Promising Practices to Reduce Chronic Absence

Promoting expanded learning to engage non-engaged students

The Summer Enrichment Experience (S.E.E) works to mitigate summer learning loss by extending wraparound services and providing engaging experiential learning opportunities. The program targets students who are not engaged.  Participation criteria include standardized test scores and chronic absence data.  Students who participate in S.E.E (Grades post kindergarten – post third) are the first invited to participate in Excellence Through Real-World Experiences and Maximizing Energy (XTREME) (post Grade 5 – post Grade 8).  XTREME is a summer enrichment program focused on strengthening STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills through an inter-disciplinary, applied approach and after-school programs during the school year. 

In the spring, the District Data Team compiles a list of eligible students and then conducts case conferences with each of the principals to discuss the list of students, gather additional data and determine if there are additional students who would benefit from the program. 
S.E.E and XTREME are operated in partnership with 14 experienced out-of-school time community-based organizations in collaboration with the Coalition for New Britain’s Youth (Coalition).  The Coalition and Consolidated School District of New Britain (CSDNB) provides training to the community-based organizations to ensure that the programs are aligned with traditional classroom curriculum based on Common Core State Standards.


The distinguishing characteristics of the programs include:

  1. Strategic alignment of school day, school year and summer – Both teachers and community providers participate in joint training, implement well-managed classroom strategies, follow Common Core State Standards for speaking and listening and align programming with district curriculum.
  2. Applied learning – Students are able to apply academic/social skills to real world settings and are provided the opportunity to become “experts.”  XTREME is focused on strengthening STEM skills through an inter-disciplinary, applied approach that allows students to see practical applications of abstract concepts through community service projects.
  3. Leadership development – Students participate in leadership and personal development training. Eighth grade students that have participated in S.E.E. are invited to apply for stipend positions as “leaders-in-training” and ninth grade students receive student internships to be co-teachers in XTREME.
  4. Transition to High School - XTREME is housed at New Britain High School which exposes middle school students to the facilities and opportunities that await them in high school. Personal development sessions are specifically geared toward eighth graders transitioning to ninth grade. Topics include interest inventories, extracurricular activities, executive functioning skills (habits of study, inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility) as they relate to students’ growing independence as secondary learners.

In addition, evaluation of the SEE programs showed the following results:

  • 47% of students chronically absent during the school year who attended S.E.E. showed attendance improvement in the 2015-16 school year compared to a 29% increase for those students invited but did not attend.
  • 26% of students chronically absent during the school year who attended S.E.E. in both 2014 and 2015 showed improved attendance in 2015-16 compared to only 6% for those invited, but did not attend.
  • 57% of S.E.E. students maintained or increased their Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) test scores from spring 2015 to fall 2015, as compared to 53% of students who were invited but did not participate in the program.
  • 83% of S.E.E students who attended three years of the S.E.E. programs had an increase in Developmental Spelling Assessment (DSA) featured points and 77% showed an increase in words spelled correctly.


Out-of-School Time

Strategy: Promoting expanded learning to engage non-engaged students

District: Consolidated School District of New Britain

District Snapshot: 10,144 Students; 6,646 Hispanic/Latino; 2016 White; 1,170 African American; 15 Schools; 18% chronic absence rate (2015-16) and 20.1% (2016-17)

Contact Information:   Joseph Vaverchak, Attendance Officer, 860-827-2246,