The purpose of this study was to identify best practices perceived and used by principals in low-SES high schools to achieve high annual attendance rates.
The study was an applied qualitative design, which used interviews for data collection and an emergent approach to data analysis. It involved a combination of criterion and extreme sampling to identify and interview eight principals from low-SES high schools (grades 9–12) in West Virginia with an annual attendance rate over 90%. Coding and data analysis processes involved in vitro and structural protocols.
The following best practices emerged from the research in order of most to least used: offering incentives and student recognition; establishing a positive school culture with high expectations for students to come to school; holding meetings with parents, students and an administrator; having personalized communication between students and an adult within the school; telephoning families of absent students; consistently following established district and state policies for attendance; and picking up absent students at their homes.
All the approaches revealed could be characterized as aspects of one overall best practice: developing a positive culture within the school. The ensuing specific best practices were actions and policies consistently applied and enforced.
Improved attendance results in improved performance and college- and career-readiness. Approaches similar to those revealed in this study of high-attendance, low-SES West Virginia high schools may help to improve attendance and achievement in other high schools, not just in West Virginia, but throughout the United States.
|Advisor:||Hall, Kelly S.|
|Commitee:||Bolton, DeEdra J., Childs, William P., Nichols, Jodi L.|
|School:||Frostburg State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Maryland|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational administration, Education, Secondary education|
|Keywords:||Attendance, High schools, Low-socioeconomic status, Principals, Strategies|
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