The Advancing School Attendance Program serving Berks County is designed to work with families and youth to increase school attendance and/or participation in career-oriented activities. Typical family goals for students participating in this program include reducing student absenteeism and decreasing tardiness.
Protocol - Berks Initiative for School Attendance
The Advancing School Attendance Program is a component of the Berks Initiative for School Attendance. To access a comprehensive overview of the Berks Initiative for School Attendance, please refer to the Protocol document below.
Referrals to the Advancing School Attendance Program
Referrals to the Advancing School Attendance Program may be made by school districts and Magisterial District Judges by completing and submitting the Electronic School Attendance Improvement Plan (ESAIP).
If you want to access the ESAIP and the directions to complete the ESAIP, please refer to the following:
- For the “Directions to Complete the ESAIP” document, click below:
ESAIP Referral Form2.2 MB
- For a version of the ESAIP that you may print, review and use as a handwritten, rough draft, click below:
Attendance Flow Chart
Click here to view our Attendance Flow Chart.
Description of the Advancing School Attendance Program
As a provider of case management services for children, youth and families, SAM, Inc. has a long history of accessing a variety of supportive resources. Our Advancing School Attendance Program works with families to identify any barriers related to school attendance, determine the student’s and family’s needs, and work with local resources to improve the likelihood of school success.
Within the SAM Advancing School Attendance Program:
- All school-age youth up to age 16 who have been identified as having excessive absences are eligible.
- Case assignment and the planning process begin immediately upon referral. Priority is given to elementary age youth.
- The services provided will accommodate the family’s needs and can occur during evenings and weekends, as needed.
- SAM will go where we are needed to reach a child’s academic goals. Services will be provided at the locations and settings most convenient to all involved – students, families, school staff, and others.
- Schools as well as other stakeholders become a partner in achievement of goals and progress is shared between members regularly.
- The program accepts and processes any/all referrals who meet the eligibility criteria (school age youth who have been identified as having excessive absences).
- Case assignment and the evaluation/planning process begin immediately upon the receipt of the referral of each case. Each case is typically assigned within five (5) working days. Cases are prioritized by age and grade level once capacity, which is to be determined through contract, is reached.
- Ages of youth served represent the compulsorily age requirements of Pennsylvania with a focus on children who are age 16 or younger, particularly elementary school students (e.g., 8-year-olds).
- Services are provided at the times and frequencies which most effectively facilitate the accomplishment of the individual child/youth's goals and family's needs, and can involve non-traditional (evening and weekend) hours, particularly 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Services are mobile – i.e., will be provided at the locations, and in the settings, which most effectively access students/parents/families, school staff, and other involved agency staff and facilitate the accomplishment of the individual child/youth/family's goals.
- Communication with the referring school/agency is critical to the success of youth. Updates are routinely provided to the identified school staff through the preferred method of communication (email or phone).
- We recognize that not all students will be successful in traditional educational settings. Therefore, we work with all involved parties to explore potential alternatives to traditional school settings if appropriate. This may include vocational programs, charter school programs or cyber school programs.
- Program staff can work in collaboration with school districts to assist in reviewing protocols specific to school attendance and student success.