As the city school district debates a new plan from Interim CEO Tisha Edwards to hold principals accountable for chronic absenteeism, many have inquired about how incoming CEO Gregory Thornton deals with attendance accountability in Milwaukee.

The Sun received a detailed plan for how Thornton has tackled the issue.

Here is what we learned from his team:

Steps Thornton has taken to improve attendance include:

•    A daily summary of attendance figures by school, region and the district; reviewed by Regional Superintendents daily and discussed weekly with the Superintendent
•    Principals have developed attendance action plans
•    Schools have attendance committees that are spearheaded by the principal and include representative staff and parents
•    Regional Superintendents collaborate with district social workers and the regional administrative teams who work directly with school-based social workers on attendance issues
•    Stronger emphasis on Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports (MPS has the nation’s largest concentration of students participating in PBIS)
•    Positive recognition for students celebrating their outstanding attendance
•    Principals whose schools have improved attendance are also recognized at monthly meetings
•    Structured one-on-one data chats with students include academics and attendance data

Thornton has signed a contract to begin leading the school system on July 1.

erica.green@baltsun.com

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