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Attendance and Academics: Making Critical Connections

October 28, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Attendance begets discovery, exploration, learning, and achievement—it is the keystone of student growth and well-being. Prior to the pandemic, one out of six students missed nearly a month of learning. Now, data suggests students are missing more learning opportunities than ever. Join this edLeader Panel of instructional leaders to learn how they are making critical connections between attendance and achievement in their districts and what strategies they’re implementing to improve both.

This edLeader Panel will be of interest to preK-12 district leaders. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.

Jennifer Lawson

About the Presenters

Jennifer Lawson currently serves as the chief academic officer for the Cobb County School District where she previously served as the assistant superintendent of teaching and learning. She leads Cobb County School District academics in 112 schools that serve approximately 107,000 students. Prior to joining the Teaching and Learning team, Jennifer has served as a principal in both the Cobb County Schools and Marietta City Schools. Her professional career and passion for working with children began as an elementary teacher almost 25 years ago.

Jennifer received her bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Alabama, and her Master of Education and Specialist in Education from the University of Georgia. She is committed to serving students through innovative and engaging educational programs, where her continued goal is to ensure every child is provided with learning opportunities and experiences that lead to a self-determined, choice-filled life. Jennifer and her husband, David, live in West Cobb with their three teenage boys—John David, Matthew and Luke.

Helen Chan HillHelen Chan Hill serves as the assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction and professional development for the Pasadena Unified School District. She received her B.A. from UC Berkeley and her M.A.Ed. from Loyola Marymount University. This is her 21st year as an educator, coming to PUSD via Teach For America, and teaching at both Washington middle and elementary schools. She joined the central office as a district math coach with the PUSD Math Pipeline Project, before moving into administration. Helen additionally serves on the board of the Association of Pasadena School Administrators and is a firm believer in supporting students, teachers and administrators alike in lifelong learning. Her passion for education is influenced by her experience as an immigrant and English language learner herself, resulting in her becoming a vocal proponent of public education and its potential and responsibility to serve all students. With her husband a PUSD alumnus, and her son and daughter themselves current PUSD students, it is her joy to see them and their classmates thrive in a positive learning environment.

Dr. Monica Lee

Dr. Monica Lee is a senior research associate at the Annenberg Institute. Her research interests include nudge experiments in education, as well as examining non-cognitive factors such as absenteeism and social-emotional learning via a quantitative lens. Much of her role centers around management of the SFUSD-Annenberg Research Partnership, in addition to collaborating on research projects across the Institute.

Dr. Lee holds a Ph.D. in educational policy and an M.A. in economics from Stanford University, an Ed.M. in education policy and management from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a B.A. in human and organizational development from Vanderbilt University. Her background as a first-generation college student and immigrant informs her work and scholarly interests.

To participate in the live edLeader Panel, log in with current version of Google Chrome or install the meeting app prior to the edLeader Panel on your computer, your Apple device, or Android device.  If you have a firewall in your location, you can participate on your mobile device using your cellular data (not your local network).




October 28, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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