The Montebello Unified School District’s attendance program was recently named as a 2015-16 model program by the California Department of Education (CDE) – one of only nine to receive the honor – for its use of superior strategies to promote attendance and prevent dropouts.

The designation was awarded by the CDE’s School Attendance Review Board (SARB), which evaluates local SARBs for the use of innovative and effective approaches to keep students in school. The state recognized nine model districts for demonstrating use of data-driven strategies in early identification, overall prevention, and collaborative intervention.

“The Montebello Unified School District is committed to graduating our students college and career ready, and preparing our students for promising futures,” MUSD Board of Education President Benjamin Cárdenas said. “As the third-largest district in Los Angeles County, we are very proud that 95 percent of nearly 30,000 students are in our classrooms every day – thanks to our dedicated SARB team.”

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlarkson praised the model SARBs for reducing student absenteeism, which costs school districts millions of dollars each year. Model SARBs serve as examples to other school districts to reduce barriers to attendance through collaboration with students, families, and staff.

“It is truly an honor for the Montebello Unified SARB committee to be recognized for its excellent work in improving and maintaining high attendance rates,” Montebello Unified Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said. “We commend our District team for developing strategies and solutions that will now be used across the state as an example of how to improve attendance.”

The MUSD SARB team is comprised of District administrators, school-based social workers, attendance specialists and officers, parents, and representatives from county education and public safety offices.

The SARB Committee will be recognized at the California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance Conference on Thursday, April 21 at the Wyndham Hotel in Garden Grove.