SARB Success Stories

Our colleague, Shirley Abrams, served as SARB and Homeless Education Program Coordinator in the Division of Student Support Services, here at the Los Angeles County Office of Education, for 20 years. Her advocacy for children and families was far reaching, and she was a well-respected expert on student attendance on the state and national level. Shirley served on the California State SARB. The Shirley Abrams Scholarship Award was established in her honor in 2012, which today is known as the Shirley Abrams Turn-Around Award, which recognizes students who have improved their attendance following their participation at the district SARB meeting.

To apply for the Shirley Abrams Turn-Around Award, please complete the application form HERE.


Redondo Beach Unified School District


Luca was suffering from a sleep disorder that was a puzzle to his parents and not an intentional means to skip school. Luca actually tried to stay up all night to avoid not being able to wake himself in the morning, but to no avail. After Luca and his family worked with SARB, he was able to get the proper health care and medications to function and attend school. He is pleased that SARB was a positive resource and he was our very first recipient for the SARB Symposium Awards. Luca has a bright future ahead of him.


Walnut Valley Unified School District


Alyse was awarded the Attendance Improvement Award from Walnut Valley Unified School District in May, 2017. She first attended SARB in the 4th grade. Alyse attended the meetings with her three siblings. Alyse was avoiding school because she did not want to be called out of class for special education testing, yet she also did not want to cause attendance meetings for her parents. SARB helped Alyse and her family to keep their dreams alive and get through any obstacles presented. Alyse achieved her goal to be the first to attend university in her family, majoring in early childhood studies. She graduated from Walnut High School with honors.


Rowland Unified School District


Lani was awarded the Attendance Improvement Award from Rowland Unified School District in May, 2017. She explains how she overcame an unexpected change in residence. Lani learned to set a positive example for her younger sister. She graduated from Nogales High School on time with honors and was able to continue on her path toward a better future. Lani has enrolled in a four-year university and hopes to continue on her pathway to success. She is thankful for the SARB experience that helped her make positive choices.


Glendale Unified School District


Julianna was awarded the Attendance Improvement Award from Glendale Unified School District in May, 2018. She experienced school anxiety and was physically ill when it came time to prepare for school. Julianna explains that the SARB board members encouraged her to attend school on time each day and she could check in with the school nurse, while at school, if needed. Each day she attended, she felt much better and did not fall behind in school. Her parents and her grandparents are very thankful that Julianna was able to attend the SARB meeting and receive the encouragement she needed to continue on the pathway to attending school every day and on time.


Glendale Unified School District


Giovanna slipped into a habit of being late and fell behind in classes. She then started to skip classes to avoid the difficulty she was finding in reconnecting. After attending SARB, seeing the supports from the school and the disappointment from her mother, Giovanna made a conscious effort to change her habits. As a result, her mother was pleased, her school supports continued, and she now is doing very well in school overall. If SARB had not stepped in to make a difference, Giovanna was headed down a path of failure. She can now say her habits are helping her to be a success.


El Rancho Unified School District


Lillian took on the role of parent for her younger siblings when her mother became more absent in the home. Lillian was great at taking care of others, but neglected herself. As a result of attending SARB, Lillian changed her pattern and was able to set a good example for her younger siblings and show them how supports and self-care can benefit all those around her. Lillian has explained her experience with SARB from tears to celebration. She feels the supports have made a difference in how she in turn will be not only a success but also a positive role model for her family members.

LACOE County SARB Symposium

Highlighting Best Practices


Each year following the Model SARB recognition from the California Department of Education, both districts and students are recognized at our LACOE County SARB Symposium. Best practices are highlighted and students who have demonstrated improved attendance due to their SARB interaction are publicly awarded. Some of these students are also invited to videotape their SARB Success Story as an example of hope for restoring positive attendance. Please contact the featured Model SARBs as the chairpersons have agreed to be mentors for other districts or charter schools who may be struggling with truancy and chronic absenteeism. Our Local SARB chairpersons are excited to share their exemplary programs. View the video HERE.