If you’re not in the seat, you can’t compete!
An initiative sponsored by the Hartford Campaign for Grade Level Reading, AttendanceWorks and Hartford Public Schools, with the help of United Way of Central & Northeastern Connecticut, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Hartford Public Library, MegaEducation, Achieve Hartford!, and the City of Hartford to increase community awareness about the importance of daily attendance, and to inspire action to get students into their classroom seats.
For many of us, the beginning of the school year conjures up images of backpacks stuffed with notebooks and No. 2 pencils, bulletin boards freshly decorated by teachers, and students showing off new clothes to old friends. But many students are heading toward academic trouble already: they’re missing too many days of school.
This trend starts as early as kindergarten and continues through high school, contributing to achievement gaps and ultimately to dropout rates. One in 10 kindergarten and first-grade students miss at least 18 days of school – a full 10 percent of the school year. But only 17 percent of those kids will read on grade level after 3rd grade, research shows. By middle school, chronic absence is one of the leading indicators of dropping out. And by 9th grade, it’s a better predictor of dropping out than test scores.
That’s why our school district, in partnership with the United Way, the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Hartford Public Library, MegaEducation, Achieve Hartford!, the City of Hartford, and Attendance Works, is promoting Attendance Awareness. We’re asking parents, schools, city agencies, community nonprofits, businesses and others to deliver the message that attendance matters for success in school and in life, and that absences can easily add up to academic challenges.
Go to 211ct.org/attendance for ideas and help.
Community Members and Educators
Here you’ll find tools and resources to help your United Way and Hartford Public Schools raise Attendance Awareness as a key priority in your community. We encourage you to check out the Attendance Works Count Us In! Toolkit, which provides an array of resources to make your Attendance Awareness a success.
Improving student attendance is an essential, cost-effective but often overlooked strategy for ensuring our students are on-track to learn and succeed. Nationwide, as many as one out of 10 students is chronically absent, meaning they miss 10 percent or more of school days, or nearly a month. Too often, we don’t realize how quickly absences add up: Missing just two days every month can cause a child to miss 10% of the school year and fall behind. Chronic absence is a leading, early warning indicator of academic trouble and later dropout.
The good news is that chronic absence is a problem we can solve. While addressing some attendance barriers—such as health, poor transportation, and unstable housing—can often require longer-term strategies, everyone can make a difference by helping students and families understand that going to school every day and avoiding absences whenever possible is critical to realizing their hopes and dreams.
The Attendance Works site that has everything you could need:
Concepts and Messages:
The Attendance Works materials toolkit:
* Thank you to Gois Broadcasting!