Every Day Counts

Nearly one in five students in Baltimore City is chronically absent each year – meaning that over 17,000 students pre-K to 12 miss a month or more of school each year. Even a student with a 90% attendance rate can still be chronically absent and missing out on the opportunity to gain the skills they need to succeed in school and in life. Students do not show up to school for a variety of reasons, such as health issues, lack of transportation, family instability, bullying, or a lack of interest in school. Many students are absent simply because they do not think anyone notices or cares whether or not they attend school every day.

Success Coaches connects at-risk students with caring adults on the school campus through a carefully developed infrastructure that enables coaches to be positive role models, encourage regular attendance, and identify and begin to address underlying causes of chronic absenteeism in a personalized way. With the support of the Open Society Institute – Baltimore, Family League in partnership with the Baltimore Attendance Collaborative are excited to pilot this initiative in five Baltimore City Public Schools this school year. Each school has already started implementing this model with a targeted number of students. The hope is that each school will not only see an increase in the number of days attended by participating students, but will also see an increase in the number of students reporting a strong connection to an adult within the school building. In addition, we hope this model will also help spread and strengthen the message among the entire student body that attendance really does matter!

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Kim Eisenreich September 29, 2015 Blog