HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.C.R. NO.

173

TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2015

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

REQUESTING THE BOARD OF EDUCATION AND THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO DEVELOP A STRATEGIC PLAN TO ADDRESS CHRONIC STUDENT ABSENTEEISM.

 

 

 


     WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that an important first step toward student success in public schools is ensuring that students are in attendance and ready to learn to maximize the efficiency of time spent in the classroom; and

 

     WHEREAS, attendance data, as it is currently recorded and reported, misrepresents the scope of the chronic absenteeism problems within Department of Education schools; and

 

     WHEREAS, finding a solution for chronic absenteeism has been an ongoing task for school administrators, the Department of Education, and the Board of Education; and

 

     WHEREAS, anecdotally, it has been reported that many teachers find attendance policies place an onerous responsibility on teachers rather than school administrative staff, to process absences, and absences have been incentivized through poorly aligned tardy policies; and

 

     WHEREAS, current policies and procedures have caused delayed notification to parents regarding student absences, resulting in minors being unaccounted for at some schools for up to twelve hours, or a complete breakdown in communicating absences to parents in many cases; and

 

     WHEREAS, delayed reporting of absences to parents has been noted in incidents involving serious injury or death of students, including an accident in November 2012 involving three Campbell High School students, which occurred during the school day while the students' guardians were unaware of the students' absence from school; and

 

     WHEREAS, the lack of any statewide attendance policy or set of standards demands that a comprehensive analysis be conducted of chronic absenteeism; now, therefore,

 

     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-eighth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2015, the Senate concurring, that the Department of Education and the Board of Education are requested to develop a strategic plan addressing chronic absenteeism to:

 

     (1) Identify weaknesses in attendance policies and procedures;

 

     (2) Specify the desired outcomes for parent contact and classroom support; and

 

     (3)  Develop effective ways to collect and report data to administrators, guardians and respective neighborhood boards; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Education and the Board of Education are requested to implement standards requiring direct communication from a school administrator or administrative support staff member of any absences or tardiness to a student's guardians within a reasonable timeframe, as decided by the Board of Education, as well as written notification to guardians of any unexcused student absences; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Education is requested to submit a strategic plan to the Legislature for review sixty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2016; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Education is requested to submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than thirty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2016; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Superintendent of Education and the Chairperson of the Board of Education.

Report Title: 

Chronic absenteeism; BOE and DOE develop a strategic plan