A SURVEY OP THE ATTENDANCE PROCEDURES USED BY THE LOS ANGELES SCHOOLS A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE FACULTY OP THE SCHOOL OP EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OP SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science In Education by Philip Walter Lieb June, 1940 UMI Number: EP53863 All rights reserved INFORMATION TO ALL USERS The quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted. In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion. Dissertation Publishing UMI EP53863 Published by ProQuest LLC (2014). Copyright in the Dissertation held by the Author. Microform Edition © ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. This work is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway P.O. Box 1346 Ann Arbor, Ml 48106- 1346 T h is thesis, w r it t e n u n d e r th e d ir e c t io n o f the I C h a ir m a n o f the c a n d id a te ’s G u id a n c e C o m m it tee a n d a p p r o v e d by a l l m em b ers o f the C o m m itte e , has been prese n te d to a n d accepted by the F a c u lt y o f the S c h o o l o f E d u c a t io n in p a r t i a l f u l f i l l m e n t o f the re q u ire m e n ts f o r the degree o f M a s t e r o f Science in E d u c a tio n . D ate Jme .8*..1940..... Guidance Committee ... Chairman I»oui s P.. Thorpe.... C. C. Crawford TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. PAGE STATEMENT OF PROBLEM AND METHOD OF PROCEDURE Introduction 1 . . . . . . ............. • . The p r o b l e m ............ • • • . • • • • • • Importance of the problem Related investigations Method of procedure 3 • • • .......... • 3 • • • • • • • • • » • • • 4 Distribution of q u e s t i o n n a i r e .......... 5 Tabulation of results 5 • • • • • • • • • • • . • * BACKGROUND OF S T U D Y ........................ State attendance laws .......... Reasons for attendance procedures Use of attendance procedures 5 7 7 • • • • • ............ P R O C E D U R E ...................... 8 10 12 Methods of collecting material • • • • » • 12 Personal interviews ........... 18 The questionnaire IV. 4 • Organization of remaining chapters III. 2 • • • • • . . « Construction of questionnaire II. 1 FINDINGS • • • • • • • • • • • • • » • • » • . ................ The questionnaire results Habitual tardiness Excuses ........... 31 39 • • » • » • • • • 40 .......... 40 • • . 40 iii CHAPTER PAGE Checking of absences « . . • • • . • • • . 43 Follow up methods used in checking absences . . . . . . . 43 Percentage of schools sending sick children home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lunch permits Attendance files • • • • • . • • • • • • • . 46 • • • • • • • • • • • • • 49 .............. 49 Attendance file symbols The counter .............. Enrollment procedure 49 • • • • . . « • • • • Efficiency of procedures ............ Summary and discussion of major systems • . V. 52 58 66 Check slip System . • • • • • • • • • • 66 Double card system • • • • • • • • • • • 67 Master absence sheet system • • • • • • 67 Two period roll call system • • • . • • 68 CONCLUSIONS AND R E C O M M E N D A T I O N S ............. System of greatest e f f i c i e n c y ............ ♦ 70 71 ................... 73 .......................................... 74 Value of survey APPENDIX 46 BIBLIOGRAPHY ........................ 82 LIST OF TABLES TABLE I* PAGE Percentage attendance, Los Angeles Junior High Schools, February, 1940 IX. Percentage attendance, Los Angeles Senior High Sehools, February, 1940 III. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • * • • • • • • • • • • . • • « • • • • • . • • ♦ . . . • • • • • • • • • • 45 47 A percentage distribution of the methods used In • • • • • • . . 48 A percentage distribution of the methocls used in arranging attendance files XI. . . . . . • • • • • • • . • • • • • • • • • • . dealing with lunch permits X. 44 Percentage of schools sending sick children home IX. 42 A percentage distribution of the follow-up methods used in checking absences VIII. 41 A percentage distribution of the methods of checking absences VII. • • • • . A percentage distribution on the types of excuses allowed VI* 20 Percentage distribution of procedures for dealing with habitual tardinesses V. 15 Humber and percentage of schools replying to questionnaire IV. 14 • * • • • • • 50 A percentage distribution of the different uses of attendance files symbols • • • • • • • . 51 V TABLE XII. PAGE Percentage distribution of the duties performed at the counter XIII. XIV. Enrollment procedure • • « • • • • . . 53 . . • • • • • • • • • • 54 A percentage distribution of the methods used in caring for transfer students, Enrollment procedure (cont'd) XV. • • . • • • • • • • • • A percentage distribution of the methods used in caring for non-reporting students XVI. ... 57 Percentage distribution of transfer care for students who leave XVIII. 56 A percentage table of the methods used to check on students who do not return in September • XVII. 55 . • • • • • • « . • • » 59 A percentage distribution of the methods used for students who fail to check out completely XIX. XX. XXI. XXII. • • • • • • • • • • • • « . • » Percentage of schools using each system Efficiency table on re-entering students ... 60 62 • • 63 Efficiency table on making A. D. A. report • • 64 Services performed by attendance offices 65 • « CHAPTER I . STATEMENT OF PROBLEM AND METHOD OF PROCEDURE INTRODUCTION To conduct a business one must first Have a reason for that business, and it is then necessary to set up an efficient method of conducting its activities. The or ganization must be so handled that It will insure a proper Income, this income being a necessity In order to carry on its enterprises. In the state of California, the largest single business of them all Is that of the maintenance of educational institutions. Millions of students go to school in the state, and it takes millions of dollars to maintain educational institutions for these students. In the city of Los Angeles alone, there are hundreds of thousands of children attending school. To educate these three quarter million students, the city, must have hundreds of schools and thousands of teachers; plus all the trained personnel necessary to operate such a huge institution. Most business supplies the demand for material things, but education supplies the need of the state for good citizens. A well conducted business has an efficient clerical staff to handle the credit and debit accounts for its maintenance. A good school must also have an efficient clerical staff and good bookkeeping methods of handling its credit and debit accounts. In the credit column, the school posts the present child, and in the de bit column, the absent child. Financing of the school system depends upon the daily attendance of each child. The accurate keeping of attendance records is of utmost importance for upon these records is based the amount of school funds apportioned to each school. The method of caring for these accounts is the same as it is in business, and this bookkeep ing is the work done by the school attendance office. One of the most important procedures of a schoolsystem is that of gathering and maintaining these student attendance record. I. THE PROBLEM The problem of this thesis is to make a survey of all the attendance office procedures in the Los Angeles City junior and senior high schools. It has been said by a well known educator of many years experience that of all of the administrative departments of the schools in the Los Angeles city system, the registrars department displays most waste motion. It is hoped that by this thesis survey a better system based upon: 1) efficiency; 2) ease of inter- pretation; and 3) general utility can be devised, and that this study may play some part in the general adoption of such an improved system. Importance of the problem: The very existence of individual public schools, in fact, of entire school dis tricts, depends entirely upon pupil attendance. Hence the importance of an accurate, efficient, and thorough method of recording attendance and absences. Each school*s share of the state funds is computed from the average daily attendance. Related investigations: On July 6, 1937, the Cali fornia State Department of Education, Division of Research and Statistics, published a paper presenting excerpts and summaries of the provisions of the school code and of the rules and regulations of the California State Board of Education governing secondary school attendance. This paper also contained form cards and methods to be used in recording attendance data. On September 21, 1939, another paper from the same department containing more recent school laws and methods used in gathering data for attendance record maintenance was published. The Los Angeles City Board of Education has from time to time made suggestions as to the handling of attendance records in its secondary schools* To date, how ever, no uniform method has been adopted by the Board of Education and put into practice by the schools of the Los Angeles City School System* The theses previously published on the subject of attendance office procedure which are most nearly related to this survey have in no way been of any assistance in this study, because these related theses were more concerned with the critical analysis of the data itself than with the methods and procedures of handling and compiling the data* They dealt with the significance of the absence, tardiness, and attendance of the child, and the effect of these three upon the student and the school system, rather than with the clerical efficiency in the recording of such absence, tardi ness, and attendance, and the effect of the methods used on the smooth and effective functioning of the registrar’s de partment* XI. METHOD OP PROCEDURE Construction and distribution of the questionnaire: A long series of "yes* and wnott questions dealing with all phases of attendance procedures was devised. These were put in the form of a questionnaire and sent to all of the senior and junior Los Angeles City high schools. Of the seventy-one high schools to which questionnaires were sent, ninety-one percent reported* Schools which were outstand ing examples of various types of procedures were visited and the systems investigated wltth the co-operation of their registrars* Tabulation of results? Results were tabulated and charted and system types analyzed with regard to their efficiency, ease of interpretation of records, and general utility* III. ORGANIZATION OF REMAINING CHAPTERS Chapter II deals with a consideration of the state attendance laws and the background for school attendance procedures. The reasons for such a department in a school system are to aid in the enforcement of compulsory attend ance between certain age limits, the determination of teacher load, the anticipation of supplies and materials requirements, and the distribution of school funds* In Chapter III the method of procedure in collecting material and the organization of the collected material is explained. Chapter IV presents a digest of the major findings of the survey. 