CAMPBELL | Campbell-Savona School District leaders have introduced a new long-term plan for 2019-22 setting goals for academic achievement and other key metrics of success. While the district is excelling in many areas, officials say an issue with some students’ absenteeism needs to be addressed.

The plan, which had already been rolled out to staff when school opened for the year, was discussed at Monday’s Board of Education meeting.

In some ways, the district’s goals appear easy. District students have continued to beat regional averages on standardized testing, and administrators are hoping to continue that trend with a gradual rise in those measures going forward.

“We spent a lot of time this summer deciding how to keep with the spirit of the former plan while adding the new requirements from the state and federal government,” Superintendent Kathy Hagenbuch told the board Monday.

The district’s four-year graduation rate continues to be far above state and national benchmarks, staying above 90 percent and topping out at 95 percent over the last several years.

The state has also introduced a new metric -- college, career and civic readiness (CCCR) -- and the district beat state expectations and its own goals by a significant margin in 2018-19.

That’s despite some fuzziness on what the CCCR score actually measures. “There is this huge algorithm that this number comes from,” Haganbuch said. “If you asked me to tell you what that number actually means I would run screaming from the room. (However,) this is an area where we really excelled.”

The district’s score for 2017-18 was 145, against a goal of 128.2. The score from the 2018-19 school year isn’t yet available.

But on attendance figures, the district has fallen short of its own goals, though meeting much less stringent state guidelines.

The key metric looked at by state officials is “chronic absenteeism” -- defined as students who are absent more than 10 percent of the days that they are enrolled at the school.

At the high school level, 20.6 percent of Campbell-Savona students fell into that category in the 2018-19 year. The district’s goal is 15 percent or less -- the state’s expectation for the district is 23.4 percent.

In grades 1-8, 7.9 percent of students were absent 10 percent of the time or more. The district’s own benchmark was set at 6.7 percent, while the state standard was 14.6 percent.

“Attendance was one of the areas we did not make our district goal on,” Hagenbuch told the board.

She said an initial focus will be on students who fell just short of the goal.

“A lot of kids were really close -- we’re going to first focus on those kids who were at 88.9 or even 90 percent attendance,” Hagenbuch said.

Officials said there’s also a population within the district that is “transient” -- students who attend Campbell-Savona schools for a couple of months, or even less, before moving out of the district again.

They present a particular problem, because a student who is only in the district for 50 days will still be counted as chronically absent if they miss five days of school.

Officials said those short-term students are a disproportionate part of the chronic absentee numbers for the district.

Hagenbuch noted that attendance has been added as a foundational goal to the district’s overall plans for future success.