Stanislaus County Office of Education Honored as a Model School Attendance Review Board (SARB) for exemplary practices to reduce chronic absenteeism and increase student attendance. The Model SARB program identifies and recognizes outstanding and innovative programs that serve as models for other SARBs in the state. The award was sponsored by the California Department of Education (CDE) in cooperation with the California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance (CASCWA) Sharma Uma accepted the Model SARB award at the California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance State Conference on May 9, 2018, in Fresno. (CDE Press Release)
Good Attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work!
The Stanislaus County Office of Education SARB provides services to all local school districts in combating truancy and behavior problems among the elementary, middle school and high school students. The ultimate goal is to get children back in their seats. Early intervention is the key. SARB requires that local SARTs, DARTs, DIT’s intervene by sending letters, making phone calls and conducting home visits, and also utilizing local community resources before referral to the County SARB. At SARB, a team of individuals from the County Office of Education, Sheriff’s Department, Probation, District Attorney’s Office, Community Services Agency, Health Services Agency, Community Liaison, School Board Member, Sierra Vista Children’s Center, Center For Human Services and a School Board Member convene together with the students and families, assist in finding solutions which ultimately get young children back on the right track.
What is SARB?
In 1974, the Legislature enacted California Education Code (EC) Section 48320 to enhance the enforcement of compulsory education laws and to divert students with school attendance or behavior problems from the juvenile justice system until all available resources have been exhausted.
EC Section 48321 provides several organizational structures for School Attendance Review Boards (SARBs) at the local and county level to create a safety net for students with persistent attendance or behavior problems. Although the goal of SARBs is to keep students in school and provide them with a meaningful educational experience, SARBs do have the power, when necessary, to refer students and their parents or guardians to court.
EC Section 48321 states that the county SARB shall include, and the local SARB may include, all of the following:
- Representative of school district(s)
- Representative of the county probation department
- Representative of the county social services department
- Representative of the county superintendent of schools office
- Representative of law enforcement
- Representative of community-based youth service center
- Representative of school guidance personnel
- Representative of child welfare and attendance (CWA)
- Representative of school or county health care personnel
- Other representatives as needed
Have a strong commitment from participating agencies and schools.
Effectively utilize school personnel in a problem-solving approach.
Use consistency in coordination or referrals and efforts.
Have chairpersons responsible for the smooth coordination of resources available.
Who is referred to SARB?
- Students whose irregular school attendance has not been resolved by school efforts.
- Students whose serious behavior problems have not been resolved by school efforts.
What does SARB do for Students?
Some of the more frequent actions of SARB include:
- Recommending changes in the student’s school program.
- Directing the student and/or family to counseling.
- Securing resources for parent education and/or child care.
- Arranging for tutoring when needed.
- Arranging for changes in teacher assignments when appropriate.
- Coordinating assistance from volunteers to help students.
- Facilitating transfer to a different school when necessary.
- Linking families to community resources.
- Requesting assistance from other county agencies and programs.
SARB seeks to understand why students are experiencing attendance and/or behavior problems and makes every effort to correct the problems.
Facts related to nonattendance…
- Parents allow their children to be absent more on Mondays and Fridays.
- Parents allow their children to stay home because of inclement weather, the day after a school holiday and for the parents’ convenience.
- Students who ride the bus to school are absent more frequently than students within walking distance from school.
- Students who do not eat breakfast are absent more than students who do.