In a groundbreaking initiative, GOAL Digital Academy spearheaded its inaugural "Attendance Connection" event at the Marion Learning Lab, setting a new standard in educational engagement and support. This landmark meeting convened representatives from various schools, forging a collaborative path in dropout recovery and prevention strategies.
The event underscored the critical needs of students grappling with both academic and personal challenges, emphasizing a united approach to tackling these issues. This was particularly highlighted by GOAL's Mental Health team, who explained the obstacles posed by mental health issues affecting students and their families, and the subsequent impact on their educational journey. Their insightful presentations provided attendees with effective strategies to identify and extend support to those in need.
Moreover, the discussions acknowledged the diversity of online schooling options, which can be particularly beneficial for students dealing with social anxiety and other mental health-related conditions. While it's crucial to understand that online schooling is not a cure for anxiety, it offers an alternative educational pathway that might be more suitable for certain students. However, this mode of learning demands a higher degree of self-discipline and motivation from students, underscoring the importance of providing them with the right tools and support to succeed in an online learning environment.
Mental Health Therapist, Deb Strong said "I was genuinely impressed by the engagement and insightful inquiries of the staff present. The attorneys provided vital information, essential for a deeper comprehension of the current issues impacting online schools, particularly in the realms of student attendance and the breadth of services we offer. This training, in my view, was not only necessary but should be an ongoing initiative for our staff. Participating in this session was a rewarding experience for me, and I sincerely hope that our contributions proved beneficial for all the staff members who attended."
Additionally, GOAL's legal team offered an informative session on HB410, providing guidance and collaborating with families facing difficulties in maintaining regular school attendance due to their current situations.
Superintendent, Tish Jenkins stated, “Accumulating absences can have a significant impact; simply missing two days a month results in a student being absent for 10% of the school year. Recognizing the critical need to enhance student attendance, GOAL Digital Academy has joined forces with other top-tier community schools. The collaboration aims to emphasize the importance of attendance improvement and facilitate the exchange of best practices among the participating school districts.”
As a testament to the event's success, attendees expressed immense appreciation for the insights and knowledge shared, highlighting the meeting's significant value in fostering educational progress and growth through relationship building. In a remarkable gesture of continued collaboration, Fairborne Digital has volunteered to host the next meeting, scheduled for February 2024.
"We are thrilled to see the enthusiasm and positive feedback from this event," said Jill Millisor, Attendance Coordinator. "It's encouraging to witness the growth and progress that stem from such collaborative efforts. We are confident that these initiatives will greatly benefit our students and look forward to more fruitful gatherings in the future."
GOAL extends its gratitude to all participants and is excited about the ongoing partnerships and positive outcomes that will emerge from these collaborative efforts. Stay tuned for more updates on the next meeting and ongoing initiatives.