A targeted strategy or support is useful when a group of students have a similar need. For example, if a number of students are not attending school because they do not have winter clothing, a school may choose to hold a clothing swap to increase access to warm winter clothing. In this way, the supports are targeted to a need that has been identified in the school community.
When implementing strategies for all students, schools or school authority staff may notice trends that suggest a different type of support is needed for a group of students.
Other examples of targeted supports may include:
Sometimes a more individualized approach is needed to assist a student to improve their attendance. Individualized strategies or supports are tailored to the circumstances of a student and their family and may include things like:
A community conference provides a place for all parties involved in a student's success to meet. Participants in the community conference work together to seek solutions to support a student to attend school and re-engage in learning. Participants at a community conference may include: the student and their family, family supports (extended family, friends and community support agencies), school staff and their supporting resources (e.g., social work, psychology, family school liaison worker, etc.) and the community conference facilitator (a specially trained person).
At the community conference, the student and family have an opportunity to speak about what is happening for them. It is also a place for school authority staff to explain how they have been affected by a student's absence from school. Through these conversations, all parties gain an understanding of the barriers that are keeping the student from regularly attending school. The outcome of a community conference is a written agreement that includes actions and assigns responsibility to all those who have a part to play in supporting the student to improve attendance.
Schools and school authorities interested in a community conference may contact the Office of Student Attendance and Re-engagement (OSAR) for information, access to a trained community conference facilitator and/or facilitator training for school authority staff.