Absenteeism; Data Use; Engagement; Bullying & Bias; Teacher Prep; Childhood Trauma; Student Needs; Health & Nutrition; Discipline; Youth Crime; Preventing Violence; Resources & Upcoming Events
School Climate Connection Newsletter

Chronic Absenteeism in California Schools 2016-17
The California Department of Education has released school-level data that show that last year more than 1 in 10 students were chronically absent, defined as missing at least 10 percent of school days for any reason. The data reveal that 1 in 4 foster children was chronically absent from California schools last year, as were about 1 in 5 homeless, Native American, and African-American students. Learn more.

CHKS Absenteeism Data
A new question on the CHKS Core asks students to identify how many full days of school they missed in the past 30 days. Districts/schools can request a report summarizing the characteristics of youth who may be chronically absent (missed three or more days in past 30), including the reasons for being absent, to help guide intervention efforts to reduce this problem. Read about changes to the 2017-18 CHKS.

Combating Absenteeism
Pittsburg Unified in the East Bay Area is using a number of interventions to reduce chronic absenteeism: rewarding students for high attendance rates, early identification of those who are slipping, and intensive services for struggling families. 

How L.A. Unified Could Reduce Absenteeism
As L.A. Unified’s student enrollment has continued to shrink, the percentage of chronically absent students has remained essentially unchanged — a concern because funding is based on attendance. According to one estimate, absenteeism cost LAUSD $20 million last year, at a time when it’s desperately in search of new revenue. Read about an advisory group’s recommendations to L.A. Unified’s school board.

 Data Use and Management

California School Dashboard
After a couple of years of planning and a trial run last spring, the state has released the California School Dashboard, displaying a multi-color system for grading the performance of schools, school districts, and charter schools on a variety of measurements.

Crisis Data Management
Crisis Data Management: A Forum Guide to Collecting and Managing Data about Displaced Students’ provides guidelines that can be used by elementary and secondary education agencies to establish policies and procedures for collecting and managing education data before, during, and after a crisis.


As states and districts work to refine their plans for school improvement under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, a new study suggests that focusing on simple goals and building capacity for them can lead to more sustained success. Three areas were found in which high-performing schools implemented their plans differently from low-performing schools: Data tracking; Alignment; and Engagement.

 Bullying and Bias

Addressing Bias Related Harassment 
Does your school have plans and protocols in place to respond to a bias incident or hate crime? ‘Responding to Hate and Bias at School is a guide designed primarily for school administrators, but teachers, staff, counselors, students, and others also may find guidance here. The guide is divided into three sections: Before a Crisis Occurs; When There’s a Crisis; and After the Worst is Over.

CHKS Bias Related Harassment Data
CHKS reports provide the total percentage of youth who self-report experiencing at school any bias-related harassment in the past year, as well as the specific reasons (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion).

 Teacher Preparation

Teacher Training Report: California Earns a D+
California ranks below 31 other public-school systems and earns just a D-plus in ensuring teacher quality, according to a new report aimed at spurring states to improve teacher preparation.

 Childhood Trauma

Developmental trauma refers to multiple or chronic exposure to one or more forms of developmentally adverse interpersonal trauma. Students who experience developmental trauma may enter school unprepared cognitively, emotionally, and physically. Download SAMHSA’s Adversity in Childhood & Childhood Trauma to learn more.

 Addressing Student Needs

Child Poverty
Nearly a quarter of California children 5 years old and younger live in poverty, according to a new report that examines the impact of the cost of living and family income on the state’s youngest residents. The report found that 31 percent of “poor” families spend more than half of their income on housing, making it difficult to meet basic needs, such as food and health care. Five percent of families in the state live in “deep poverty,” meaning they have less than half the resources they need.

 Health and Nutrition

Plate Waste Study Shows Farm to School Works
Researchers at the University of Florida found that students who attend a school with a farm to school program eat 11% more fruits and 37% more vegetables. A Plate Waste Evaluation of the Farm to School Program featured in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior tracked students' consumption of fruits and vegetables during meal time.

 Discipline Policies

Out-of-Control Schools
In an EdWeek blog, concerns are raised that a decline in the use of suspensions and expulsions is related to schools reporting increased physical attacks on teachers. When teachers feel threatened, they can't do their job, and students who want to learn are held hostage by their classmates.

 Youth Crime

California Teens Commit Fewer Crimes than their Parents Did
The Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice has released a report looking at California's youth arrest rates and rates for various types of crime and found 2016 continued a decades-long decline in both. 

 Preventing Violence

The 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., stirred conversations about how to recognize threats, how to secure schools, and how to respond to the mental health needs of students. Read more.

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SCCN #63  12/28/17
In this issue:

 Data Use
 Bullying & Bias
 Teacher Prep
 Childhood Trauma
 Student Needs
 Health & Nutrition
 Discipline Policies
 Youth Crime
 Preventing Violence
Upcoming Events


Free Training
Youth Mental Health First Aid training from CDE
Information  &  Flyer

Fact Sheets
Cyber Safety

Planning Guides
Emergency Management Planning

Lead in Drinking Water

Archived Webinars
Fix School Discipline

 Upcoming Events

FREE Webinars

Restorative Practices: An Overview and Roadmap for Successful Implementation
Wed, Jan 17, 10:00 am (PT)
Information & Registration

Webinar Series: Hosted by WestEd's School Climate and Wellness Partnership

Refueling Mid-Year: Self and Collective Care for School-Based Staff 
Wed, Feb 20, 11:00 am (PT)
Information & Registration

Crossing the Finish Line: Student Wellness and End-of-Year Transitions
Wed, Apr 11, 11:00 am (PT)
Information & Registration

Webinar Series:
Homeless Youth and Schools

Determining McKinney-Vento Eligibility under ESSA
Wed, Jan 17, 11:00 am (PT)
Mon, Feb 5, 11:00 am (PT)

Paving the Way to College for Students Experiencing Homelessness
Mon, Jan 22, 11:00 am (PT)

McKinney-Vento School Selection Rights Under ESSA
Wed, Jan 24, 11:00 am (PT)
Tue, Feb 13, 11:00 am (PT)

Understanding Doubled-Up
Wed, Jan 31, 11:00 am (PT)
Information & Registration


PACE Conference
Fulfilling the Promise of the Local Control Funding Formula
Fri, Feb 2, 2018
Tsakopoulos Library Galleria
Information & Registration
The School Climate Connection Newsletter is provided through a partnership between the California Department of Education and WestEd. Its purpose is to disseminate current information about, and provide educators with, learning supports for school climate assessment and intervention, including up-to-date information on California's School Climate, Health, and Learning Survey System (CalSCHLS).

Find tips and resources on improving your school climate on the Safe and Supportive Schools website at
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