District Innovation Reverses Truancy – Podcast Episode 188 | Classnotes Podcast 188

Classnotes Podcast (December 20, 2018) Schools across the country are learning from experience what research is showing that zero tolerance discipline policies are pushing students away. The East Central school district in Texas took a hard look at how it was approaching attendance and truancy and made a concrete, systemic shift that has led truancy rates to plummet.

In this episode, Dr. Nilka Avilés talks with superintendent, Roland Toscano, about his district’s transformation that started by listening to the traumatic needs of students and customizing resources. The district engaged the community and placed a new emphasis on providing a high-quality education for all students.

Show length: 16:20

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EC Cares is an East Central ISD initiative that addresses important social issues that affect its students’ education, health, and wellness.

Video: East Central ISD EC Cares Program

East Central ISD Program Improves Truancy Rates – Rivard Report

Profile of an EC Graduate

Zero Tolerance Policies Push Students Away – High Attrition Rates of Black Students and Hispanic Students Are Linked to Exclusionary Discipline

Defining a Schoolwide College Readiness Culture- An Interview with Roland Toscano, M.S., Principal at East Central High School in San Antonio, IDRA Newsletter, May 2011

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Show Notes

  • Mr. Toscano gives the background on challenges that East Central ISD has faced with truancy rates and academic achievement, and the actions the district has taken to overcome these challenges. He explains how leaders have shifted from a deficit/punitive model to an asset- and education-based approach.

  • Mr. Toscano shares how East Central ISD is partnering with families to build and deploy a new accountability system.

  • Mr. Toscano talks about the policies the East Central ISD board has put in place to sustain their new programs.

  • Nilka asks Mr. Toscano for words of wisdom to other superintendents in the area on how they might emulate the district’s model.