Increasing School Attendance and Funding Through Instructional Esports Platforms

Increasing School Attendance and Funding Through Instructional Esports Platforms

Jun 26, 2024

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Summary

Esports platforms offer a new method of instruction that leverages the power of what students love doing to enhance student attendance and ultimately, school funding. Schools integrating esports see significant reductions in absenteeism, with participants attending more days than their peers. This increase in attendance translates to substantial additional funding through attendance-based models like Average Daily Attendance (ADA).  Beyond financial benefits, esports programs enhance student engagement, particularly for those less interested in traditional sports or classroom activities,  stimulates interest in STEM fields, offer diverse career paths, and develop essential skills.

The Challenge: Attendance and Funding for Schools

Maintaining student attendance and reducing chronic absenteeism continue to be a critical issue for ensuring student success and securing more attendance based funding. 

As traditional methods of engagement and teaching evolve daily, there is a need for newer solutions to meet the challenges of attendance and engagement. This is where esports platforms come into play, offering a new method of instruction that leverages the power of what students love doing to enhance student engagement, attendance, and ultimately, school funding.

Understanding Attendance Based Funding

Many states in the U.S. use attendance-based funding models to allocate financial resources to schools. These models, such as Average Daily Attendance (ADA), directly tie funding to the number of students attending school each day. While this system incentivizes schools to maintain high attendance rates, it also means that schools with higher absenteeism face financial penalties. Ensuring consistent student attendance is therefore essential for schools to secure the funding needed to provide quality education.

Student Count Options for School Funding

There are many terms and methods used when discussing student counts and their impact on school funding. Different approaches such as Single Count Date, Multiple Count Dates, Average Daily Attendance (ADA), Average Daily Membership (ADM), Single Count Period, and Multiple Count Periods each play a unique role in determining funding. 

Each funding model has its own advantages and disadvantages related to accuracy, equity, administrative burden, and the ability to incentivize positive student and school behaviors. Policymakers must carefully consider these factors to align funding mechanisms with state educational goals and priorities. 

Single Count Date:  Schools collect student enrollment or attendance data on a single specified day, typically early in the fall. This count determines the funding for the entire year. 

Multiple Count Dates: Schools take attendance or enrollment counts on multiple specified days throughout the school year. These counts are averaged to determine funding.

Average Daily Attendance (ADA): Funding is based on the average number of students attending school each day over the school year.

Average Daily Membership (ADM):  Calculates the average number of students enrolled over a specific period, typically the entire school year, regardless of daily attendance.

Single Count Period: Schools report enrollment over a specific period (e.g., a week or a month), and this average is used for funding.

Multiple Count Periods: Schools take enrollment or attendance counts over several distinct periods throughout the school year. The averages of these counts determine funding.

Table showing Student Count options and states using them

How to Improve Attendance in Schools

The school environment and climate play an important role in attendance and chronic absence. School climate is a multi-faceted construct that reflects students' perceptions of their interactions with peers, teachers, and school administrators including shared beliefs, values, and attitudes related to school. Furthermore, ineffective school discipline and lack of appropriate or engaging instruction perpetuate chronic absence* 

One strategy for improving school climate is incentivizing and supporting student attendance by incorporating an engaging method of instruction; scholastic esports. 

Looking at the numbers, 97 percent of teenagers play video games, presenting a significant opportunity to leverage students' passion and interest to improve attendance. Integrating esports in schools fosters a sense of belonging and highly increases regular attendance, especially among those not engaged in traditional sports or classroom activities. For these students, esports provides a fun and engaging way to learn. By incorporating esports into the school curriculum, students become excited to attend classes. Moreover, experts highlight (1,2) that technology helps students with disabilities interact better and have the same chances to join in activities as everyone else. Plus, these games are excellent for students with special needs to practice everyday skills, solve problems, and prepare for more seamless social integration. (3, 4)

The Solution: Esports Education and Gameplan 

A highly engaging strategy that leads to increased student attendance is scholastic esports. As discussed above, esports and esports platforms creates a strong and meaningful incentive for kids to attend school. Gameplan's esports programs have a profound impact on both student attendance and the financial health of school districts. We integrate esports as a medium of instruction within CTE Pathways and offer resources for extracurricular and curricular programs to increase student engagement. 

