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RCSD expands attendance efforts

Rochester, N.Y. -The Rochester City School District continues its fight against truancy.

Last year the district targeted four schools with below average attendance.

This year, the district will go focus on eight schools with low attendance rates.

For too long we've known that this problem exists, we've been talking about it and now we are no longer talking about the problem but we are taking action, Rochester City School Superintendent Bolgen Vargas said.

The district will add eight parent liaisons.

Every school has at least one employee working to engage families with school through phone calls and home visits of truant students.

The liaison will also help remove barriers to school attendance.

Parents like Felice Dubois.

I didn't know until the last little part when the school finally called, Dubois said.

Dubois found out her daughter was truant; she had missed about a month of classes since October of last school year.

When you work, leave your house at six in the morning, you get your child up, you're thinking she's going to school and you don't know, Dubois said.

Dubois said a disruptive learning environment is what kept her daughter from class.

She didnt go to school for the rest of the school year, but made up those classes in summer school.

Dubois said she will keep better track of where her daughter is, the school district says part of its goal is to provide resources to help.

Churches, city recreation centers and non-profit agencies and other community groups will ask parents for consent to view attendance and report cards.

The district will also continue monthly truancy blitzes.

Efforts the district said is working.

The district cites data that shows student attendance improves 2% over the past year, up to 89%

The district hopes to get results that will take a community wide effort.

We need to get the attendance for the city school district up to the standard which is somewhere around 95% so that they can benefit from what's being offered to them, Rochester City Mayor Tom Richards said.


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