Edifying Parents Prime Factor in Attendance Efforts
Richmond Public Schools (RPS) has embarked upon a new campaign in an effort to increase attendance amongst elementary school students in the Richmond area. “Everyday Counts” is a collaborative effort amongst the district’s office of Dropout Prevention, vcialis 40mg entitled Safe and Nurturing Schools, as well as the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) to improve truancy and elementary attendance. “Everyday Counts” centers around canvassing various feeder neighborhoods of elementary schools whose daily attendance is less than 95%. “In the Dropout Prevention office, our goal is to not only reduce truancy but boost overall attendance. There is a direct correlation between attendance and student achievement” stated Angela Jones, Richmond Public Schools’ Psychologist, in charge of Dropout Prevention and Safe Schools. During this grassroots initiative various school officials will “beat the pavement”, traveling door-to-door speaking with parents about the importance of daily school attendance.
“Everyday Counts” shall reach beyond just speaking with parents and providing them with information, but also offering parents referral assistance to other agencies to not only aid them, but their entire families. Engaging with parents, as well as the community alike, is a key component of the program and striving towards improving elementary attendance. “Everyday Counts is a way for RPS to engage the community in a non-punitive manner to encourage daily attendance. We’ve found that behaviors that can lead to truancy and ultimately dropping out begin as early as the elementary level. We want to encourage parents and the community to work with us to stop or break the behaviors before they become truant issues.” explained Jones.
Parents will also be provided with various tips and methods to improve their child’s attendance, such as scheduling doctor’s appointments after school and contacting schools to monitor their child’s attendance and progress. Although small, both are highly effective methods in improving attendance.
Though the truancy rate in the district has seen a substantial drop from 26% to 8.16% over the last nine years, RPS is trying to achieve a goal of 95% daily attendance rate within the elementary schools.
The efforts of RPS have already reached neighborhoods in school zones such as Fairfield and Carver Elementary, with future efforts reaching Oak Grove, George Mason, and Summer Hill in the immediate future.