2 OC districts recognized for model school attendance review boards

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.

California Department of Education (CDE) logo“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:

  1. Alhambra Unified School District, Lindsey Ma
  2. Alvord Unified School District, Ian Fish
  3. Centinela Valley Union High School District, Vanessa Landesfeind
  4. Centralia Elementary School District, Dr. Stacy Chang
  5. Corona-Norco Unified School District, John Reynoso
  6. Fontana Unified School District, Jose Barzaga
  7. Glendale Unified School District, Dr. Ilin Magran
  8. Hacienda la Puente Unified School District, Cynthia Cabello
  9. Jurupa Unified School District, Olga Lidia Alferez
  10. Kern High School District, Erin Rader
  11. Lake Elsinore Unified School District, Steve Behar
  12. Long Beach Unified School District, Claudia Sosa-Valderrama
  13. Murrieta Valley Unified School District, Katherine Wood
  14. Pittsburg Unified School District, Dr. ReJois Fraziers-Myers
  15. Romoland School District, Carmen Kaas
  16. Sanger Unified School District, Johnny P. Gonzalez
  17. Santa Ana Unified School District, Jackie Sanchez
  18. Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools, Rob Egger
  19. Val Verde Unified School District, Thomas Gronotte
  20. William S. Hart Union High School District, Erum Velek