Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


From 1986 to 1989 Alice Drive Middle School was one of the lowest among nine schools in Sumter School District 17 in average daily attendance. The problem was documented each year in a report issued by the District Attendance Supervisor to the members of the school board and to the South Carolina State Department of Education. State, school district, and Alice Drive Middle School policies, laws, and other related documents were examined in an effort to gain insight into the problem. Recent state level educational reform through legislation was determined to contribute to the problem rather than alleviate it. Non consensus on the causes of the absenteeism problem at Alice Drive Middle School could be reached after informal interviews with school and district administrators, parents, and teachers. A number of informal groups were identified in the research process that could bring both positive and negative influences to bear on the problem. External factors impacting on the school were numerous. The competition between two public school districts in the county, parent apathy, district financial difficulties, evidenced by a lack of community support for tax increases to back school needs, all conspired to hinder normal school operations at Alice Drive Middle School. Strategies for the practicum intervention included implementation of strict monitoring procedures for student attendance, early identification of students with potential for excessive absenteeism, a reward system to encourage improved attendance, establishment of an In-School Suspension program, and a Student Attendance Review Board. The entire faculty participated in an inservice program in an effort to involve the entire school community in motivating students toward regular attendance. The practicum intervention also utilized parent and community resources. Evaluation of the intervention revealed that the average daily attendance at Alice Drive Middle School met terminal outcome objectives for the 1990-91 school year. Terminal outcomes for chronic absentees exceeded intervention objectives.

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