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Bramson & Osborne Announce Local Effort to Boost School AttendanceMarking Attendance Awareness Month,City and School District partner to reduce chronic absenteeism
Recognizing the connection between school attendance and academic achievement, the City government and School District of New Rochelle have joined communities and schools across the country in promoting September as “Attendance Awareness Month”.
On Thursday, September 18th in the Rotunda at City Hall, New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson presented a Proclamation to City School District Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne, signifying the City’s commitment to raise awareness about the value of regular school attendance and the need to combat chronic absenteeism in the new school year.
“As the parent of school-age children, I see firsthand the importance of having a good educational experience every day,” said Mayor Noam Bramson. “In fact, all of us have a big stake in promoting attendance, because strong families, communities, and economies depend on youngsters showing up to learn.”
Dr. Osborne noted, "Children's consistent school attendance is the critical first step to academic success. We in the New Rochelle schools have dedicated programs in place to support getting students to school every day. Children who miss school miss key opportunities to grow, learn and thrive."
Over 40 organizations locally are supporting this important initiative, including Student Advocacy, an organization that since 1982 has worked to get kids on track to school success.
“Student Advocacy is thrilled that the City of New Rochelle and the New Rochelle School District have partnered to recognize Attendance Awareness Month,” said Karen Blumenthal, Public Advocate for Student Advocacy. “Promoting excellent attendance and understanding how chronic absenteeism harms students are key steps for communities to take to reduce attendance problems and enhance school success.”
According to Attendance Works, a national and state initiative that promotes better policy and practice around school attendance, as many as one out of 10 students miss 10 percent of the school year in excused and unexcused absences nationally every year. Research shows that chronic absence – 18 or more excused or unexcused absences – is a proven predictor of academic problems and/or dropping out. But according to a recent study, just 3 days of missed school resulted in lowered scores on standardized tests.
To help stem this school absence epidemic, groups besides communities and schools are joining the initiative. One such group is the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) of the United Way, comprised of women leaders in their communities, working together to engage, educate and empower others to become leaders. The Westchester and Putnam WLC raises funds to support SmartStart, a United Way program designed to help children in Kindergarten through 4th grade stay in school and achieve success.
“Even missing 2 days of school a month in Kindergarten has a negative effect on a child’s chances of future academic success,” said Alana Sweeny, President and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam and a Women’s Leadership Council Founding member. “We are coming together to make sure children have every opportunity for a strong education.”
To learn more about how you can assist in promoting good attendance visit www.studentadvocacy.net , www.attendanceworks.org , www.nred.org and www.uwwp.org/wcl.shtml.