6 Chapter V is a summary of the survey with conclusions and recommendations based upon the original reasons for con ducting of the survey. 7 CHAPTER II BACKGROUND It is the purpose of this chapter to consider the background which necessitates the use of attendance laws and procedures. In the California State School Code, as well as in the school code of every state in the Union, there are laws and regulations governing school attendance, in the following paragraphs are discussed; 1. State attendance laws. 2. Reasons for attendance laws. 3. Use of attendance procedures. State attendance laws: Attendance in the public secondary schools of California is governed by the provi sions contained In specific laws. Such laws, however, are supplemented by rules and regulations adopted by the State Board of Education. The authority to adopt such rules and regulations is vested in the State Board of Education by several provisions of the School Code: It shall be the duty of the State Board of Education to determine all questions of policy within its power. The state board of education shall have power and it ^State of California, School Code, 1937, Div. II, Pt. IV, Ch. II, P. 126, Sec. 2.1381. shall be its duty:2 To adopt rules and regulations not inconsistent with the laws of this state for its own government, for the government of its appointees and employees, for the government of its day and evening elementary schools, the technical and vocational schools of the state, as may receive in whole or in part financial support from the state.3 The school code requires the attendance of all students in secondary schools to be kept according to uni form regulations prescribed by the State Board of Education.^ Secondary schools may be defined as including high schools, technical schools and junior collges. High schools, with which this thesis is concerned, are defined as including four-year high schools, junior high schools, senior high schools, and special high schools. Special high schools included in this study are found to be detention schools, welfare schools, or schools for crippled children. Their attendance records and methods of accounting for school attendance were not the same as those used in the general high schools of the city. Each school had its own method according to the purpose of the institution and was not considered in the conclusions drawn from this study. 2Ibid, Sec. 2.1382. 3Ibid, Sec. 2.1383. ^State of California, School Code, 1937, Div. XV. Pt. IV, Ch. I, P. 234, Sec. 4.733. Attendance may be.classed as that time spent by pupils of all type s of secondary schools in activities approved by the principal, and all time spent in any educational activity which is a definite part of the student*s assignment and con ducted by, or under the supervision of, a legally certificated teacher employed by the board of that district, during the hours of a school day. A school day in the Los Angeles High School District is a minimum of two hundred forty minutes. Time spent during lunch or rest periods may not be credited as attendance for apportionment purposes. Ho student may be credited with more than one day of attendance during any calendar day. The state of California requires a student to attend school a minimum of one hundred seventy days unless absent for legitimate reasons.^ The Los Angeles City Board of Education defines a school year as forty school weeks or two hundred school days.*5 There are a few exceptions to this rule, as in the case of special schools. As this study deals only with the regular high schools, these exceptions will be disregarded. Compulsory education includes all children between the ages of eight and sixteen years. Each parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of any child, not 5Ibld, P. 235, Sec. 4.741. ®Los Angeles City School Bulletin, Ho. 500, Sept. 1934. 10 exempted, shall be required to send such child to the public full-time day school for the full time for which the public schools of the city or school district in which the child re sides shall be in session* Persons exempt from compulsory education are: Children whose physical or mental condition is such as to prevent, or render inadvisable attendance at school . . • ♦ Children who are residing more than two miles from a school house * . • • Children who are being instructed in a private full time day school • * * * Children* * * *being instructed privately by persons capable of teaching * • • • Children may work and attend school part-time if they hold work permits granted by the school authorities of their respective districts. 7 The average daily attendance in high schools is de fined as the quotient secured by dividing the total number and fraction of days of pupils1 attendance by the number of days actually taught in the regular day high school of the district during the school year.® It is the duty of all high schools and junior high ^State of California, School Code* 1937, Div. 1, Pt. II, Ch. I, P. 9-11, Sections 1.130-1.144. 8Ibid, Div. IV, Pt. IV, Ch. Ill, P. 246, Sec. 4.922. 11 schools to record, for apportionment purposes: 1) a daily record of actual periods of attendance or percent of absence from the two hundred forty minute attendance day; 2) a sum mary of twenty-day school month attendance; and 3) a summary of the school year total days1 attendance* The apportioning of school funds for the maintenance ■ of a school depends directly upon the average daily attend ance record of Its students. The method of collecting these attendance records and the systems used in keeping this in formation is the problem of this work. The State and the Department of Education have made the laws and regulations regarding schools and school attendance. The Individual school districts make up their own methods of fulfilling these legal requirements* Schools within the district must conform to the method adopted by that district. In some cases, as in the Los Angeles City School District, Individual schools within the district are permitted to use any type of procedure. These facts lead to the problem of this study which is to survey the procedures used by all the high schools in Los Angeles and to compare their methods as to efficiency, ease of interpretation, and general utility. 12 CHAPTER III PROCEDURE The method used In securing information about the op eration of attendance offices in the seventy-one senior and junior high schools in the Los Angeles City School District Is contained in this chapter. At a meeting of the registrars and attendance office clerks of the senior and junior high schools in the Los Angeles City High School District, held In 1939, it was found that there were almost as many methods of running the attendance office as there were schools. Registrars and clerks had their own personal plans of keeping the records for their respective schools. When a registrar or a clerk was transferred, he either had to learn a new method or to change the method of the school towhich he was transferred to one with which he was familiar. Many registrars and clerks had their own system which they thought best, and upon their transfer they immediately Instructed their new staff in the ir method. One attendance office clerk, doing substitute work, had been assigned to six or more schools during the school year. In no two schools was the same methods of keeping re cords used. The question was raised as to exactly how many different procedures were in use in the offices of the senior 13 and junior high sehoold of the city. Major duties of an attendance office are much the same in all schools, hut schools do differ in the scope of infor mation compiled and kept in that office. All attendance offices have to check and supervise the readmittance of students after being absent. Another of their major functions is that of making out their statistical report at the end of the month. This is also known as the ftA.D.A.tt, or Average Daily Attendance report. After this report is made out and sent in to the office of the Superintendent of Schools, a list of schools with their ranking percentage of attendance is compiled by the Superintendent’s office and mailed to all schools. The percentage of attendance: The percentage of at tendance for all the junior and senior high schools in the Los Angeles City School System is tabulated every month. For purposes of comparison, a table was prepared showing the respective percentage of attendance of all junior and senior high schools, listed alphabetically. The principal’s statistical attendance report for the sixth month of the school year, 1939-40, is shown.^ •^Los Angeles City School District Special Bulletin No. 139. Report on Per Cent of Attendance for the Sixth Month of School. March 15, 1940. TABLE I PERCENTAGE ATTENDANCE LOS ANGELES JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOLS FEBRUARY 1940 School Adams • • • • . . • . « » « Audubon • • • • « • * • * « Bancroft • • * • * « • * * Belvedere ♦ . * • • * . « « Berendo . ♦ • • * • * • • . Burbank . . . . . . . . . . Burroughs • • « « « • • • • Central • • « • • • • « • • Dana « • • • • * ......... Edison • • • • . . . « « . Emerson • * • « • • • « • • Foshay • • • • • * • • » • * Gompers • • • • • • . . . . Harte • * • • • • • • • • • Hollenbeck . . . . . . . . Irving • • • • • « • • « • Kern Avenue « * « « • • • « K i n g ................. Lafayette • • • • • • • . . Le Conte • • • • • • • • • Mann • • • • • • . . • • • McKinley ............... Mount Vernon • • « • • • • M u i r ............ Nightingale . * . . * . . . North Hollywood » • • • • » Pasteur • • • • • • • ... Stevenson . . . . • • « . * Virgil . .. ........... Per cent 93•26 94.68 94*42 95*47 92*84 93*85 94*96 92*66 95*27 94*07 93 *98 95*78 93*55 94*28 96.44 95.95 95.84 93.95 93.13 93.66 94.39 93.22 95.79 94.76 93.37 93*66 94.66 94.60 94.79 TABLE II PERCENTAGE ATTENDANCE LOS ANGELES SENIOR HIGH SCHOOLS FEBRUARY 1940 School Banning • . B e l l .......... Belmont • • • • • • • • • • Cambria • ............ ♦ . Ganoga Park • • • • • • • • Coronel • • • • • • • • • • ........... Dorsey Eagle R o c k ............... El R e t l r o ............ F a i r f a x ................... Francis Polytechnic • • • • Franklin • Fremont • • • • • • • • • • Gardena • • . . . • • . . • G a r f i e l d .......... Hamilton • • • • • • • ... . Hollywood ........... Huntington Park . . . • • • Jackson • . . . • • • • • . Jefferson • • Jordan . . . . . . . . . . L i n c o l n ................... Los Angeles • • • • • • • • Manual A r t s . • M a r s h a l l ................. Narbonne . . . . . . . . . North Hollywood • • • • • . Pacific Lodge • • • • • • R i i s ................. R o o s v e l t ................ • San Fernando • • • • • • • San P e d r o ................. South G a t e .............. Torrance « • U n i v e r s i t y ............... Van Nuys .......... Venice ............. Verdugo H i l l s * W a s h i n t o n ................. Wilson • • • • • • • . • • Per cent 94*73 95.85 93.50 85.59 93.27 84.06 95.19 95.40 82.91 94.60 93.61 93.30 94.29 93.67 95.36 93.73 94.07 94.74 80.04 91.62 92.42 93.72 94.44 95*03 94.33 95.98 93.67 98.74 87.88 94.33 93.62 95.94 95.12 94.00 93.34 93.64 94.67 89.70 93.48 93.12 16 Questions about the operation of these attendance offices were drawn up and compiled* questions were designed. A dozen major procedure Each of the major questions dealt with a function of the attendanc e office and several subqLiestions were added under each major question. The ques tions were designed, in the most part, to require a "yes” or ”no" answer. This type question was used for the specific purpose of facilitating comparison of the data obtained from the survey. The major questions and comments on sub-questions are as follows: I. READMITTANCE PROCEDURE. Describe your procedure for readmitting students who have been absent. II. HABITUAL TARDIES. medial measures? Does your office attempt re If so, check. Eight methods commonly used were listed for check. III. EXCUSES. A list of seven sub-questions on excuses calling for a "yes” or ”no" answer. IV. CHECKING ABSENCES. Do you issue a master sheet to each teacher daily? With four additional questions. V. do you: SENDING CHILDREN HOME. When sending them.home, 17 A list of questions on the card of sick children followed. VI. LUNCH PERMITS. If student stays at home during the afternoon on his lunch permit, do you: * With eight questions on lunch permits. VII. ATTENDANCE FILES. Set-up. How do you arrange your cards? A list of twenty questions as to the methods of arrange ment, symbols used, type of card, part played by school print shop, method of posting* and whether posting is done in ink or pencil. VIII. THE "COUNTER” . Do you have a general pupil pro gram file in your office? Six questions about the work done at the "counter” . IX. OFFICE HELPERS. Do you rely a great deal upon your monitors? With two questions about help rendered and training given monitors? X. TYPING ATTENDANCE CARDS. When do you do it? Three questions on when the cards are typed. XI. ENROLLMENT PROCEDURES. Who enrolls new pupils? A list of twenty-eight questions on student transfers* care of new and old students, checking out students, and care of entry and leaving book. XII. MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION.. Who handles program 18 changes? cedure? work? What is the strongest point in your set-up or pro What is your weakest point? Who- does your statistical Do you perforin any miscellaneous duties that have no thing to do with your attendance work? These and twenty related questions completed the twelfth major question of the questionnaire. There was a total of one hundred and four major and minor questions included in the questionnaire. Besides an swering the inquiries, the schools were requested to send their form cards and to give any information that would help in the survey. Several schools were selected and visited. Questions were asked as to their system of making and keeping attend ance records. The systems used were classified into groups, and the four groups most used were examined by personal visits. The efficiency of the method of computing the average daily attendance, recording absences of the day, posting data, and the general efficiency of the office were judged from the standpoint of time consumed. The ease of finding information about students and the speed with which it could be determined whether or not a student was in school were noted and computed. The survey also determined the general utilitarian set-up of the attendance office. It asked about the keeping in the office of files other than those specifically used in the attendance work. It inquired into the amount of in formation which could be derived from the data, on file in the office. The survey sought to discover if the amount of extra work demanded of the attendance staff was such that it hindered or made less efficient the regular work in the attendance field. These questions ’were asked in confidence and the information received was used only in statistical comparison of efficiency, and the determining of the efficiency of the particular office. The replies to the questionnaire were remarkable, in that ninety-two percent of the questionnaires were answered. Ninety-six percent of junior high schools responded and eighty-seven percent of the senior high schools. The special high schools of the Los Angeles City School District have a separate system of keeping their school attendance. This number and percentage of schools.replying to the questionnaire is shown on Table Number III. Inclosed in this chapter is the computed questionnaire as it was sent to the seventy-one Los Angeles senior and junior high schools. 20 TABLE III HUMBER AMD PERCENTAGE OP SCHOOLS REPLYING TO QUESTIONNAIRE Number sent out Number returned Percentage returned Junior High Schools 27 26 96 Senior High Schools 37 32 87 Special High Schools 7 7 100* 71 65 92 Totals * Questionnaire returned, but subject matter in applicable* 31 SAMPLE QUESTIONNAIRE School__________________ Jr. High____Sr. High Enrollment Name of Attendance Clerk___________________________________ I. READMITTANCE PROCEDURE On separate sheet of paper headed with name of school and number of this question, describe your procedure for readmitting students who have been ab sent. Include forms, If you wish. II. HABITUAL TARDIES A. Does your office attempt remedial measures?______ B. If so, check one or more Items listed below: 1. Drop period 1 and lose credit for 1 solid____ 2. Detention after school______ 3. Come early in the mo ring and punch a slip of paper in the time clock for one week (about 15 or 20 minutes early)______ 4. Give demerits______ (how many?) 5. Assembly privileges revoked______ 6. Send notice home appealing for parent*s co operation______ 7. Send for parent to come to school______ 8 . ____________________________________________ III. EXCUSES A. Who files the excuses in your office? B. How are they filed?______ C. Do you have a time limit on late excuses?______ How long?______ D. Do you have signature card to compare signed excuses? 32 IV. E. What penalties have you for failure of pupil to bring excuses?______ F. Do you allow students to write their own excuses in the office on the day they return?______ Is it satisfactory?______ G• C omment s_______________________ • _________ CHECKING ABSENCES A. Do you Issue a master sheet to each teacher daily? B. Do you collect slips throughout the day and maintain your own master-sheet? C. How do you prepare your absence cards? D. 1. Typed in advance______ 2. Made at counter in the morning when pupil re turns______ 3. Made by period 1 teacher who sends in absence card instead of slip._____ 4. ___________________________________________________ Check the follow-up methods you use for checking absences: 1. Telephone the parent______ 2. Postal card notice with return card reply______ 3. By attendance supervisor^_____ (how are you notified?)______ 4. Nurse sent on home calls of suspected illness cases_______ 5* Contacting brothers and sisters of absentees____ 6. E. ; ________________________________ Do you have a good way of checking odd slips through out the day (cuts, etc.?) 33 P• C omment s_____________________________________________ _ SEEDING CHILDREN HOME When sending them, do you: VI. A. Telephone parent to call for sick child?______ B. Does vice-principal handle means of transportation? C. Send child with attendance supervisor, nurse, or teacher who has free period? D. Permit child to go home unaccompanied?______ E. Do you assume responsibility for pupils going off grounds?______ F. Who in your school may assume responsibility for pupils leaving grounds? G. G omment s LUNCH PERMITS A* If pupil stays home during the afternoon on his lunch permit, do you: 1* Revoke the permit?______ 2. Allow a certain number of P.M. absences before revoking?______ How many?______ 3. Permit him to keep the permit, but warn him?___ 4. Notify parent and request his cooperation?_____ 5 VII. ______ . B. Does your office handle temporary lunch permits?___ C. If so, how?______ D. Comments________________ ATTENDANCE FILES A. Set-up. How do you arrange your cards? 34 1. By grades 2. Strictly alphabetically 3. Boys and. girls separate, alphabetically 4:, Boys and girls by grades 5 • Home rooms 6 . Social living rooms 7. B* Symbols: What sort of marking do you use on the attendance card? Give legend here: C* Would you favor a uniform system of symbols?______ D* Do you indicate reason for absence on attendance cards? E* Do you use the back of one-year cards for notes on pupil?______ P. Do you have your print shop print additional helpful data in squares of card?______ If so, what?______ G# If you use three-year card, do you find it difficult to post to different portions of cards (designated by grade) when you work on different grades? _ H. Do you post in pencil?__ Ink? P ost every day?______ I* Comment___________ ________________________________ ____ J* Statistical: Colored pencil? How do you do your statistical?________ 1# Is your present card arrangement satisfactory for this 2. now do you compute fractional absences, tardies, cuts, tec., on your record card including your statistical 35 3. Circumstances under which you “red line”_______ VIII. IX. X. THE "COUNTER” A. Bo you have a general pupil program file in your office?______ B. Do you have a general teacher program file in your office? C. Are these overly-used to the point of interruption of your routine work?______ D. Would your interruption be considerably lessened if these files were removed to a less congested office?______ E. Do students take care of counter inquiries from outsiders?^_____ P. Comment OFFICE HELPERS A. Do you rely a greatdeal upon B. If so, in what way?_______ your monitors?_______ C. Do you teach your helpers something about filing, sorting, business procedure, courtesy, ethics, etc.? D. Comment__________ :________________ TYPING ATTENDANCE CARDS * When do you do it? A. During the summer?______ B. After opening of semester?______ C. Do you have pupil fill in everything but last line, then type last line?