Governor Lamont and Commissioner Russell-Tucker Announce Connecticut Program on Reducing Student Absenteeism Featured as National Best Practice
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut State Department of Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker today announced that Connecticut’s Learner Engagement and Attendance Program (LEAP), which was created in 2021 following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to combat student absenteeism, is featured as a national best practice in a newly released promotional video produced by the Collaborative for Student Success, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for practices and policies that improve outcomes for all students.
The video highlights the effectiveness of LEAP’s home visiting actions in reducing student absences.
“I’m proud that Connecticut’s education recovery initiatives are being featured as a best practice on a national level,” Governor Lamont said. “The positive impact LEAP has had on reducing student absenteeism is why my budget proposal for the next two years includes additional funding to sustain and grow this program. We know that chronic absenteeism can have a lasting impact on a student’s academic success, so it’s important that we continue to take proactive and innovative steps to reduce it.”
Administered by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), LEAP is a home-visiting program that identifies and partners with families to improve student attendance and family engagement. Through this program, home visitors working on behalf of the state and local school districts connect directly with families and students to establish trusting relationships, help return them to a more regular form of school attendance, and assist with placement in summer, after school, and learning programs.
“We are thrilled that Connecticut’s Learner Engagement and Attendance Program is being recognized as a national best practice,” Commissioner Russell-Tucker said. “Our evaluation has demonstrated that LEAP resulted in increased attendance in districts where the intervention model was implemented. The success of LEAP is due to the close collaboration on design and implementation with our local school districts, the RESC Alliance, professional expertise and support from Attendance Works, and of course, our home visitors. We thank them for their ongoing partnership. This video from the Collaborative for Student Success is a wonderful way to showcase LEAP and the importance of partnerships and, most importantly, building strong relationships between families and schools to improve student outcomes.”
LEAP was initially funded by an allocation of $10.7 million from Connecticut’s share of federal COVID-19 recovery funding. In his recently released fiscal year 2024-2025 biennial budget proposal, Governor Lamont is proposing to invest an additional $7 million of federal recovery funding to continue it.
The Center for Connecticut Education Research and Collaboration (CCERC), the state’s innovative research partnership between CSDE and institutions of higher education, recently released a report highlighting the positive effects of LEAP’s home visits on student attendance in the districts where it was used.
For more information on LEAP, visit portal.ct.gov/SDE/Chronic-Absence/Learner-Engagement-and-Attendance-Program-LEAP.