Jeff Williams, CEO
The ability to find missing kids puts School Innovations & Achievement (SI&A) at the top of our top 10 list. With their expertise in attendance improvement and their immediate and effective response to COVID-19 school closures, SI&A sent a clear signal to K-12 educators that they can deliver results.
“The key to our success at closing the achievement gap and improving attendance is our ability to effectively communicate with parents and better connect parents with their schools,” SI&A’s Chief Executive Officer Jeff Williams explains. “Our attendance and conferencing management software is architected for customization—with every implementation of The Achievement Initiative, we adapt to individual school district needs, processes, or state Ed. Code requirements. When school closures literally unplugged millions of students from their schools, we gave immediate support to reconnect and engage with families who were suddenly isolated by the digital divide.”
From the moment schools closed, educators sounded the alarm that our country is facing an attendance crisis unlike anything seen before: The distressing rise in chronic absenteeism is a predictor of future dropouts and declining third grade reading proficiency, along with the substantial decline in traditional public school enrollment is an indicator of missing kids.
While educators and policymakers clamored to find norms to fit the masses, The Achievement Initiative responded with speed and efficiency—with its market-leading software solution built on the foundational principles of agility and data integrity—to meet the challenges the pandemic presented.
“Historically, our district partners have outperformed non-clients,” Williams added.
In a data report based on 330,000 students in school years 2020-21, requested by the California Department of Education, although SI&A found their district partners saw an uptick in absences, non-district partners could see a 220 percent rate of increase across the country.
“Fortunately, we have spent the last 15 years perfecting how to implement a plan that gets results,” Williams said. “We improve attendance and student achievement.”
The key to our success at closing the achievement gap and improving attendance is our ability to effectively communicate with parents and better connect parents with their schools
SI&A has been in this space for more than a decade, earning a reputation as an industry leader, premier partner with patented technology, proven processes, and a lengthy, impressive track record of results.
In a data report that includes 21 diverse school districts over a seven-year period with The Achievement Initiative, overall graduation rates increased, surpassing the national average—with the largest gains for African American and Hispanic or Latino students.
Equity has been and continues to be at the core of SI&A’s mission in technology solutions. Their process is designed for local control with district oversight—the optimal continuous improvement design. Process and clean data are the keys. Their system can be implemented in as little as two to four weeks. The result is consistency in coding, application, and best practices, all essential for equity.
The Achievement Initiative removes the burdens of tracking, data scrubbing, printing, mailing, data analysis, and reporting from student outreach and IT departments. With Attention2Attendance (A2A) as its powerful data-driven foundation, it’s the technology and software districts need to collect, organize, and analyze attendance data into meaningful and actionable results. This systematic process allows administrators to spend more effective face-to-face time with families.
“Our program and service are unique, and more importantly, effective,” Williams continued. “Our objective has always been—using our competencies in K-12 attendance, organizational effectiveness, and continuous improvement, communications, and software development—to produce results.
At worst, our program is revenue-neutral but, more likely, revenue positive. Our partners appreciate that we get more kids back in school. Educators must focus on everything else; we have spent 15 years perfecting one focus: Attendance.”
As one of the 10 Hottest K-12 Solution Providers in 2021: The Achievement Initiative should be part of every district’s plan to maximize learning through creating a culture of achievement, starting by creating a culture of showing up.