You started your first year as a CIS Student Support Specialist in a traditionally under-resourced school with low academic performance results and high chronic absentee rates.


You started your first year as a CIS Student Support Specialist in a traditionally under-resourced school with low academic performance results and high chronic absentee rates. Your school leaders are enthusiastic about the academic and attendance gains they expect to make this year with several new staff members, and they have lots of ideas for new initiatives and programs to help ensure a successful year. Some of the students in your school are returning, and some are new. Several returning students are having difficulty adjusting to the differences within their school community, and the teachers and staff are still learning their roles and responsibilities. As the year progresses, your school continues to respond to major logistical and personnel challenges, including multiple master schedule changes and teacher turnover. Despite these challenges, you have a strong understanding of what services would best help the students at your school because you have evaluated student demographic and school data, as well as the assets and opportunities within the surrounding community. You also worked with the school leaders and support staff to identify the most pressing needs of the students in your school related to academics, behavior, parent/family engagement, and more importantly attendance and you created a CIS School Support Plan that aligns with the school’s own action plan. Armed with current school-level trends and individual student data regarding risk factors, you now have meaningful data to begin identifying a caseload of students needing the most support in these areas. 

WRITING PROMPTS (Please complete ALL 3 prompts in their entirety)

1. Due to the record high chronic absentee rate in our schools, our organization’s focus is to reduce the attendance rate. Considering that some school staff and parents are not aware, understand or are concerned about the impact that attendance has on our schools and the dropout rate, how do you create a cohesive action plan to increase awareness about the importance of attendance and help improve the attendance rates for 50 of the schools most chronically absent students (400 words or less). 

2. After you’ve completed a needs assessment and evaluated their individual risk factors, you develop goals with your case managed students to track on a regular basis. Because the needs of students on your caseload are highly varied, some require minimal check-ins, and others need daily or weekly progress monitoring sessions with you. Some have basic needs that are not being met at home, while others can benefit from behavior interventions or connections to tutoring and mentoring programs. Others may need more intensive, ongoing mental health supports or additional services that you aren’t qualified to provide. And, unfortunately, not all of these needed resources/services are readily available internally through the school. What strategies would you use and subsequently, what initial steps would take to address the various non-attendance needs described in this scenario? (400 words or less) 

3. Your annual CIS program budget of $3,000 supports the school-wide prevention programs and services you implement

 from the School Support Plan, which all aim to improve students’ attendance. Create a fall semester calendar of

school-wide programs, services, and events you might plan to address attendance. First, state if you are tailoring the 

calendar to an elementary, middle, or high school, and for each offering, please include the following: 

● Program/Service/Event Title 

● Expected outcome 

● Target student group  

● Budget allocation