______ D. C o m m e n t _________________ _______ _________________ ENROLLMENT PROCBHJRE A. Who enrolls new pupils, Registrar or Clerk?______ Do you: i. Insist upon a transfer^______ 2# Admit pupil, and request transfer by mail____ 3* Admit pupil and hope that transfer will come in • by mail, 4* 5 B. ■ . ■■ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ When elementary school or junior high school sends cards for pupils who do not enroll, do you: 1. Send cards back____ 2• Wait for some school to request cards 3* Try to locate pupil and forward cards 4* File cards in a dead file 5 C. , Send pupil back to former school for transfer and stub of checkout slip______ . When checking former pupils who do not return in Sept#, do you: 1# Send the attendance supervisor out to check former addresses______ 2# Wait for "request for cards” to turn up for these pupils______ 3* Turn names into attendance Division as "mis sing pupils”______ 4. D. ________ ______________ When pupil leaves, do you: 1. Send copy of transfer to receiving school Immediately 37 Wait for school to request I V _____ 3* Send transfer with pupil, and no other____ 4. . ___________________ __ E. If pupil transfers out of town, where do you send transfer? F. When pupils fail to check out completely, do yous G. H* XII. 2. 1* Withhold credits until debts are paid, or books returned______ 2* Send credits and request cooperation of new school to remind pupil of his oversight______ 3* Send credits regardless______ Do you keep separate entry and leaving books?_____ 1* Do you make registration cards______ (Send in a copy) 2. Who checks off transfer and cards as received Comments__________ _____________________ ____________ MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION A. Who handles changes of programs?_______ B. What is your strongest point in your set-up or procedure?______ C. What is your weakest point?______ D. Are there any problems that you would like addi tional information on that might be supplied by other elerks?_______ E. How does your school handle promotions and demo tions? 1. Do you send a list to H.R. teachers?____ a. If so, please send procedure on separate sheet. 38 F. Are there any points that you have so v^ell organ ized that you would be willing to tell everyone about them, thereby spreading the benefit?______ G. Who does the statistical? H. Number of hours you work in the Attendance Office? I* Do you perform any miscellaneous duties that have nothing to do with your attendance work?_____ _ J. Do miscellaneous duties interfere with your effic iency ?______ K. Do you have any special forms by which other clerks may profit? Please include them. Registrar? Clerk? _ Approved: Registrar or Attendance Teacher 39 CHAPTER IV FINDINGS BASED TJPON THE QUESTIONNAIRE The previous chapters have explained the need and the background for attendance procedures. The state and the school laws as to the attendance procedures, and the methods of compiling data were explained. The chapter on procedures explained the construction of the questionnaire and the ques tions asked. This chapter will contain the information gathered from the questionnaire with tables showing the percentages of answers to the questions. Jiach table will deal with one of the major questions and its sub-questions. For the most part, the results from senior and junior high schools are separated and tabulated with their respective percentages for comparison. Questions answered in personal interviews were placed in table for easier comparison. From the in formation obtained through the questionnaire and the inter views, it was evident that four outstanding systems of attend ance procedures were used generally. Schools claiming to have an original system were found to use a modification of one of the four major methods. Thus, for the purpose of this study the systems were narrowed down to four and com pared as to their efficiency of operation, ease of interpre tation, and their general utility. 40 Habitual tardiness: A table of the percentage dis tribution of procedures for dealing with habitual tardinesses was constructed. This Table IV, listed eight important questions dealing with habitual tardiness. The percentage of ’school answering "yes", "no", and "no report” were listed separately for both junior and senior high schools. The percentage of both junior and senior high schools which attempted remedial measures for habitual tardiness was both high and about the same in each division. For those who were habitually tardy, the senior high schools made the stu dent drop the first period in ten times more cases than in the junior high schools. The junior high schools revoked more student privileges than did the senior high schools. Both types of schools sent for the parents’ in the majority of cases. Excuses: Table V, "A Percentage Distribution on the Types of Excuses Allowed", was made up of the four questions dealing with the important procedures of excuses and excusewriting. Both types of school allowed about the same length of time for returning of late excuses. The junior high schools were unanimous in not allowing students to write their own excuses, while eighteen percent of the senior high schools permitted their students to write their own excuses. This shows evidence that the senior high school student is trusted more and placed more on his honor than the junior high school pupil. TABLE IV 41 PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OP PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH HABITUAL TARDINESSES Junior High Senior High Yes No A* Does your office attempt remedial measures? 76 No Yes No No Report Report 3 21 87 3 10 3 11 86 37 6 57 38 7 55 50 3 47 3. Come early and punch slip in time clock 20 min. early for one week. 27 7 66 3 6 91 4. Give demerits. 15 15 70 40 3 57 5. Assembly privileges revoked. 30 3 67 22 3 75 6. Send notice home appealing for parents* cooperation. 76 3 21 62 3 35 7. Send for parents to come to school. 53 3 44 43 0 57 B. If so, check one or more items listed belows 1. Drop 1st period and lose credit for one solid. 2. Detention after school. 42 TABLE V A PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION ON THE TYPES OP EXCUSES ALLOWED Junior High Yes No Senior High No Yes No No Report Report A* Do you have a time limit on late excuses? 69 11 20 59 18 23 B* Do you have signature cards to compare signed excuses? 60 42 8 47 37 16 C. Do you allow students to write their own excuses? 0 76 24 18 59 23 D. If so, is this policy satisfac tory? 0 0 100 9 12 79 43 Checking absences: checking absences* There are several methods of Table VI listed the six major questions on the care of absent cards and their making# A large per centage of the schools of both types did not Issue a master absence sheet of the absent students to the teachers* Forty- three percent of the senior high schools prepared their absence cards in advance* attendance office* These cards were prepared In the In most of the junior high schools, the absence cards were prepared by.the first period teacher, it was found that the reason so many schools did not report to some of these questions was that an answer to the one question dealing with the method they used covered all points* Follow-up methods used in checking absences: The follow-up methods used in checking absences were divided into six questions on procedures. The percentage distribu tion Table VII shows how these questions were answered* Both junior and senior high schools were one hundred percent for telephoning parents to check up on their child’s absence* The senior high schools were one hundred percent in sending cards and attendance supervisors to the parents without phones. The junior high school registrars did not respond to any method for checking stray absences during the day. Upon questioning several junior high school registrars about this problem, the writer found that they all seemed to agree 44 TABLE VI A PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE METHODS OF CHECKING ABSENCES Junior High Yes No Senior High No Yes No No Report Report A* Do you issue a master sheet to each teacher daily? 23 73 4 B. Do you colleet slips through out the day? 15 47 38 43 15 52 15 7 78 43 6 51 0 11 89 28 9 63 62 12 9 79 34 47 19 C. How do you prepare your absence cards? 1. In advance• 2# Made at counter when pupil returns. 3. Mad© by period I teacher. 35 3 45 TABLE VII A PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OP THE FOLLOW-UP METHODS USED IN CHECKING ABSENCES Junior High Yes No A. Telephone parents. Senior High No Yes No No Report Report 96 0 4 95 0 7 B. Postal card notice with return card reply. 76 7 17 90 0 10 C. 80 7 13 97 0 3 D. Nurse sent on home calls of suspected Illness. 88 3 71 15 14 E. Reaching (or interviewing) brothers and sisters of absentees. 88 0 12 84 0 16 100 34 9 57 By attendance supervisor. P. Do you have a good way of check ing odd slips throughout the day? 0 0 9 46 that no satisfactory method was now in use. Percentage of schools sending sick children home* The questions dealing with the care of children who take sick at school were tabulated and Table VIII shows how the sick children were cared for. All of the junior high schools had the vice-principal handle the means of transportation. Most of the senior high schools let the child go home unaccompan ied. Neither school systems assumed responsibility if the child went off the school grounds. Lunch permits: Table IX shows the cases of children who go home for lunch and fail to return to school for the afternoon session. In all cases, the student was warned and, in a great percentage of the cases, parents were notified and requested to cooperate with the school. The temporary permits to go off bounds for lunch were, to a large extent, granted by the attendance offices. Students who persisted in the violation of lunch permits, whether permanent or temporary, were deprived of the privilege of leaving the school grounds during school hours for the remainder of the year* The revocation of permits was confined mainly to senior high schools, indicating that violations were more prevalent at that level. The response to warnings and the cooperation of parents was more satisfactory in the junior high schools* 47 TABLE VIII PERCENTAGE OF SCHOOLS SENDING SICK CHILDREN HOME Junior High Yes No Senior High Yes No No No Report Report 84 7 9 61 12 27 B* Does vice-principal handle means of transportation? 88 0 12 61 12 27 C. Send child with attendance super visor, nurse, or free teacher? 65 11 24 61 D. Permit child to go home unaccom panied? 69 11 20 59 0 41 E. Do you asstune responsibility for pupils going off grounds? 