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Elementary School Attendance Program (ESAP)

Updated: 08-08-05

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Thank you to Nancy Miyahira and others of the original Elementary School Attendance Program group for sharing files, advice, and guidance.

ESAP Rationale
School attendance is one of the major factors in school success. Chronic absence or inconsistent attendance usually signals symptoms of possible problem(s). Middle and high school students with attendance problems typically fall into one of two categories:

1. Experimental (not chronic): testing the system;
2. Chronic: significant number and/or patterned absences and/or tardies.

Students in the Chronic category usually have school records showing absenteeism and chronic tardiness beginning in their early elementary school years. ESAP is designed to provide early prevention and intervention support to children and their families, thus attempting to prevent student-initiated absenteeism at the secondary levels.

ESAP History
In 1998, ESAP began as pilot project in the McKinley Complex, administered by the Comprehensive Student Support System (CSSS), Student Support Section, Hawaii Department of Education (DOE), as a partnership between DOE, Hawaii National Guard, Honolulu Police Department, Department of Health, Office of Youth Services, and Family Court. The success of ESAP is reflected by the program’s duplication since its onset within the Honolulu District and by other school complexes statewide.

Legal Posture
Hawaii Revised Statute (HRS) 302a-1132 states: Unless excluded from school or excepted from attendance, all children who will have arrived at the age of at least six years, and who will not have arrived at the age eighteen years, by January 1 of any school year, shall attend either a public or private school for, and during, the school year, and any parent, guardian, or other person having the responsibility for, or care of, a child whose attendance at school is obligatory shall send the child to either public or private school. HRS 302a-1136 places responsibility of enforcing compulsory school attendance with the Hawaii Department of Education.

ESAP Target Population
Based on school attendance, children and families are identified for the ESAP program from a pool of all students in participating elementary schools. School personnel conduct needs assessments of children and their families to determine if ESAP is appropriate.

ESAP Intervention
ESAP provides focus at the elementary school level, goals and desired outcomes to provide prevention and early intervention support to children and families, consequences by holding parents accountable for their child's school attendance, support for schools' obligation to meet the provisions of the mandatory school attendance law, and displacement of barriers that impede student learning. To see how ESAP fits into the school attendance system, refer to the School Attendance and ESAP Overview Chart (PDF - requires PDF viewer software).

To ask about ESAP, call (808) 735-6222.

These ESAP webpages were originally developed for the
Hawaii DOE ESAP Required Change/Sharing Meeting, 04-12-04.

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