Student Engagement and Attendance Technical Assistance Center (SEAC)
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Program and Grantee Support Services
The Student Engagement and Attendance Center (SEAC) supports state education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) in their efforts to reduce chronic absenteeism and increase student engagement. The SEAC is operated by Insight Policy Research and the American Institutes for Research. This technical assistance initiative is authorized under section 4103(a) of Title IV, Part A, Subpart 3, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended.
The SEAC seeks to identify and disseminate evidence-based promising practices and research, and to establish peer learning communities, guided by subject matter experts, that allow for stakeholders to learn effective strategies from one another. The SEAC also develops tools, products, and resources on chronic absence interventions and improving student engagement in learning. Finally, the Center offers supports to SEAs and LEAs in developing their learning response to the national COVID-19 pandemic, identifying strategies to reengage with students and families to facilitate learning recovery.
This work continues the previous efforts of the previous National Student Attendance, Engagement, and Success Center, in operation from 2016 to 2018.
Types of Technical Assistance
The SEAC’s technical assistance activities include informational webinars, peer-to-peer virtual events, learning events facilitated by subject matter experts, and collaboration with other technical assistance centers.
Additionally, the SEAC identifies, creates, and disseminates resources, including publications, promising-practice briefs, and other tools that address chronic absenteeism and student engagement.
Peer to Peer Exchanges
The SEAC engaged SEAs and LEAs in its Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Network, from November 2020 to June 2021. The P2P focused on two topical strands—attendance data and attendance supports. Participants shared challenges, promising practices, and strategies with one another, and piloted a checklist tool for attendance support. Examples of topics addressed included defining and implementing key attendance terminology; school climate; social and emotional learning; and adapting attendance practices for hybrid or remote settings. Subject matter experts provided national context, expertise, and guidance to support the P2P sessions.
Student and Family Reengagement Learning Series
In May 2021, the SEAC convened its the Student and Family Reengagement Learning Series for SEAs and potential partners to focus on strategies for reengaging students and families during the 2021-22 school year. This Learning Series provides the opportunity to establish a collective understanding of emerging promising practices from research and peers for reengaging students, to elevate and promote promising practices on student reengagement, and to create a shared framework to support the implementation of reengagement strategies. Sessions are organized into three thematic areas of focus:
- Student and family communication and engagement
- Strengthening school climate, culture, and student wellness supports
- Coordinating community wraparound services to support student engagement and attendance
Needs Assessment (December 2020)
Legacy resources related to chronic absenteeism are available at National Student Attendance, Engagement, and Success Center
- [Upcoming Webinar on 1/10/23] Chronic Absenteeism: Troubling Trends and Promising Practices
The US Department of Education’s Student Engagement and Attendance Center (SEAC) will host the first in a series of webinars on how State and Local Education Agencies (SEAs and LEAs) can address chronic absenteeism. Sustained high rates of chronic absenteeism continue to present challenges for states and school districts across the country. The most recent statistics from the Department of Education show significant increases in public school students considered chronically absent between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years. (U.S. Department of Education, ED Data Express 2022). Furthermore, preliminary state and local data reveals that chronic absenteeism continued to trend upward by the end of last school year.
During this webinar, representatives from the Connecticut, Ohio, and Louisiana Departments of Education will discuss current data trends in their states and provide examples of promising practices which they’ve implemented to address the root causes of chronic absenteeism. Participants will learn how data was used in these states to leverage partnerships and to take action in order to help students and families overcome challenges exacerbated by the pandemic. Hedy Chang, the Executive Director of Attendance Works and a SEAC partner, will moderate the discussion and offer additional perspectives from a national context.
The webinar is scheduled for January 10th from 2:00-3:30 ET with registration available here. This webinar is intended for SEAs, LEAs, technical assistance intermediaries, and organizations that work on issues related to chronic absenteeism. Please feel free to forward this invitation to any colleagues who might be interested in the topic and reach out to the Student Engagement and Attendance Center (SEAC) at SEACenter@insightpolicyresearch.com with any questions.
- [Recording] Community Discussion about Equity and Attendance (Passcode: 14+&+yN8) On September 20, 2022, The Student Engagement and Attendance Center (SEAC) and Intercultural Development Research Association Equity Assistance Center-South (IDRA EAC-South) hosted a Community Discussion about Equity and Attendance. During an interactive webinar, participants explored a question which many state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) are considering: How do your attendance policies, data systems, and practices improve equity for students of color, students with disabilities, or other student groups who have been historically marginalized? A panel of students, families, and LEA staff interacted with participants to consider these questions together and to review the SEAC’s Equity & Attendance Discussion Guide.
- [Recording] Attendance in Ohio: Supporting Districts in the 2021-22 School Year: This presentation, hosted by the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Attendance and Engagement Center in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Education on March 10, 2022, focuses on first semester attendance data from the 2021–2022 school year in Ohio. Presenters discuss data trends as well as programs and partnerships that support attendance recovery.
- [Recording] Cutting Edge of First Semester Attendance Data: How State and Local Education Agencies Can Respond: This presentation, hosted by the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Attendance and Engagement Center in collaboration with the Connecticut State Department of Education on March 10, 2022, explores first semester attendance data from the 2021–2022 school year in Connecticut and shares strategies for addressing absenteeism and increasing educational equity.
- Blog Post 1: Welcome
- Blog Post 2: Centering Equity in Student Engagement and Attendance
- Blog Post 3: Integrating an Attendance Multi-Tiered System of Supports into State MTSS Frameworks
- Blog Post 4: In Summary: SEAC Peer-to-Peer Learning Network
- Blog Post 5: Implementing Trauma-Sensitive Schools and Social and Emotional Learning to Address Chronic Absenteeism
- Blog 6: SEAC Youth and Family Engagement Resources
Contact the SEA Center
For more information about the SEA Center, please contact Jarle Crocker at email@example.com