19 69 12 28 59 13 to A* Telephone parent to call for sick child* 2 48 TABLE IX A PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OP THE METHODS USED IN DEALING WITH LUNCH PERMITS Junior High Yes No Senior High No Yes No No Report Report A. If pipil stays home during after noon on his lunch permit, do you: 1. Revoke the permit? 34 25 41 8 31 0 69 7 40 53 0 47 42 3 55 40 3 57 73 7 20 81 6 13 38 19 43 2. Allow a certain number P.M. absences before revoking? 42 50 3. Permit him to keep permit but warn him? 53 4. Notify parents and request cooperation? B. Does attendance office handle temporary permits? 49 Attendance files: The attendance record card which is universally issued in all the junior and senior high schools of Los Angeles is filed differently in many of the schools. A particular card-filing method is an aid in one school and might be a cause of loss of efficiency in another school using a different attendance procedure. Table X lists the methods of card arrangement and the schools using these methods. Attendance files symbols: Symbols used in the junior and senior high schools of the city vary tremendously. The State Department of Education and Los Angeles City Depart ment of Education recommend uniform symbols, but the schools are permitted to use their own systems. This difference in symbols is very confusing to the transferred clerk or re gistrar. it has been pointed out that, whereas a symbol has one meaning in one school, it may have a totally different, or even opposite, meaning in another school, xhere is always a waste of time when a clerk or registrar is transferred from one school to another because he must make this realignment of symbols. Table XX, showing the percentage of different symbols used with the methods of posting the attendance re cord data, was made to show the comparisons. The counter: The method of handling and the operation of an attendance office counter depends a great deal upon the efficiency of that office. Some attendance offices give less information over their counters than others. The amount and 50 TABLE X A PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE METHODS USED IN ARRANGING ATTENDANCE FILES Junior High Yes No A. Set-up. cards? Senior High Yes No How do you arrange your 1. By grades? 53 47 50 50 2. Strictly alphabetically. 11 89 18 82 3. Boys and girls separate,alpha betically. 42 58 21 79 4. Boys and girls, by grades. 42 58 34 66 5. Home rooms. 19 81 18 82 TABLE XI 51 A PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OP THE DIFFERENT USES OF ATTENDANCE FILES SYMBOLS Junior High Yes No Senior High No Yes No No Report Report A. Would you favor a uniform system of symbols? 76 11 13 62 18 20 B. Do you Indicate reason for absence on attendance card? 66 34 0 56 34 10 C. Do you use back of one-year cards for notes on pupils? 19 57 24 47 43 10 D. Do you have your print shop print your cards? 19 57 24 22 61 17 3 50 47 0 4 87 3 E. If you use three-year cards, do you find it difficult to post by grades? 0 100 F. Do you post every day? 73 23 G. Do you post in pencil? 42 0 50 0 Do you post in ink? 47 0 22 0 Do you post in colored pencil? 27 0 28 0 10 52 kind of counter help has a bearing on the counter*s operation. A Table XII summarizing the ten duties and operations at the counter, was made for comparing the methods used. Enrollment procedures The enrollment of new students is handled by the vice-principal, counselor, registrar, or clerk. A table showing the percent of schools using each method indicates that the attendance office or registrar per forms most of this enrolling of new students as part of his office duty. This is shown in Table XIII. When a new student enters, he must have a transfer from his previous school ahowing his achievement at that school. The transfer also helps the attendance office check on the whereabouts of students. In some cases, if the stu dent has no transfer card, he is sent to his former school to obtain it. In other instances, the student is admitted, and a transfer is requested by mail. In still other schools* the student is admitted and the obtaining of the transfer is trusted to luck and the chance that the former school will forward it. Table XIV was made showing the percentage of each method used. In some parts of the city, the elementary or junior high school sends the registration cards of its graduates to the junior high school or senior high school within the district. These cards are on file and ready for the new stu dent at the beginning of the new term. There are always un- TABLE XII 53 PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OP THE DUTIES PERFORMED AT THE COUNTER Junior High Yes No Senior High No Yes No No Report Report A. Do you have a general pupil pro gram file in your office? 96 4 0 B. Do you have a general teacher file in your office? 84 11 0 0 5 75 19 6 61 9 31 62 7 D. Would your interruption he less ened if these files were in another office? 25 53 24 25 37 38 E. Do students take care of counter inquiries from outsiders? 15 65 20 25 67 8 F. Do you rely a great deal upon your monitors? 76 15 9 93 3 4 G. Do you teach your helpers about; filing* sorting, procedure, etc.? 84 3 13 88 3 9 H. Do you type your attendance cards during the summer? 76 0 24 62 0 38 I. Do you type your attendance cards after the semester opens? 23 0 77 37 6 57 J. Do pupils fill in everything but last line, which you type? 15 73 12 12 53 35 C. Are these overly used to the point of interruption of your routine work? 30 100 54 TABLE XIII ENROLLMENT PROCE0JRE Junior High A. Senior High Yes No Yes No 1 Who enrolls new pupils?# 1. Vice-principal• 2 2. Counselor. 5 19 4 12 3* Registrar. 20 76 21 61 4. Clerk. 12 47 12 37 # dents. 7 3 In some schools more than one person enrolls new stu 55 claimed cards. Students fail to registrar at the junior or senior high school within the district in which they were graduated the preceding semester. The methods of handling these uncalled for cards are varied. Some schools send them back. request, Others wait for a oome schools try to locate the student and other schools put the cards in a 11dead file.” Table XV showing the percentage of each method used was made to show just what happened to these uncalled for cards. Checking former students who do hot return in Septem ber: The question arose as to the whereabouts of these ”lost students” . Some registrars turned the names over to the attendance supervisor for check. Other schools waited for a request to turn up for these students records. These and other steps taken in checking non-returning students are in dicated in Table XVI which shows the percent of school action on each of these questions. Pupils who leave for another school: Transferring students are either given their transfer to take to the new school, or it is mailed immediately to that school. The per cent of schools using each methods was made into a table for convenience. These methods are taken up in Table XVII. Pupils failing to check out completely: To check out completely, a student must settle all unpaid debts, for ex ample, for materials used in shops; return or pay for mis- TABLE XIV A PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OP THE METHODS USED IN CARING FOR TRANSFER STUDENTS ENROLLMENT PROCEDURE (cont'd) Junior High Percentage 5* Do you insist upon transfer? Yea No Senior High No Yes No No Report Report 23 15 62 47 22 31 6 27 6. Admit student and request transfer by mail? 96 4 0 7. Admit student and hope transfer come by mail? 15 0 85 0 31 69 8. Send pupil back to former school 0 50 for check-out slip? 50 44 12 44 67 56 TABLE XV A PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OP THE METHODS USED . IN CARING FOR NON-REPORTING STUDENTS ENROLLMENT PROCEDURE (cont»d) Junior High Yes No Senior High No Yes No No Report Report B. When elementary schools or junior high schools send cards for pupils who do not enroll, do you* 28 3 59 31 3 66 2. Wait for some school to re quest cards? 19 3 78 31 6 63 3. Try to locate pupil and forward cards? 84 0 16 56 0 44 4. File cards in a dead file? 23 7 70 28 0 73 1. Send cards hacks 57 TABLE XVI A PERCENTAGE TABLE OP THE METHODS USED TO CHECK ON STUDENTS TOO DO NOT RETURN IN SEPTEMBER ENROLLMENT PROCEDURE (cont»d) Junior High Yes No Senior High No Yes No No Report Report When checking former pupils who c. do not return in September, do you: 1. Send attendance supervisor out to check? 92 8 0 81 0 19 2* Wait for wrequestM to turn up for these students? 23 0 77 34 3 63 0 100 25 3 72 3* Turn names into attendance division as nmissing pupils”? 0 58 sing books for which he assumed responsibility. In the case of incomplete checking out, a student1s credits are either withheld or sent on with a promise to settle the obligations# Table XVIII shows the procedures used by the schools, with a tabulation of percentages made for convenient use in this s tudy. After a survey of this questionnaire, supreme efforts were made to classify the several methods used in taking the attendance and making records of the student, and to tabulate the methods used in the order of their popularity. It was found that the Master Absence Sheet method was used the most; with the Double Card system, second; Two-Period Roll Call, third; and the Check Slip system, fourth. The other systems used were either closely related to one of these systems or was the same method with a different name. It was very hard to rate these methods of procedure as to their efficiency because of the fact that the schools had a different size enrollment and had a larger or smaller staff. The survey compared the efficiency of the methods used in the performance of the two main duties of the attendance office: 1) Re-entering students, and, 2) the making of the monthly Average Daily Attendance report. These duties were compared in the light of the time spent per helper per pupil. 59 TABUS XVII PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OP TRANSFER CARE FOR STUDENTS WHO LEAVE ENROLLMENT PROCEDURE (cont'd) Junior High Yes Ho D. Senior High Ho Yes No Ho Report Report When pupils leave, do you: 1* Send a copy of transfer to receiving school immediately? 96 0 4 100 0 0 2m Wait for school to request transfer? 11 0 89 16 0 84 3. Send transfer with student only? 69 0 31 12 12 76 TABLE XVIII 60 A PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE METHODS USED FOR STUDENTS WHO FAIL TO CHICK OUT COMPLETELY ENROLLMENT PROCEDURE (cont»d) Junior High Yes NO Senior High No Yes No No Report Report F. When pupils fail to check out com pletely, do yous !• Withhold credits until dehts are paid? 27 3 70 2* Send credits and request co operation of new school? 96 0 3. 23 G* Do you keep separate entry and leaving books? 27 H* Do you make (print) registration cards? Send credits regardless? 