Student Engagement and Attendance Technical Assistance Center (SEAC)

Program and Grantee Support Services

Contract

GS-10F-0136X

Project Description

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

To learn more about the Learning Series, please contact Dani Filo-Jones (dfilo-jones@insightpolicyresearch.com) or Jenny Scala (jscala@air.org).

Resources

SEA Attendance Reflection Tool

LEA Attendance Reflection Tool

Promising Practices Brief: Improving Student Engagement (July 2020)

Needs Assessment (December 2020)

Executive Summary

District Needs-Sensing Addendum

Legacy resources related to chronic absenteeism are available at National Student Attendance, Engagement, and Success Center

Contact the SEA Center

For more information about the SEA Center, please contact Jarle Crocker at jcrocker@insightpolicyresearch.com

Contact Information

  • Ed Vitelli, Group Leader
    Program and Grantee Support Services
    U.S. Department of Education, OESE
    400 Maryland Ave., S.W. - Room 3E106
    Washington, DC 20202
Last Modified: 09/30/2021