Leveraging Technology and Training for Family Engagement

Affiliated institutions: The Lab @ DC

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Description: To succeed in school, students have to be present. Families support student attendance through mechanisms like transportation, encouragement, and communicating with schools about excused absences, but schools can struggle to engage families. Much existing evidence on absenteeism interventions is based on approaches to family engagement where schools use one-way communications to inform families about negative events, like absenteeism. Our project will evaluate a web and mobile application specifically designed for teachers to engage families in positive, two-way communications about students’ attendance. With the Washington, DC, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME) and 5 public schools, we’re testing whether giving teachers training and a family engagement app improves student attendance. The findings will shape the District’s strategies for improving student attendance and investing in Education Technology.

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