Additional Funds and Grants

Esports programs and platforms are eligible for funding primarily because they align with key educational objectives and outcomes, such as increasing student engagement, especially with at-risk students, preparing students for future careers, promoting collaborative and strategic problem-solving, and many other benefits to the classroom. There are various federal, state, and private grants available for educational institutions looking to establish or enhance esports programs. For instance, Gameplan aligns seamlessly with Title I Funds aimed at raising academic standards for low-income students. You can utilize Gameplan in your fund application by stating us as your esports curriculum provider. 

Standards Aligned Curriculum and Robust Tools

Our content library, created by subject matter experts, offers you many options depending on your school's needs. With courses on interactive media, cybersecurity, esports introduction, game development, entrepreneurship, leadership, and other soft skills, Gameplan offers a comprehensive and well-rounded education aligned with various standards, such as ISTE Standards, the Next Generation Science Standards, career, and technical education standards, social-emotional learning standards and other state-specific standards. Our robust tools and engaging activities will keep your students fully immersed in the learning experience. Furthermore, you can track and monitor student progress and engagement levels yourself to see how they increase over time.

screenshot from Gameplan platform, showing that you can track student engagement and attendance

A study conducted in a California school district revealed that students participating in esports had a 33.5% lower absence rate compared to non-participants. On average, esports participants attended school 7.34 more days than their peers, resulting in an additional $354,000 in funding based on Average Daily Attendance (ADA). While esports, used as an instruction method, has many benefits, integrating esports into the curriculum requires careful planning and consideration. Schools interested in integrating esports into their programs should consider factors like technology infrastructure, funding, and curriculum integration. Building a supportive esports ecosystem involves collaboration between educators, students, and the community. 

The most common way of integrating esports into education is through esports curriculums or as an extracurricular activity. Plus, incorporating esports comes with many professional development opportunities for administrators, teachers, and IT professionals.

The Impact: Enhanced Funding and Educational Outcomes

In summary, esports programs not only captivate students’ interests and improve attendance rates but also lead to increased funding for school districts. This dual impact helps create a more engaged student body and a financially healthier educational environment, ensuring that schools provide high-quality education and resources for all students.

It is important to note that student attendance depends on many factors such as economic conditions, housing instability, lack of access to transportation, chronic diseases, food insecurity, and much more. While it is not possible to address these issues with one single solution, esports,  used as an instructional method offers a new strategy to combat chronic absenteeism and attendance by encouraging students to consistently participate.

Start your journey today by scheduling a call with us!

The Challenge: Attendance and Funding for Schools

Maintaining student attendance and reducing chronic absenteeism continue to be a critical issue for ensuring student success and securing more attendance based funding. 

As traditional methods of engagement and teaching evolve daily, there is a need for newer solutions to meet the challenges of attendance and engagement. This is where esports platforms come into play, offering a new method of instruction that leverages the power of what students love doing to enhance student engagement, attendance, and ultimately, school funding.

Understanding Attendance Based Funding

Many states in the U.S. use attendance-based funding models to allocate financial resources to schools. These models, such as Average Daily Attendance (ADA), directly tie funding to the number of students attending school each day. While this system incentivizes schools to maintain high attendance rates, it also means that schools with higher absenteeism face financial penalties. Ensuring consistent student attendance is therefore essential for schools to secure the funding needed to provide quality education.

Student Count Options for School Funding

There are many terms and methods used when discussing student counts and their impact on school funding. Different approaches such as Single Count Date, Multiple Count Dates, Average Daily Attendance (ADA), Average Daily Membership (ADM), Single Count Period, and Multiple Count Periods each play a unique role in determining funding. 

Each funding model has its own advantages and disadvantages related to accuracy, equity, administrative burden, and the ability to incentivize positive student and school behaviors. Policymakers must carefully consider these factors to align funding mechanisms with state educational goals and priorities. 

Single Count Date:  Schools collect student enrollment or attendance data on a single specified day, typically early in the fall. This count determines the funding for the entire year. 

Multiple Count Dates: Schools take attendance or enrollment counts on multiple specified days throughout the school year. These counts are averaged to determine funding.

Average Daily Attendance (ADA): Funding is based on the average number of students attending school each day over the school year.

Average Daily Membership (ADM):  Calculates the average number of students enrolled over a specific period, typically the entire school year, regardless of daily attendance.

