Two Orange County districts have been recognized by the state for the work of their school attendance review boards, or SARBs, which are being hailed as model programs that devised innovative strategies to support students during distance learning.
The Centralia Elementary and Santa Ana Unified school districts were among 20 statewide recipients of Model SARB Awards following unprecedented disruptions to in-person attendance. State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced the winners on Wednesday, April 14.
“These 19 school districts and one county office of education created exemplary plans and worked hard to follow through on them to help students stay engaged in their education — all during the unprecedented closure of our schools due to a global pandemic,” Thurmond said. “Many of these same great attendance strategies will also be crucial for student success as even more schools reopen for safe in-person attendance in the near future.”
Operating at the local and county levels, SARBs can serve as safety nets for students with persistent attendance or behavioral problems. They often include representatives from local youth-serving agencies who connect chronically truant students and their families with school and community resources to resolve absenteeism.
Centraila’s SARB is chaired by Dr. Stacy Chang, according to the California Department of Education’s news release, and Jackie Sanchez leads the board in Santa Ana.
The CDE says this year’s Model SARB Award winners implemented Learning Continuity and Attendance Plans that embraced these four approaches:
- Shifting staff roles and responsibilities to meet the needs of distance learning students
- Supporting virtual attendance of pupils with unique needs
- Providing for the mental health and well-being of students during distance learning
- Pupil and family engagement and outreach
The model programs will be publicly recognized at the State SARB meeting on April 15 and at the annual state conference of the California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance on April 27.
Here’s a list of all of the recognized agencies, along with their Model SARB chairpersons:
- Alhambra Unified School District, Lindsey Ma
- Alvord Unified School District, Ian Fish
- Centinela Valley Union High School District, Vanessa Landesfeind
- Centralia Elementary School District, Dr. Stacy Chang
- Corona-Norco Unified School District, John Reynoso
- Fontana Unified School District, Jose Barzaga
- Glendale Unified School District, Dr. Ilin Magran
- Hacienda la Puente Unified School District, Cynthia Cabello
- Jurupa Unified School District, Olga Lidia Alferez
- Kern High School District, Erin Rader
- Lake Elsinore Unified School District, Steve Behar
- Long Beach Unified School District, Claudia Sosa-Valderrama
- Murrieta Valley Unified School District, Katherine Wood
- Pittsburg Unified School District, Dr. ReJois Fraziers-Myers
- Romoland School District, Carmen Kaas
- Sanger Unified School District, Johnny P. Gonzalez
- Santa Ana Unified School District, Jackie Sanchez
- Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools, Rob Egger
- Val Verde Unified School District, Thomas Gronotte
- William S. Hart Union High School District, Erum Velek