40 12 48 4 47 3 50 3 74 6 6 88 3 70 37 6 57 73 11 116 61 3 36 40 0 60 9 47 44 I. Do you perform any duties that have nothing to do with attendance? 50 J. Do you find that these miscellan eous duties interfere with your effi ciency? 7 43 11 42 47 61 Time taken in re-entering students daily, per minute per unit of office help, was computed by multiplying the help by the time consumed, and dividing that product by the number readmitted. Average daily attendance report-making time per one hundred pupils, was found by dividing the number of hours it took to make the report by the average enrollment. These figures gave a good comparison of school pro cedures as to their efficiency of operation. Each registrar reported his office procedure the simplest of interpretation. The personal interviews and general notes upon the individual school procedures ranked the four procedures in this order of ease of understandability and simplicity; 1) Master Absence Sheet; 2) Two- period Roll Call; 3) Double Card system; 4) Check Slip sys tem. The utility of an attendance procedure depends upon the accessibility of records and information. Questions were asked as to where the files were kept, how the records were arranged, and the ease with which one could find infor mation. The system that seemed the most serviceable and to answer the most daily needs was the Master Absence Sheet system. This is pointed out on a table of attendance office utilities by systems and methods. 62 TABLE XIX PERCENTAGE OP SCHOOLS USING EACH SYSTEM System Check slip Number Percent Average enrollment 8 13 1600 Double Card 16 27 2300 Master Absence Sheet 22 38 2800 Two Period Roll Call 12 22 1700 Explanations The percent of schools using each system was found by dividing the total number of schools reporting by the number of schools in each system. TABLE XX EFFICIENCY TABLE ON RE-ENTERING STUDENTS A* A. B. C. D. E. Method of procedure 1* Check Slip System 1600 80 3 12 2.2 2. Double Card System 2300 150 3 15 3.33 5. Master Absence Sheet 2800 240 2 20 6. 4* Two Period Roll Call 1700 90 il 20 3. Note: A. Average enrollment* B. Number readmitted daily* C. Average number of persons readmitting students* D* Average time consumed in minutes* 1. Number of students readmitted per minute per worker in attendance office* 64 TABLE XXI EFFICIENCY TABLE ON MAKING A. D. A. REPORT A. B. C. D. O • H A. Procedure Check Slip System 1600 3 16 2. Double Card system 2300 3 25 .92 3. Master Absence Sheet 2800 2 36 • 4• Two Period Roll Call 1700 1* 10 .59 Notes CO 1. A. Average enrollment* B. Average number of workers in attendance office. C. Average time consumed for school report in hours D. Average time per 100 pupils. The average time was found by dividing the number of hours it took to make the report by the average enrollment. 65 TABLE XXII SERVICES PERFORMED BY ATTENDANCE OFFICES Check slip system Double card system Master absent sheet Two period roll call No No Yes No Yes No No Yes Are attendance cards by boy and girl? No No No Yes Are attendance cards by home room? No Yes No No Are attendance cards In one office? Yes No Yes Yes Do teachers know who are absent from school? No No Yes No Do registrars have students’ attendance handy for checking absences? Yes No Yes Yes Are attendance cards alphabet ical? Are attendance cards by grades? If the majority of schools using a particular system incorporated one of the procedures mentioned above, the pro cedure was assumed, for purposes of tabulation, to be a char acteristic of that particular system. 66 SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION OP MAJOR SYSTEMS The tabulation of the more than one hundred questions of the questionnaire and the many questions asked in the per sonal interviews are graphically shown in the tables. The last four tables, which deal with the systems used in taking and maintaining the attendance records, point out the merits of each of the major systems used in the Los Angeles junior and senior high schools. A long and detailed account of the mechanics of these different systems which, in the end, reach the same goal is not necessary for this survey. A brief discussion of the four general procedures, and the characteristics peculiar to each, follows: Check Slip system: This method was used in the smaller schools and only Ip. the junior high schools. The absence of a student was noted by every teacher on a separate slip and sent to the attendance office during every period of the day. These slips were filed under the student1s name and checked of odd period absences. The student upon returning to school made a slip for each class from which he had been absent. After having the slips stamped and okehed by the registrar he attended classes, handing each teacher an ex cuse slip. The system wastes materials, and teacher1s and registrar1s time. for these reasons. It was not used in the larger schools 67 Double card system: This method was used by most of the schools which later adopted the Master Absence Sheet plan# It is now used to a large extent in the junior high schools, rhe student, upon registraring, makes out a program card of all his periods and subjects. a home room period. The first period is Each day the home room teacher takes his respective roll and sends, the program cards of all those absent to the office. These cards are sorted and routed to the absentee*s second period classes. Monitors take the cards to the second period classes and the teacher signs them. Cards are collected and rerouted to the third class, and so on for the rest of the periods. When a student returns, he goes to his homeroom, makes out a new card to be used the next time he is absent, and is given an admittance slip. All of the student’s attendance is taken care of by the homeroom teacher. office. These records are sent in monthly to the attendance Attendance reports are not centralized in one office. Some schools have as many as forty monitors helping to sort out and carry cards to the classrooms. Master Absence Sheet system: tensively used. This system is most ex High schools and the larger junior high schools have recently changed to this method. The second period teacher makes out absence slips for each student ab sent from his class, and places them in a clip on the class room door# These slips are then collected by monitors who take them to the attendance office# There an alphabetical list is made of all those absent and a copy given to every teacher by the third period# If a teacher notes one of his absent students on the list he knows he is recorded absent. If his name is not on the Master Absence Sheet, a slip is sent to the office for period truancy# A returning student makes out a form slip in the attendance office checking reason for absence, days absent, by whom excuse was signed# This slip is stamped, and the student is sent on to class with the slip stub for readmittance. The Master Absence Sheet is used by the registrar for tabulating consecutive,.days out and immediate check on students. This method requires fewer clerks, centralizes student information, and every teacher is informed as to who is absent. Two-Period Roll Call system: This system takes the roll the first and last periods of the day. It assumes that a student if present at these two roll calls is in attend ance the entire day. Slips are collected after each roll and placed alphabetically# When a student returns he is given an admittance slip to class by the registrar. His attendance record is made by substracting the number of absence slips from the number of school days in a month. In direct opposition to other methods, this system gives a stu dent credit for the dayfs attendance if he has not been marked absent from the first or last period. This method seems to work in a small school, but the possibilities of error in a larger school would make it an inaccurate index of attendance. 70 CHAPTER V CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS In the first chapter the problem was stated, and the method of approach to that problem was discussed. The second chapter gave the background to the study of attendance procedures. Excerpts from the state school attendance laws, as well as policies followed by the Los Angeles City School System on student attendance were dis cussed. Reasons for good procedures in the keeping of attendance records were stated, as was the importance played by them in the financial maintenance of a school system. The schools, being largely supported by funds only obtain able upon the average daily attendance of their students, must have an efficient method of collecting and maintaining that data for the accurate apportionment of school funds. The third chapter explained the methods of gathering the information about attendance. Questions were asked about every procedure which could conceivably be used in an attendance office. Questions that were impractical for a questionnaire were asked of and discussed with the regis trars, either by phone or in personal interviews. These questions were tabulated and classified under attendance office procedures. 71 Prom the information gathered in the survey, it was apparent that there were several different sets of symbols used in accounting for students* meanings for the same symbol. Some schools had opposite This mixture of symbols and symbol meanings cause a great amount of confusion and in accurate work, especially by newly transferred attendance clerks or registrars. A uniform system of symbols and symbol meanings should be instituted throughout the school system, thereby eliminating the confusion experienced by substitutes or transferred attendance clerks or registrars. The State Department of Education recommends a good set of symbols, as does the Los Angeles City School Administrator's Guide. To date, the individual schools have devised their own systems and have used their individual methods of interpretation. The methods of attendance procedures have been dis closed by the survey to be of four general types. One type, the Master Absence Sheet system, seemed, by evidence of the survey, to be the most efficient and to con tain the most centralized information about attendance. Each of the other methods had some commendable points but other features that tended to hinder efficiency. The Master Absence Sheet method has all the students in school in one alphabetical attendance record file. This is for accessibility in finding students attendance records, and, also, for the posting of these records. On the other 72 hand, another system has the boys and girls by grades, arated, in the attendance files. sep This is for ease in the making of statistical reports at the end of each month. This type of student attendance card filing is not so acces sible for attendance checking or