored by the California Department of Education in cooperation with the California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance.

LBUSD and its Model SARB Chairperson, Dr. Lushandra Prioleau, have received recognition for their successful multi-tiered approach towards enhancing student attendance and engagement. The approach has resulted in improved educational outcomes and has fostered an inclusive, engaging and supportive environment for all students in LBUSD. 

Dr. Prioleau, who serves as a program administrator for the LBUSD Student Support Services department, describes the District’s approach as a three-tiered process.

“Tier 1 provides a foundation to improve overall attendance and prevent chronic absenteeism by cultivating school connectedness, a positive school climate and clear expectations for accountability that incorporate all stakeholders,” she said. “Tier 2 focuses on early intervention and prevention strategies that are initiated as quickly as possible to re-engage students.”

An instrumental component of LBUSD’s SARB efforts is the District’s “All In” team, composed of school counselors and social workers that provide professional development and direct support to 54 schools. In alignment with Tier 2, the “All In” team helps school sites review and analyze data on a monthly basis to determine which interventions to use.

Dr. Prioleau continues to explain, “Tier 3 involves intensive support and a referral to meet with the District’s SARB is made once the school site has exhausted its resources and interventions.”

“LBUSD’s SARB is a diverse group of members from our Student Support Services team and community members who reflect our student population and are committed to providing necessary resources to remove barriers to school attendance,” she shared. “Our SARB is culturally sensitive, respectful, compassionate and understanding of the unique needs of each family.” 
The District’s SARB process is designed to restore and build positive relationships with families, empowering them with the necessary tools to improve attendance and re-engage in school.

“Before a family leaves the SARB meeting, they receive relevant information and connections to community resources to remove barriers. For example, families may receive bus passes, uniforms, mental health service referrals, toiletries and medical resources to list a few,” Dr. Prioleau said.

All 23 Model SARB programs will be recognized at the state conference of the California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance on April 26 in Monterey. 

Dr. Prioleau and the chairperson of each Model SARB will also serve as mentors for other school systems in the state to help develop their own strategies to reduce chronic absenteeism.

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