Engaging Parents to Reduce Truancy Rates

submission by snahmPLN

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

Para Los Niños

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Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


Para Los Niños is transforming lives by closing the achievement gap for children in poverty.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


Truancy is defined as a student being absent or tardy by more than 30 minutes without a valid excuse on 3 occasions in a school year, and we intend to reduce the truancy rate by 10% at our two charter schools that operate in Skid Row. We propose a three-pronged collaborative approach to addressing chronic absence and truancy: 1) changes in school attendance practices; 2) home visitation; and 3) parent engagement and leadership opportunities for our enrolled families.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):

How will your proposal improve the following “Learn” metrics? (check all that apply)

Percentage of children enrolled in early education programs

Percentage of community college students completing a certificate, degree, or transfer-related program in six years

Youth unemployment and underemployment

District-wide graduation rates

HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math

Academic Performance Index* scores

College matriculation rates

Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher education institutions, and the workforce) (Dream Metric)

Suspension and expulsion rates (Dream Metric)

Truancy rates in elementary and middle schools (Dream Metric)

Students perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to learn.


Para Los Niños works to close the achievement gap for children living in poverty through an educational approach that integrates high quality academics, family and mental health supports, and community engagement and leadership opportunities for parents.

The majority of children we serve are being raised by single mothers, grandparents or other family members, with an average annual income of $15-20K. The average truancy rate across our two charter schools located in the Skid Row community is 25%. 75% of the children are English language learners; over 90% are Hispanic, 9% are African American, and the rest consist of other ethnic minorities. 14% of families are linguistically isolated, nearly double the rate for Los Angeles County, and 50% of parents of our charter school students report middle school as their highest educational level attained.

School attendance practices will provide parents access to school information on attendance behavior policies, and access to positive reinforcement for attendance behavior efforts. School policies will include: orientations for parents on school policies and expectations for student attendance and on-time arrival; contact people for parents to connect with when there are challenges getting their children to school; student rewards for improved attendance; and use of data to identify who is at risk of poor attendance and then working with the family to develop attendance plans for children missing too much school.

Home visitation will provide schools access to additional information about a child’s home environment that may be impacting attendance. Home visitation will also help families access a trusted and supportive relationship with a school faculty member.

Parent engagement opportunities will provide parents access to more accessible and practical spaces to get involved in their children’s education and to learn about the importance of regular school attendance and how truancy can negatively impact their children long-term. Parent leaders will be trained to facilitate peer groups where families share resources and information with one another.

Expected outcomes for this proposed project will include not only reduced truancy rates at two charter schools in Skid Row, but also the development of a parent leadership network throughout East Los Angeles, South Los Angeles and other areas of Los Angeles where many of our families reside or access resources.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


1) School staff and school parents will complete a short questionnaire to inform development of an inventory of root causes of truancy at our schools.
2) We will create action plans collaboratively with school and parent leaders to develop strategies that respond to the identified causes.
3) Parents and school staff will fill out satisfaction questionnaires at the end of the school year, with questions focused on their respective experiences with rolling out and collaborating on the school truancy policies.
4) Parents who receive home visitation will receive pre and post assessments around a series of areas related to family stability, supports from others, and senses of efficacy as parents.
5) Parents in the engagement and leadership groups will complete pre- and post- surveys designed to measure knowledge, attitudinal, and behavioral growth around factors contributing to student truancy.
6) Compare baseline truancy rates with rates after one year of implementing this program.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

1 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

Truancy costs school districts across the state billions of dollars annually and the resulting punishment for being caught truant frequently costs students valuable class time. Parent are the key link in diminishing truancy

by patricks
6 months ago

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Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

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Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

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Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015