PASADENA (CNS) – Pasadena Unified School District staffers and volunteers went door-to-door yesterday in hopes of encouraging students who haven’t been to class yet for the 2013-14 school year to return to campus.
The student-recovery effort was part of the district’s “I’m In!” campaign to encourage school attendance, targeting students who have been “chronically absent” since August or have not been to class at all.
“Our schools are working at an accelerated pace and a single day of missed instruction can adversely affect the student’s academic progress,” PUSD superintendent Jon R. Gundry said. “Immediate action is necessary because research tells us that missing or skipping school occasionally in the early grades can easily become a habit that puts students on track to drop out of school.”
The attendance effort also has a financial impetus, since districts are funded by the state based on Average Daily Attendance. According to PUSD, the district can lose $888,000 from a 1 percent drop in annual attendance.
Eric Sahakian, PUSD child welfare director, told NBC4 the staffers and volunteers involved in the door-to-door effort had a list of students who had not been to school since August.
“So we’re making home visits,” he said.
If nobody was found at the homes, district officials left a letter behind.
Next month, PUSD will begin using an Attention to Attendance program that will automatically generate letters to parents of students who are truant three times, more than 30 minutes late to school or who have excessive excused and unexcused absences. The district 2will also call the homes of students who are not in school to notify parents of the student’s absence.
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