KC nonprofit awarded for student absenteeism solution  

Responding to a national challenge, non-profit Turn the Page KC has been awarded for its innovative solution to decreasing student absenteeism when students transfer to new schools.

Turn the Page’s Mike English, Steven Van Auken and Aditya Voleti won the $10,000 second-place prize in AT&T’s nationwide “Data for Diplomas” challenge.

AT&T says the challenge asked individuals and groups across the nation to experiment with public data sets and demonstrate insights that could help boost U.S. high school graduation rates. They studied everything from high school student transfer rates to cold-weather climates.

Turn the Page found that families in poverty tend to move frequently. When they do, parents or guardians must show proof of residency and submit other transfer procedures, which can cause students to miss between five days and a month of school.

The solution offered by Turn the Page is to provide a secure online portal to make transferring information between districts easier. The group also suggested working with public utilities to make it easier to get proof of residency.

“We were inspired by the Kansas City GradNation summit, which focused on building tangible solutions to improve school attendance for students from highly mobile families,” Executive Director Mike English of Turn the Page KC said in a press release.  “This competition came at a great time because it provided an incentive to move forward with the insights that came out of the summit. We are thrilled about the outcome and look forward to putting the prize money to good use.”

“We know that kids who change schools a lot are at higher risk to get a good education,” Kansas City Mayor Sly James said. “It’s gratifying that the solutions we got at the GradNation summit are taking root and are being recognized. I want to thank AT&T for its commitment to education and for creating the opportunities for this engagement.”

Leave a Comment