The Power of Text Messaging in the Classroom
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Gain a better understanding of how parental text messaging can improve student performance and reduce absenteeism.Even in the earliest years of schooling, student attendance is predictive of subsequent educational outcomes. Nationally, more than one-third of four-year-olds are chronically absent in preschool, and these students are six times more likely to be chronically absent in kindergarten. On average, children who are chronically absent in the early years exhibit low levels of academic achievement and are more likely to drop out of high school. Encouragingly, interventions to increase parents' awareness of absenteeism can be effective in increasing student attendance (e.g., Epstein & Sheldon, 2002; Rogers & Feller, 2016).
This topic describes a new intervention called 'Connect-Text' to increase daily school attendance among pre-K and early elementary school students through improved school-family text message communication. We utilized a two-way text-messaging system that serves several purposes. First, the messaging system provides families with important school-related information. Second, the system provides families with feedback on their child's attendance. Critically, the messaging system also served as an additional mode of communication between families and schools.
Ken Smythe-Leistico, MSW, LSW, Seton Hill University
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