September 2016
September is Attendance Awareness Month!
Chronic absence is defined as missing 10% or more of the school year (i.e., 18 days or more). Students who are absent from school miss critical opportunities to learn and develop positive relationships within the school community, and and are at risk of disengagement from school, academic failure, and dropping out. 

In Rhode Island, during the 2014-2015 school year, 14% of students in kindergarten through third grade were chronically absent, while 16% of middle school students and 26% of high school students were chronically absent. 

Committed leaders across Rhode Island are collaborating to track this issue and to implement strategies to increase attendance. We're glad to work in close partnership with Rhode Island Department of Education, school superintendents, principals, teachers, parents, and community partners to reduce chronic absence! 

Attendance Awareness Month is a nationwide recognition of the connection between school attendance and academic achievement. Everybody plays a role in ensuring children attend school regularly - click here for suggestions on how to improve attendance and reduce chronic absence! You can also follow & join the conversation on social media all month long by using the hashtag #schooleveryday - and see some great resources here!

Important New National Report on Chronic Absence
Please see Attendance Work's annual report, Preventing Missed Opportunity, which examines chronic absence data from the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. Please also see The Providence Journal's coverage of the issue.
More Rhode Island Children are in High-Quality Early Learning Programs This School Year
Rhode Island has continued expanding access to high-quality early learning programs. 

  • Head Start provides high-quality early education to 2,230 low-income three- and four-year-old children statewide.
  • The State Pre-K Program provides 1,008 four-year-olds in 11 low-income Rhode Island communities access to free high-quality preschool.
  • As of September, there are now 59 licensed early learning centers, 11 public schools, and 10 licensed family child care programs that have achieved high-quality BrightStars ratings (4 or 5 stars).
  • For the first time, all school districts in Rhode Island now provide universal full-day kindergarten.
Student-Centered Learning Fact Sheet: Learning Anytime, Anywhere
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT is releasing a series of Student-Centered Learning Fact Sheets. Each Fact Sheet highlights state policies that support student-centered learning practices, features best practices in Rhode Island and across the nation, and provides recommendations for expanding and strengthening student-centered learning in Rhode Island. 

Student-Centered Learning recognizes that learning is flexible. Learning Anytime, Anywhere is the principle that structured, credit-bearing learning experiences can take place outside of the traditional school day, or even the school year. 

To learn more about this principle - and how Learning Anytime, Anywhere takes place in Rhode Island - please see our newest Student-Centered Learning Fact Sheet: Learning Anytime, Anywhere

To see our first Student-Centered Fact Sheet: Personalized Learning, please click here.
Resources for Managing Back to School Anxiety

The start of the new school year is exciting for most kids. But it also prompts a spike in anxiety. Even students who are usually pretty easy-going get butterflies, and kids prone to anxiety get clingier and more nervous than usual. 

To see tips for successful transitions, please see how to help kids manage worries and have a successful start to the school year.
The Factbook - A Great Resource for Data on Rhode Island Children, Education, and More!
The 2016 Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook provides a statistical portrait of the status of Rhode Island's children and families, incorporating the best available research and data. 

Use the links below to explore the Factbook sections!

As well as: 
Join Our Mailing List!
Are you interested in specific areas of child well-being? Rhode Island KIDS COUNT publishes E-Newsletters on specific areas related to child well-being: 
  • Children's Health and Health Insurance 
  • Child Welfare/Juvenile Justice 
  • Early Childhood/Early Learning 
  • Student-Centered Learning
  • Rhode Island KIDS COUNT also publishes a general interest E-Newsletter. 

Please click here to start receiving these updates today!