Job Title: Attendance Counselor
School Year: 2021-2022
The Attendance Counselor provides school-based support to ensure the improvement of local school attendance. The Attendance Counselor is located in an assigned local school in the District of Columbia Public School System. The objective of this position is to monitor and support the local schools' implementation of the Attendance Plan Guidelines and Procedures for Truancy Court Referrals, as well as to implement the Truancy Prevention Program, Mandatory Employee Testimony at Student Attendance Hearings, and all procedures and guidelines of record in support of Compulsory School Attendance Law. This position is a safety-sensitive position. As a result, throughout employment this position will be subject to the Employee Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy.
The Attendance Counselor will report to the Principal.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
The below statements are intended to describe the general nature and scope of work being performed by this position. This is not a complete listing of all responsibilities, duties, and/or skills required. Other duties may be assigned.
- Ensures attendance is entered into Aspen every period, every day, for every teacher.
- Creates internal systems to ensure that any missing attendance is entered.
- Coordinates with administrator to develop system to ensure that teachers who repeatedly do not enter attendance receive training, support, and reminders regarding expectations.
- Maintains attendance taking information for substitutes so that attendance records are entered and posted each day (for elementary) or by period (for middle/high school).
- Ensures attendance record-keeping is updated and accurate.
- Enters excuse notes received from guardians within 48 hours of receipt, retaining the documentation in the student's file.
- Makes required changes to student attendance records as outlined in policy.
- Creates systems to ensure that students who are in school in an approved location but not in class, on field trips, or otherwise authorized to be out of class are marked appropriately in Aspen.
- Coordinates with master scheduler and behavior leads to ensure that student records are accurate for students experiencing schedule changes or behavior issues.
- Manages tardy process and ensures that the attendance records of students arriving late to school are appropriately modified in Aspen.
- Completes data modification requests, as needed.
- Conducts internal audits of student class attendance to identify and correct errors.
- Ensures compliance with all necessary communication touch points to families, including generating and mailing/emailing or texting letters or notices daily.
- Reviews the DCPS Data Analysis Center (DDAC) data (school-level, grade level, and student-level attendance data) at least weekly for patterns and alerts administration and attendance team members as necessary when issues arise.
- Serves as POC for Central Office Attendance team.
- Provides and facilitates training for identified back-up Attendance POC.
- Ensures all aspects of attendance and truancy intervention occur, including each step of the DCPS Attendance Protocol, including:
- Leads, coordinates, and documents all attendance-related SST meetings.
- Ensures submission of legally-required external referrals to partner agencies (CFSA when students ages 5-13 accrue 10 unexcused full-day absences, and CSS when students ages 14-17 accrue 15 unexcused full-day absences).
- Engages with parents/guardians to discuss and problem-solve attendance concerns.
- Coordinates school partners that support attendance interventions to ensure alignment of intervention strategies and appropriate caseload management.
- Collaborates with school and/or partner-led after school programs and clubs to ensure students are attending school regularly.
- Conducts student and family interventions to address root causes of truant behavior.
- Conducts or coordinates home visits when parents/guardians are not responsive to other communication efforts (e.g., phone calls, letters).
- Leads/facilitates implementation of attendance portion of the Comprehensive School Plan (CSP).
- Ensures implementation of Attendance Roadmap.
- Spearheads Tier I interventions and initiatives to facilitate a culture of attendance for all students (competitions, announcements, attendance posters, and bulletin boards).
- Executes No-Show Protocol.
Other Attendance Leadership Duties
- Facilitates weekly attendance committee meetings.
- Conducts annual staff development on school-wide attendance policies and procedures, including teacher attendance entry and school designee and teacher-parent/guardian contact after fourth absence (excused or unexcused) of the school year.
- Attends annual attendance training provided by central office, as well as trainings led by central office throughout the year.
- High school diploma or equivalent, and no prior work experience.
- Knowledge of regulations, Superintendent's Directives, and legal and educational ramifications of the Compulsory School Attendance Law.
- Previous exposure to or experience in the education sector a plus.
- Strong written and oral communication skills.
- Ability to function under stress and manage conflict situations.
- Experience with Microsoft Office Suite.
- Interviewing and counseling skills strongly desired.
- STUDENTS FIRST: We recognize students as whole children and put their needs first in everything we do.
- COURAGE: We have the audacity to learn from our successes and failures, to try new things, and to lead the nation as a proof point of PK-12 success.
- EQUITY: We work proactively to eliminate opportunity gaps by interrupting institutional bias and investing in effective strategies to ensure every student succeeds.
- EXCELLENCE: We work with integrity and hold ourselves accountable for exemplary outcomes, service, and interactions.
- TEAMWORK: We recognize that our greatest asset is our collective vision and ability to work collaboratively and authentically.
- JOY: We enjoy our collective work and will enthusiastically celebrate our success and each other.