Give the Gift of Attendance this Year!

Give the Gift of Attendance this Year!

The winter holidays represent a challenge— and an opportunity for educating parents about the importance of good attendance. As you know, absences often spike in the weeks before and after winter break, as families try to squeeze in a few more vacation days. This is particularly true for families visiting relatives in other countries.

We hope this toolkit helps provide your community with tools for helping remind parents that the best gift they can give their children this year, and every year, is a good education.

This holiday season, the best gift you can give your child is a good education. And the best place to get that education is in school. Every day. On time.

• Building a habit of good attendance is your child’s ticket to success in school and eventually on the job.

• But every year, absences spike in the weeks before and after winter break. It’s time to break that cycle.

• We know it’s tempting to extend your vacation by a few days on either side of the holiday.

• We recognize that holidays are an important time for reconnecting with families far away and exposing your children to your home and language, whether you grew up in another part of the United States or a different country. The costs of plane tickets often influence when you want to travel. But keep in mind the costs to your children’s education if they miss too much school.

• Just a few missed days here and there, even if they’re excused absences, can add up to too much lost learning time and put your child behind in school. This is as true in kindergarten as it is in high school.

• So make sure your child is in school every day, right up until vacation starts. Our teachers will be teaching, and our students will be learning. But it’s harder to teach and it’s harder to learn when too many students are absent.

• If missing school is unavoidable, talk to your children’s teachers in advance to create a plan for making up missed work.

• So give your child the gift of attendance and the habit of attendance.

Hartford Public Schools is part of a Chronic Absenteeism Communty Team– alongside many Hartford community organizations– which aims to eliminate chronic absenteeism (when students miss 10% of their school year by missing 2 or more days per month.)  The team is moving forward quickly with pilot programs in 5 of our elementary schools and 5 of our high schools beginning with the restructuring of attendance supports for our schools and families.  Hartford Public Schools is receiving invaluable assistance from many of our community partners including Achieve Hartford, Hartford Communities that Care, Hartford Boys and Girls Clubs, Catholic Charities, Compass Youth Collaborative, Greater Hartford YMCA, Hartford Partnership for Student Success, MegaEducation, HART (Hartford Area Rallies Together) , The United Way, the Hartford Campaign for Grade Level Reading, The City of Hartford, Department of Children & Families, the City of New Britain, and the New Britain Early Childhood Collaborative.

Members of the organizations, gathered again at the Boys & Birls Club of Hartford this week  The goals of the team include the formalization of mandatory Attendance Teams at every school to understand chronic absenteeism and to provide outreach and assistance to familes struggling with it.  The team will also study Hartford Public Schools with successful attendance rates and recommend best practices.  Hartford Public Schools will lead the effort to perfect absenteeism data and contact information in PowerSchool.
As part of the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, we want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to help Hartford families remove chronic absenteeism as an impediment to their children's educational progress.

For more information, go to Hartford Public Schools' AttendanceMatters webpage.  The United Way, as part of the Hartford Campaign for Grade Level Reading also collaborated with on an Attendance information and action page.




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