District Management Group and In Class Today announce strategic alliance to address chronic absenteeism in schools

Boston, MA, Monday April 23, 2018District Management Group and In Class Today have formed a strategic alliance to help school districts address the critical problem of chronic absenteeism with practical approaches that are making a big impact.

Based on behavioral science research by Professor Todd Rogers and the Student Social Support Research and Development Lab at Harvard University, In Class Today has developed proven, cost-effective, and easy-to-scale solutions that have been successful in reducing chronic absenteeism by up to 15% within the first year of implementation.

For District Management Group, today’s announcement marks a significant milestone as the first strategic alliance in its 14-year history. “We are excited about the impact that In Class Today is having. Their work is well aligned with our core beliefs around improving outcomes for students and increasing operational efficiency in a cost-effective manner,” says District Management Group Founder and CEO John J-H Kim.

Kim cites the exciting results achieved with In Class Today’s approach in randomized controlled studies: 

  • School District of Philadelphia: 30,000 students treated, with a 10% reduction in chronic absenteeism within one school year
  • Chicago Public Schools: 20,000 students treated, with a 11% reduction in chronic absenteeism within one school year
  • Ten districts in San Mateo County, California: 10,000 students treated, with a 15% reduction in chronic absenteeism within one school year

In Class Today’s program is targeted, scalable, highly cost-effective, and simple. Leveraging behavioral science and using software, In Class Today uses student attendance data to motivate families to help students attend school more regularly. All the school district needs to do is provide limited student attendance data to In Class Today five to six times throughout the year, and In Class Today does the rest. Proprietary algorithms analyze the data to identify students that are chronically absent; then, personalized attendance reports are created for those students and mailed to their parents/guardians on behalf of the school district. These communications don’t just mention how many days their student has been absent; they make families aware of how their student’s attendance compares to that of a typical classmate and emphasize the importance of school attendance.

Commenting on the strategic alliance, Johannes Demarzi, co-founder of In Class Today, says: "DMGroup's member school districts share a results-focused mindset and commitment to improving student outcomes that is well-aligned with In Class Today's evidence-based approach to addressing chronic absenteeism. We are excited to partner with DMGroup to help its member districts achieve significant results."

Several District Management Group members are already working with In Class Today, including Windham Public Schools (WPS) in Connecticut where Superintendent Patricia Garcia and Attendance Specialist Robinson Camacho are working successfully with In Class Today in an active program. “In Class Today's work with WPS has made a significant difference to our attendance interventions,” comments Superintendent Garcia. “Their professionalism and attention to detail make for a very smooth transition between both entities. In Class Today will adapt to your district’s needs, making it a very smooth and effective transaction.”

“In Class Today’s solutions perfectly complement our Breakthrough team work to empower and activate small teams with innovative approaches that can further reduce chronic absenteeism at the highest-needs schools,” says Kim. “We are thrilled to be working closely together with In Class Today to bring the combined benefits to school districts across the country.”

To learn more about the work of In Class Today, visit www.dmgroupK12.com/todd-rogers, where you will find additional information along with a podcast interview with Todd Rogers, conducted for District Management Journal.

To learn more about the strategic alliance and District Management Group’s work to reduce chronic absenteeism, fill out the form below or contact District Management Group directly at 877-362-3500.