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Attendance modification of resource specialist program students using postcards and parents as change agents

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Purpose. The purpose of this study was to determine if a letter and postcard treatment program would induce parents to act as change agents for the purpose of improving Resource Specialist Program student attendance. Procedures. Subjects were 270 kindergarten through twelfth grade RSP students in a suburban school district near Sacramento, California. Five variables were studied including RSP student gender, grade level, ethnicity, socio-economic status and time-in-program. These variables were statistically combined with 1983-84 and 1984-85 fall semester absence data and postcard return rates to investigate what influence the letter and postcard treatment would have on rates of absence. Analysis of variance, t-test statistics, and multiple regression analyses were used to assess the effects of the postcard and letter treatment on the absence rates of RSP students at the.01 level of significance. Findings. (1) Monthly correspondence with the parents of RSP students on attendance related topics worsened pre-existing attendance problems for students in grades seven through twelve. (2) Resource Specialist Program students in Level 1 (grades K-6) have better attendance as a group than students in Level 2 (grades 7-9). Similarly, students in Level 2 have better attendance as a group than students in Level 3 (grades 10-12). (3) The number of postcards returned by parents is unrelated to changes in RSP student rates of absence following implementation of a monthly attendance related letter and postcard treatment program. (4) None of the interactions among gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, time-in-program or postcard returns affected changes in RSP student absence rates.



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