finding out about individual student absences. The Master Absence Sheet method is the only system that furnishes a Master Absence Sheet to all the teach ers daily. period. All teachers know who are absent by the third This method is a great aid in teacher-student plan ning. It was graphically shown by the survey that the Master Absence Sheet re-entered two students to every one re-entered by any of the other types in the same period of time. factor was a great aid to the first period teacher. This Re-en tered students did not miss half of their first period as they did when re-entered by any other method. The Amount of office help used for the readmittance of students was the least of all the methods. This small staff readmitted more students per minute. In making out the monthly report of average daily attendance, the Master Absence Sheet method was less than two-tenths slower per one hundred students than the fastest time of any system. The system which required the least time for making this report was the Two-Period Roll Call system. This system assumes that a student is in attendance if not 73 marked absent* The monthly report is made from the absence slips, and not from the attendance record cards, as is done by the other systems. This survey has pointed out the merits of the methods used by the Los Angeles City junior and senior high schools. Prom information gathered it is evident that there is a lack of uniformity in the making of school attendance records. The study has shown that some school methods of procedure are less efficient than others. Many schools were not aware that there are different procedures and methods of keeping attendance. The existence of procedures other than their own was called to the attention of many registrars and clerks by this survey. The exchange of ideas and comparison of methods has resulted in improvements in several attendance offices. APPENDIX 75 TABULATIOHS OP ATTENDANCE QUESTIONNAIRES 27 Junior High Schools 44 Senior High Schools 71 Total # of Schools 26 52 58 7 Jr. High Schools reported Sr. High Schools reported Total # reporting Special Schools: questionnaire did not fit. 65 READMITTANCE PROCEDURE A few listed on separate sheets. II HABITUAL TARDIES A. B. III. Does your office attempt remedial measures? 48 yes If so, cheek one or more items listed below: 1. Drop Period I and lose credit for 1 solid • • 2. Detention after school 3. Come early in the morning and punch a slip of paper in the time clock for one week (about 15 or 20 minutes early) • • • • • 4. Give demerits . . • . • • • • • • • • • • . . 5. Assembly privileges revoked 6. Send notice home appealing forparents1 cooperation ...................... . . . . . . 7. Send for parent to come to school • • • • • • no 2 yes 13 yes 34 yes 8 yes 17 yes 14 yes 39 yes 28 EXCUSES A. B. C. D. E. Who files the excuses in your office? • • • • • N Y A Student s Clerks How are they filed? .............. Alpha, envelopes Alpha, folders H.R. folders Boys & girls folders Dated envelopes Do you have a time limiton late excuses . . yes 37 no How l o n g ? ........... ............ .. 1 day 3 days 5 days Do you have signature cards to compare signed excuses? ........................ .yes 28 no What penalties have you for failure of pupil to bring excuses? • • • • Citations Demerits Detention Note home 3 24 3 33 15 3 3 4 9 14 7 7 23 5 10 15 4 76 F. Recorded truancy 7 Off honor roll 1 Citizenship card made 1 Do you allow students to write their own excuses in theoffice on the day they return? yes 7 no 39 Is its a t i s f a c t o r y ? ............................. yes 3 no 4 * IV. CHECKING ABSENCES A. B. D. E. V. teacher yes 17 no 34 daily? ................. Do you collect slips throughout the day and yes maintain your own master sheet? • • • • • How do you prepare your absence cards? 1* Typed in a d v a n c e ..................... yes 2. Made at counter in the morning when yes pupil returns 3. Made by Period I teacher who sends in yes absence card instead of slip ......... Cheek the follow-up methods you use for checking absences; yes 1. Telephone the parent • • • • • « • • • 2. Postal card notice with return card yes r e p l y ............................... . yes 3. By Attendance Supervisor ............. 4. Nurse sent on home calls of suspected yes illness cases • • • • • • • . • • • • 5. Contacting brothers and sisters of ab sentees ............... yes 6. Contacting friends of pupils • • • • • • yes Do you have a good way of checking odd slips throughout the day (cuts, etc.) 1. Check absence slips with same period teacher next d a y ............... * ................... 2. Special bulletin issued ................... 3. Students summoned to office ............... 4. Previous days uncleared slips placed in teachers1 box for answer • • • ............. 18 no 17 19 no 4 9 no 6 13 no 4 55 49 no 52 2 46 no 5 50 2 yes 5 yes 1 yes 16 yes 3 45 no 2 44 no 4 SENDING CHILDREN HOME When sending them, do you; A. Telephone parent to call for sick child? . yes B. Does the vice-principal handle means of trans yes portation? ........... ............ .......... C. Send child with attendance supervisor, nurse, or teacher who has free period? • • • • • • yes D. Permit child to go home unaccompanied? . • • yes E. Do you assume responsibility for pupils 38 no 3 37 no 15 77 P. VI. LUNCH PERMITS A. B. VII. going off grounds ................. yes 14 no 37 Who in your school may assume responsibility for pupils leaving grounds? « Principal 18 Vice-principal 27 Registrars 22 Counselor 2 Clerks 5 If a pupil stays home during the afternoon on his lunch permit, do yous 1. Revoke the permit? • • • • • • • • • • • yes 21 no 8 2. Allow a certain number of P.M. absences before revoking? • • • • • • • • • • • • yes 23 3. Permit him to keep the permit, but warn him? • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • yes 23 4. Notify parent and request his cooper ation? • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • yes 24 no 2 Does your office handle temporary lunch permits? • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • yes 45 no 4 1. How? • • • » • • • • • • Note handled by registrars 18 Viee~principals 7 Principals 2 Telephone home 2 Temporary pass with detention 4 ATTENDANCE FILES A. B. C. D. E. F. G. Set-up. How do you arrange your cards? 1. By g r a d e s 2* Strictly alphabetically • ♦ • • • • • • • • • 3# Boys and girls separate, alphabetically ... 4. Boys and girls by grades . . « • • • • • • • • 5. Homerooms Give legend of markings used on attendance cards. Sample card was returned by 42 schools. Would you favor a uniform system of symbols yes Do you indicate reason for absence on attendance cards? • • • • • • • • • • • • • yes Do you use the back of 1-year cards for notes on pupil? yes Do you have your print shop print additional yes helpful data in squares of eard? . . . . . . If you use 3-year card, do you find it difficult to post to different portions of cards (desig nated by grade) when you work on different grades? • • • • • • • • • • • • • • « • • • yes yes yes yes yes yes 30 9 17 22 11 40 no . 9 35 no 20 20 no 29 12 no 36 1 no 13 78 H. J. VIII. « • • • • • • • • • • • ink yes 19 pencil yes 27 colored pencil yes 16 post every day yes 47 no 7 How do you do your statistical report: 1. Is your present card arrangement sat isfactory for this? • • • • • • • • • • yes 26 no 2 2. How do you compute fractional absences, tardies, cuts, etc., on your record card and your statistical - 5 ^ for each twelve minutes- all 3. Circumstances under which you ”red line11- Dr. Cert. 16 Check outs 27 Juvenile hall 2 Christmas work 3 Out of state 3 Holidays 2 Late entries 11 Trips 4 Unknown address 1 Long absences 2 Work Permit 1 THE COUNTER A. B. C. D. E. IX. Do you post in: Do you have a general file for pupil pro grams in your office? • • • • • • • • • • < Do you file a general teacher program in your office? Are these overly-used to the point of in terruption of your routine work? . • • • • « Would your interruptions be considerably lessened if these files were removed to a less congested office? . . . • • • • • • < Do students take care of counter inquiries from outsiders? . . * • • • • • • • • • • < yes 66 no 1 yes 46 no 9 yes 18 no 36 yes 14 no 26 yes 8 no 39 OFFICE HELPERS A. B. C. yes 50 no 5 rely agreat deal upon your monitors? inwhat way:• • • • • • . . • Circulate cards 2 Simple clerical duties 32 Switchboard 1 Typing 1 Collect slips 6 Phone absentees 1 Posting tardies 2 Counter help 4 Do you teach your helpers something about filing, sorting, business procedure, courtesy, Do you If so, 79 ethic s, e t c * ? .............................. yes 50 no 2 X. TYPING ATTENDANCE CARDS When do you do it? A. B. C• During the s u m m e r ? ............ ............. yes After opening of s e m e s t e r ? ................. yes Do you have pupil fill in everything hut last line, then you type last l i n e ? ......... yes 40 18 no 2 8 no 36 XI. ENROLLMENT PROCEDURE A* Who enrolls new pupils? • • . Vice-principal 3 Counselor 9 Registrars 41 Clerks 24 Do you: 1. Insist upon a transfer? ................. yes 21 no 2. Admit pupil and request transfer by mail? yes 47 no 3. Admit pupil and hope transfer will come in by school mail? . . . . ............. yes 4 no 4. Send pupil back to former school for transfer and stub of checkout card? . . . yes 14 no B. When elementary school or junior high schools send cards for pupils who do not enroll, do you: yes 20 no 1. Send cards back? • • • • • ............. 2. Wait for some school to request cards? yes 15 no 3. Try to locate pupil and forward cards? • yes 40 4. File cards in a dead file? . . • • • • • yes 15 no C. When checking former pupils who do not return in September, do you: 1. Send attendance supervisor out to check yes 50 no former a d d r e s s e s ? ............... .. 2. Wait for "request for cards11 to turn up yes 17 no for these pupils? ........... .. 3. Turn names into Attendance Division as yes 8 no "missing pupils*1? ............ • • • • • • D. When pupil leaves, do you: 1. Send a copy of transfer to receiving school Immediately? ..................... yes 57 yes 3 no 2. Wait for school to request it? . . . . . 3. Send transfer with pupil, and no other? • yes 15 no E. If student transfers out of town, where do you send transfer? ............ To school if known To student Bd. of Educ. of city Nothing 11 2 10 17 2 3 2 1 1 1 5 4 27 14 10 1 80 F. G. When pupils fail to check out completely, do you* 1. Withhold credits until debts are paid, or books returned? • • • • • • • • • 2. Send credits and request cooperation of new school to remind pupil of his oversight? • • • • • • • • • • • • • 3. Send credits regardless? • • • • • • • Do you keep separate entry and leaving books? 