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School Characteristics That Influence Student Attendance: Experiences of Students in a School Avoidance Program

Julia Wilkins
The High School Journal
Vol. 91, No. 3 (Feb. - Mar., 2008), pp. 12-24
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40660745
Page Count: 13
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School Characteristics That Influence Student Attendance: Experiences of Students in a School Avoidance Program
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Abstract

This study examined the reasons that four high school students who had previously refused to attend school willingly attended an alternative K-12 school for students with special needs. The two research questions that framed this study were (a) why do students who refused to attend their regular schools willingly attend Brookfield Park? and (b) in what ways is Brookfield Park different from traditional schools? In order to answer these questions, interviews were conducted with four students in grades 8-11 who attended a school avoidance program (SAP) at Brookfield Park, a public school in the Northeast. The four themes that emerged from these interviews as situations that motivated students to attend school were (a) school climate, (b) academic environment, (c) discipline, and (d) relationships with teachers. Interview data were combined with the researcher's observations as a teacher in the school as well as examination of students' attendance records.

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