NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- New Rochelle schools and government joined communities and schools across the country in promoting September as “Attendance Awareness Month."
New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson presented a proclamation to City School District Superintendent Brian Osborne, signifying the city’s commitment to raise awareness about the value of regular school attendance and 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,” Bramson said. “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.”
"Children's consistent school attendance is the critical first step to academic success,'' Osborne said. "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."
More than 40 organizations locally are supporting this initiative, including Student Advocacy, an organization that since 1982 has worked to get kids on track to 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 three 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, comprising 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.