1. Do you make registration cards?, . • • 2. Who checks off transfer and cards as received? . • • • • • • • • • • • • • yes 20 no 5 yes yes 40 no 1 8 no 3 yes 19 no 3 yes 40 no 4 Registrar 18 Clerk 25 Homeroom Teachers 7 Secretary 1 Credit Clerks 5 XII. MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION ........ “ ........T" A. S. C. D. E. ' v Who handles changes of programs? • • • • Counselors Vice-principal Principal Registrar Clerks Secretary What is your strongest point in your set-up or procedure? • • • • • • • • • Daily posting Organization Teacher cooperation Checking on absences Attendance procedures Colored absence cards Alphabetical attendance file Master sheets What is your weakest point? ~ Lack of room, time and help Switchboard in attendance office Checking tardies, odd slips, excuses Lack of teacher- cooperation Who does the statisitcal? . . . . . . . Registrars Clerks Registrars and clerks Vice-principal and registrar Principal, vice-principal and registrar Do you perform any miscellaneous duties that have nothing to do with your attendance work? 39 11 1 1 3 1 1 4 1 3 2 2 1 1 3 1 3 6 18 4 29 2 1 81 F* Credits Switchboard Typing for vice-principal Checking addresses on permits Helping secretary Making diploma lists Responsible for I«Q« data Responsible for program card printing Helping counselor Do miscellaneous duties interfere with your efficiency? . . . .‘-r • yes 26 no 12 » yes 6 no 26 John H. Francis P olytech n ic High School ATTENDANCE PROCEDURES R evised: Septem ber, 1939 (P lease d e stro y 1938 Instru ction s) The reporting of absent pupils is built around a M aster A bsen ce Sheet. This sheet contains in alphabetical order the nam es of all pupils w ho are reported absent from second period classes and study rooms. Pupils who have been absent are not to be admitted into a class unless th e y presen t an absence clearance card from the attendance office. The adequacy of the attendance check depends upon the accuracy of the m aster absence sheet and the cooperation of teachers in the m atter of not adm itting to class pupils who have been absent. The follow ing detailed instructions are to be follow ed carefully. A THE ROLL BOOK 1 The roll book which is issued to teachers w hen perm anent programs are signed is the official record of attendance, tardiness, and marks. 2 The roll call of classes and study rooms is to be taken each period and a record made in the roll book according to the instructions printed on the inside of the cover. 3 The sym bol *'L” (Left) is to be placed in the roll book in the square of the date a pupil is dropped from the roll. The sym bol “R e t ” (Returned) is to be placed in the square of th e date a dropped pupil returns to the roll. 4 The sym bol “T r” is to be used w hen a pupil transfers to another class. B REPORTING ABSENCES FROM PERIOD 1 A pupil who is absent from Period 1 is not to have a w hite recitation ab sence slip made for him until after the m aster absence sheet for the day is issued. If the name of the absent pupil does n ot appear on the m aster ab sence sheet, the absence slip is to be made and sent to the attendance office according to the instructions in E. C REPORTING ABSENCES FROM PERIOD 2 1 A second period absence slip (special form ) is to be m ade out for each absent pupil during the first ten (10) m inutes of the second period. These slips w ill be collected by Self-G overnm ent m essengers not later than fifteen m inutes after the beginning of the period. 2 If no pu pils are absen t a second period absence slip is to be m ade out show ing the day, date, and teacher. The words e'No absence” are to be w ritten at the bottom of the slip. 3 If a pupil is tardy to Period 2, arriving after his absence slip has been col lected, a duplicate second period slip is to be made out. The word “Cancel” is to be w ritten across the slip and it is to be sent to the attendance office a t once. 4 A n absent pupil is to be reported absent e v e ry d a y until: a H e returns to school. b A notice is placed at the top of the master absence sheet to m ark him “L” in the roll book, c A clearance card (check out of school) is signed. NOTE: The second period absence slips are used to m ake up the m aster absence sheet for the day. The leg ib ility of nam es is of vita l im portance. C h eck th is continuously. (OVER) BIBLIOGRAPHY 83 PERIODICAL ARTICLES Bander, C. F., MTrends in Secondary School Enrollment”, Industrial Education Magazine, 37:248-9, November, 1935• ”Child Labor and School Attendance”, Elementary School Journal, 33:245-7, December, 1932• "Comparison of School Attendance in the United States and Certain other Countries”, Elementary School Journal, 34:483-6, March, 1934. "Compulsory School Attendance Provisions Affecting Employ ment of Minors in the United States, 1936”, Monthly Labor Review, 44:356-8, February, 1937. Fleming, R. D., "School Attendance in New York State”, School and Society, 37:191, February, 1933. Graves, G. W., "Reducing Absences for Illness", Parents Magazine, 10:22, January, 1935. Johnson, W. H., "Problems of Truancy in the Chicago Public Schools”, School and Society, 45:665-72, May 15, 1937. "School Attendance in the United States", Elementary School Journal, 36:161-4, November, 1935. "School Attendance Laws", School Life, 21:47, October, 1935. Woods, R. C., "How Can I Improve the Attendance in my Room?" Education, 53:186, November, 1932. STUDIES Ayres, Leonard Porter, Child Counting in the Public Schools, Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland Foundation Publications. 1915. 68 pp. Bancroft, R. B., "Maintenance of Attendance in Adult Edu cation” . Unpublished Master1s thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1931. 122 pp. Bender, John Fredrick, The Functions of Courts in Enforcing School Attendance L a w s . New York City Teachers1 College, Columbia University, 1927. 187 pp. 84 California State Board of Education, Bulletin No. 23, P T E , 1920. 59 pp. California State Board of Education, School Code, 1937. 661 pp. Compton, J. L., ”A Study of Nonattendance in the Elementary Schools of Bakersfield, California11« Unpublished Master* s thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1935. 159 pp. Compulsory School Attendance, United States Bureau of Edu cation Bulletin No. 2, Washington, D. C., 1914. 137 pp. Darby, 0. E., ”An Analysis of Nonattendance in the Horace Mann Junior High School” . Unpublished Master*s thesis. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1935. 113 pp. Dietrich, C. M., ”A Study in Nonattendance in a Junior High School” . Unpublished Master*s thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1935. 159 pp. Donahue, H. E., ”Analysis of the Underlying Causes of Nonattendance in the Hawthorne Elementary Schools” . Un published Master* s thesis, Univerd ty of Southern Cal ifornia, Los Angeles, 1933. 150 pp. Gordon, L. 0., ”A Study of the Comparable Factors of Attend ance Service in the Los Angeles, and San Diego City Schools” . Unpublished Master*s thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1935. 148 pp. Holliday, J. N., ”A Study of Nonattendance in Miguel Hidalgo School of Brawley, California” . Unpublished Master*s thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1935. 76 pp. Hunt, J. R., ”A Critical Study of Attendance Supervision in the School Districts of Los Angeles County” . Unpublished Master*s thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1928. 112 pp. Hyde, Lafayette, ”A Study of Absence and Tardiness of Boys in High School” . Unpublished Master*s thesis, Univer sity of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1935. 108 pp. Johnson, Jay Milton, "A Study of Methods Used for Improving 85 School Attendance In Certain Cities of the United States” . Unpublished Master1s thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1936. 137 pp. Kawachi, R., ”A Comparative Study of the Administration of Compulsory Attendance in the United States and Japan” . Unpublished Master’s thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1933. 213 p p . * Keesecker, Ward W., Laws Relating to Compulsory Education. United States Bureau of Education Bulletin No. 21, 1928. 70 pp. Kerr, R. A., ”Causes of Nonattendance in Crested Butte” . Unpublished Master’s thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1935. 105 pp. Kirkham, Francis Washington, School Attendance, Granite District, U t a h . Washington, D. C. : United States Gov ernment Printing Office, 1931. 57 pp. Lawing, John Leslie, Standards for State and Local Compul sory School Attendance Service. Marysville, Missouri: Forum Print Shop, 1934. 105 pp. Lofton, C. S., ”The Problems of a Compulsory Attendance Officer in a Typical California School District” . Un published Master’s thesis, university of Southern Cal ifornia, Los Angeles, 1934. 104 pp. Los Angeles City School District, Administrator* s Guide, as of March, 1940. Los Angeles City School District, Instructions for Keeping Attendance in High School and Compul sor~Continuation Classes. September, 1939. Los Angeles City School District, Instructions for Keeping High School Attendance. September, 1934. Mason, H. H., Health and Regularity of School Attendance. Reprinted from Teachers’ College Record, Vol. XXIV, No. 1, January, 1923* Morgan, Walter E., The Administration of Secondary School Attendance. California State Department of .Education, Division of Research and Statistics, Sacramento, Sep tember, 1939. 25 pp. 86 Morgan, Walter 1., Secondary School Attendance, California State Department of Education, Division of Research and Statistics, Sacramento, July 6, 1937♦ 12 pp. National League of Compulsory Education Officials, V. 27, Columbus, Ohio, 1932-33# Odell, C. W., The Effect of Attendance upon School Achieve ment# University of Illinois Bulletin No# 31, Vol. XX, 1923. Peterson, R. H., tfThe Principles and Methods of the Work of Men Attendance Officers . Unpublished Master's thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1923. 52 pp. Reavis, George Harve, Factors Controlling Attendance in Rural Schools. Hew York City Teachers* College, Columbia University, 1920. 69 pp. Rosenberry, E. E., 11A Ctritical Study of Absence and Tardi ness in the Secondary Schools of Los Angeles, California1*• Unpublished Master's thesis, University of Southern Cal ifornia, Los Angeles, 1924. 66 pp. Schoerdtfeger, E. L., "A Study of Nonattendance in the City Schools of Burbank, California” . Unpublished Master's thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1933. 137 pp. Stewart, H. E., "An Analysis of Federal and State Legisla tion Affecting Compulsory Public Continuation Education In the United States". Unpublished Master *s thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1936. 151 pp.