University of Minnesota
Check & Connect Student Engagement Intervention | Institute on Community Integration
Institute on Community Integration CEHD

Photo of mentor with student, representing Check & Connect Student Engagement Intervention.

Keynote Presentations

October 12-13, 2017 • Minneapolis, MN

Day 1 Keynote: Hedy Chang, Ph.D.

Thursday, October 12, 2017 • 9:00am

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Ensuring An Equal Opportunity To Learn By Reducing Chronic Absence

More than 6.8 million students miss nearly a month of school in the United States. Chronic absence, missing 10% or more of school for any reason, is a proven early warning sign of academic risk starting as early as kindergarten and preschool.    This keynote will focus on how chronic absence can be used as an invaluable, actionable metric to identify where prevention and early intervention, such as Check and Connect, are needed most to ensure equal opportunities to learn.

Hedy Chang, Ph.D., Attendance Works

Hedy Nai-Lin Chang directs Attendance Works, a national and state level initiative aimed at advancing student success by addressing chronic absence. A skilled presenter, facilitator, researcher, and writer, she co-authored the seminal report, Present, Engaged and Accounted For: The Critical Importance of Addressing Chronic Absence in the Early Grades, as well as numerous other articles about student attendance. Deeply committed to promoting two-generation solutions to achieving a more just and equitable society, Hedy has spent more than two decades working in the fields of family support, family economic success, education, and child development. She served as a senior program officer at the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund and as co-director of California Tomorrow, a nonprofit committed to drawing strength from cultural, linguistic, and racial diversity. In February 2013, Hedy was named by the White House as a Champion of Change for her commitment to furthering African American Education.

Dr. Chang is also offering a breakout session, Taking a Team Approach: An Essential Strategy for Reducing Chronic Absence, Thursday, October 12 at 11:20am.

Day 2 Keynote: Amy Reschly, Ph.D.

Friday, October 13, 2017 • 8:30am

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Lessons Learned in Student Engagement and Dropout Interventions

Students’ engagement at school and with learning is associated with important proximal and distal outcomes across academic, behavioral, and social-emotional domains. Furthermore, it is the cornerstone of dropout theory and intervention, a vehicle for high school reform, and has been integrated within tiered models of service delivery (RTI, MTSS). The purpose of this presentation is to present lessons learned in work with the dropout prevention program Check & Connect as well in our efforts to delineate promising practices and evidence-based interventions to promote student engagement for all students.     

Amy Reschly, Ph.D., University of Georgia

Amy Reschly is a professor of Educational Psychology and coordinator of the School Psychology Program at the University of Georgia. Her scholarly work focuses on student engagement, dropout prevention, and working with families to promote student success.  She was co-editor of the Handbook of Research on Student Engagement with Dr. Sandra Christenson, and a co-author of the Student Engagement Instrument and its extensions. She worked as a Check & Connect mentor from 1998-2000. 


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