Just Go to School! is the motto of the (every)day at
CPS. Attendance is a HUGE problem that our
teachers (and schools and the community at large) deal
with on a daily basis. The first person to be affected it the
student, who will fall behind more than you can imagine, every
absent day. Even worse to contemplate is the fact that by third
grade, a child's absenteeism rate and grades can predict with
90% accuracy whether he or she will complete high school.
The other students in the class are then stalled as
they sit and wait while the teacher tries to bring the
missing students up to speed (as much as possible, which is never
completely possible when too many days are lost).
The school and the community suffer because budgets are in
part determined by how many children attend school. And when the
budget is cut, money for classroom materials is cut,
class size increases, when the school fails, property values
drop...the list of negative results goes on and on.
All because one (two, three, four, five - it seems to
somehow cause a snowball effect) child was absent (most
of the time, I can assure you, at least at the high-school level
here at CPS, it's because he or she just didn't feel like coming to
To boost attendance in Chicago Public Schools, Old Navy recently
awarded shopping sprees to 200 lucky students from Wentworth,
Oglesby, Westcott and Woods Elementary schools who pledged to go to
class more often. Doors opened early on Tuesday, August 31st at the
State Street Old Navy location for students to get free back-
to-school clothes in exchange for an attendance pledge. Old Navy
will also be offering shopping sprees to all the
students (in the participating schools) who have reached
perfect attendance at the end of the year.
In honor of Old Navy's efforts to help improve school
attendance rates, I have a $50 Old Navy Gift that I'd love to
give away to a reader - perfect for some late Autumn school
duds. I'll choose a winner mid-next week and notify you via
the comments section and email. All you have to do is: Subscribe to
my blog and then leave a comment below, answering the
question: How will you make sure your kids
are attending class every day?
Amy Bizzarri is a mom of two living in Logan Square. She also blogs at tiramisumom.com.
See more of Amy's stories here.
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