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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Manage Student Absenteeism

Honeywell Instant Alert™ for Schools is a communication system typically used by districts in emergency situations. Although some districts use the system to communicate everyday messages – buses running late, conference announcements, etc. – few use it in such a unique way as Newport Schools in Kentucky. As one of the districts in the United States funded solely on average daily attendance (ADA), Newport Schools needed an efficient process to combat the ever-growing problem of absenteeism.

In a 2,200-student district, if five percent of students are out, that’s 110 students. It typically would take five minutes to contact each parent by phone, equaling 550 minutes (8-10 hours) of administrative time per day. And this is a conservative estimate. Now the district uses Instant Alert to contact all parents of absent students at one time. Through the use of the system, Newport has managed to increase its ADA from 93.6 percent to 95.1 percent. The 1.5 percent increase generated $80,000 in additional state funding for the district, the equivalent of two teacher salaries.

Thus far the return on investment has been outstanding. Newport’s attendance records put it in competition with suburban school districts, which typically have better records than urban districts.

Read the full case study on SchoolFacilities.com here.