Single Count Period: Schools report enrollment over a specific period (e.g., a week or a month), and this average is used for funding.

Multiple Count Periods: Schools take enrollment or attendance counts over several distinct periods throughout the school year. The averages of these counts determine funding.

Table showing Student Count options and states using them

How to Improve Attendance in Schools

The school environment and climate play an important role in attendance and chronic absence. School climate is a multi-faceted construct that reflects students' perceptions of their interactions with peers, teachers, and school administrators including shared beliefs, values, and attitudes related to school. Furthermore, ineffective school discipline and lack of appropriate or engaging instruction perpetuate chronic absence* 

One strategy for improving school climate is incentivizing and supporting student attendance by incorporating an engaging method of instruction; scholastic esports. 

Looking at the numbers, 97 percent of teenagers play video games, presenting a significant opportunity to leverage students' passion and interest to improve attendance. Integrating esports in schools fosters a sense of belonging and highly increases regular attendance, especially among those not engaged in traditional sports or classroom activities. For these students, esports provides a fun and engaging way to learn. By incorporating esports into the school curriculum, students become excited to attend classes. Moreover, experts highlight (1,2) that technology helps students with disabilities interact better and have the same chances to join in activities as everyone else. Plus, these games are excellent for students with special needs to practice everyday skills, solve problems, and prepare for more seamless social integration. (3, 4)

The Solution: Esports Education and Gameplan 

A highly engaging strategy that leads to increased student attendance is scholastic esports. As discussed above, esports and esports platforms creates a strong and meaningful incentive for kids to attend school. Gameplan's esports programs have a profound impact on both student attendance and the financial health of school districts. We integrate esports as a medium of instruction within CTE Pathways and offer resources for extracurricular and curricular programs to increase student engagement. 

Additional Funds and Grants

Esports programs and platforms are eligible for funding primarily because they align with key educational objectives and outcomes, such as increasing student engagement, especially with at-risk students, preparing students for future careers, promoting collaborative and strategic problem-solving, and many other benefits to the classroom. There are various federal, state, and private grants available for educational institutions looking to establish or enhance esports programs. For instance, Gameplan aligns seamlessly with Title I Funds aimed at raising academic standards for low-income students. You can utilize Gameplan in your fund application by stating us as your esports curriculum provider. 

Standards Aligned Curriculum and Robust Tools

Our content library, created by subject matter experts, offers you many options depending on your school's needs. With courses on interactive media, cybersecurity, esports introduction, game development, entrepreneurship, leadership, and other soft skills, Gameplan offers a comprehensive and well-rounded education aligned with various standards, such as ISTE Standards, the Next Generation Science Standards, career, and technical education standards, social-emotional learning standards and other state-specific standards. Our robust tools and engaging activities will keep your students fully immersed in the learning experience. Furthermore, you can track and monitor student progress and engagement levels yourself to see how they increase over time.

screenshot from Gameplan platform, showing that you can track student engagement and attendance

A study conducted in a California school district revealed that students participating in esports had a 33.5% lower absence rate compared to non-participants. On average, esports participants attended school 7.34 more days than their peers, resulting in an additional $354,000 in funding based on Average Daily Attendance (ADA). While esports, used as an instruction method, has many benefits, integrating esports into the curriculum requires careful planning and consideration. Schools interested in integrating esports into their programs should consider factors like technology infrastructure, funding, and curriculum integration. Building a supportive esports ecosystem involves collaboration between educators, students, and the community. 

The most common way of integrating esports into education is through esports curriculums or as an extracurricular activity. Plus, incorporating esports comes with many professional development opportunities for administrators, teachers, and IT professionals.

The Impact: Enhanced Funding and Educational Outcomes

In summary, esports programs not only captivate students’ interests and improve attendance rates but also lead to increased funding for school districts. This dual impact helps create a more engaged student body and a financially healthier educational environment, ensuring that schools provide high-quality education and resources for all students.

It is important to note that student attendance depends on many factors such as economic conditions, housing instability, lack of access to transportation, chronic diseases, food insecurity, and much more. While it is not possible to address these issues with one single solution, esports,  used as an instructional method offers a new strategy to combat chronic absenteeism and attendance by encouraging students to consistently participate.

Start your journey today by scheduling a call with us!

Blog title with a picture of a kid using a laptop
Blog title with a picture of a kid using a laptop

Written by

Gameplan Team

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