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RCSD has first "truancy blitz"

Rochester, N.Y. - The Rochester City School District is tackling a big problem: an epidemic of absenteeism.

The school district says that on any given day 3,000 students aren't coming to school. If they aren't there, the district stands little chance of improving dismal test scores.

"Truancy blitzes" are one way the district tries to get kids in school.

The district is almost one month into the school year and so far 550 students have missed classes. Some of those students were sick, others have underlying issues. And the point of the blitzes is getting to the root of the cause and offer help.

We understand at times there are issues that get in the way but the for the most part this is an adult issue when it comes to attendance in our community. We have far too many students that are not coming to school every day and it is our goal to make sure we have the entire community engaged, said Superintendant Bolgen Vargas

Vargas, alongside dozens of volunteers, Thursday knocked on the doors of students from nine different schools who have already missed 20-percent of the school year - that amounts to three or more classes.

This was the first truancy blitz of the year. The district has one planed each month for the rest of the school year.

RCSD says past blitzes have proved to be successful - improving attendance by 2 percent.

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Washington Times