School engagement and participation have become the focus of educators over the past decade as they are linked to achievement and dropout rates. In order to learn, a student has to be both physically and mentally present in the classroom, on a consistent basis, ready to receive instruction.
Students who are in class, on time, and behaving well are more likely to be actively and productively engaged in their own education. Conversely, students who are moving frequently between schools may be less likely to be engaged in their learning, much like a student who is frequently absent.Additionally, a high rate of mobility at a particular school can adversely affect every student at that school. Measures of engagement and participation vary; however, research has proven that high rates of absenteeism, tardiness, disciplinary incidents, or mobility signal disruptions in the continuity and quality of a student’s learning.
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Moreover, high rates of absenteeism can lead to course failure and, eventually, dropping out of school. The good news for educators is that all of this student information is accessible early and often in the school year, before course performance data is available.
As a result, these data are powerful and useful early indicators for identifying students in need of immediate intervention. In the case of a student who is receiving interventions engagement and participation measures can also provide educators with an important measure of the “dosage” of the intervention.
When viewed together, attendance, tardiness, discipline, mobility, dropout rate and participation metrics help educators understand the true story of how actively and productively individual students, groups of students, and their parents are engaged in school.
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