Posts tagged "the truant chase"
September 12, 2012
“Mentoring has been central to our fight against chronic absenteeism,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said during his weekly radio address on Sunday, which focused on the start of the school year.
Since 2010, when Bloomberg launched a campaign against absenteeism. the city has paired some frequently absent students with “Success Mentors,” school staff and volunteers who monitor their attendance and coax them back to school. After starting with just 450 students in 2010, the program grew to about 4,000 students in 50 schools last year.
Citing dramatic gains, the city has increased the program’s size again this year. With more than 5,000 students in 100 schools, the Success Mentor initiative is now the largest school-based mentoring program in the country, city officials say.
John Feinblatt, the deputy mayor in charge of the Interagency Task Force on Truancy, Chronic Absenteeism and School Engagement, said last year that the city was exploring a range of “success mentor” models, including peer mentoring and enlisting volunteers from outside organizations. But the city has zeroed in on what it’s calling the “internal school-staff model” in part because it can be expanded without adding cost or personnel, according to Lauren Passalacqua, a city spokeswoman. (more…)
May 10, 2012
In the two years since the city launched its initiative to combat truancy and longterm school absences, they targeted students, with the help of teachers and celebrities like Magic Johnson. Now the initiative is turning its attention to parents.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today an advertisement campaign to inspire parents to make sure their children are in school each morning, and guide them to resources if their children are not. Each ad shows images of students and the public service announcement-inspired message: “It’s 9 a.m. Do you know where your kids are?”
Bloomberg told an auditorium of reporters, city officials, and young students and teachers at P.S. 91 in Queens that the city will be pushing to help parents increase their childrens’ attendance rates and understand the academic consequences of chronic absenteeism. Repeat offenders in elementary and middle school are more likely to drop out when they get to high school, he said.
“But many parents…don’t know what to do about it, and that’s why we’re launching the ad campaign,” he said. “It points parents towards help.”
The city will post these ads on public transportation and metro cards, in schools and community centers, and online. The campaign directs parents to visit the Department of Education web site, where they can find out how many days of school their child has missed. Librarians will be trained to help parents access this information, which requires a student identification number. And four times a year Department of Education officials will station themselves in the libraries to give more detailed advice to parents. (more…)
December 5, 2011
When Andy Rodriguez and Shanique Josephs told 15 Marta Valle High School freshmen last week that only half of all black and Hispanic students graduate from high school, the room grew quiet.
“That means half of you guys probably won’t graduate — according to statistics,” Josephs said. “How does that make you feel?”
Rodriguez and Josephs were very much trying to teach the freshmen in front of them, but they are not teachers. They are two of 24 Marta Valle seniors participating in Peer Group Connection, a mentoring program run by the Princeton Center for Leadership Training.
Used by more than 150 schools across the country, the program has so far been used in New York City only by elite private schools, such as Spence and Dalton. The program came to Marta Valle, the first city public school to adopt it, through Mayor Bloomberg’s year-old Interagency Task Force on Truancy, Chronic Absenteeism and School Engagement. (Washington Irving High School will start using Peer Group Connection next semester.)
“We’ve been doing this program for so long in elite private schools so we love being able to mirror that experience for students in more high-need communities,” said Margo Ross, PCLT’s senior director of development.
While the range of schools have different needs — and adjust their mentoring curriculum accordingly — the essence of the model remains the same. PGC calls for select seniors to enroll in a full-year, credit-bearing course which meets daily and trains them to be peer leaders. The course is co-taught by two teachers who have gotten special training. Once a week the seniors visit freshmen advisories for an “outreach class” in which they lead activities and discussions about relevant topics such as graduation, goal-setting, and decision-making.
Seniors get credits towards graduation and a sense of responsibility. Freshmen get peer role models and help making the tough transition into high school — something that experts say is essential to keep them from dropping out. (more…)
August 19, 2010
The city sent letters to the parents of more than 5,000 frequently absent students today, urging them to make sure their children come to school in September.
When school starts, phone calls will follow the letters, Mayor Bloomberg said today, describing the first fruits of the interagency task force on chronic absenteeism he convened in June.
Following the task force’s recommendations, the city is launching a campaign to boost attendance among the most absent students at 25 schools. Bloomberg announced the campaign, called ”Every Student, Every Day,” today at Brooklyn’s PS 345, where 91 percent of students attended on average last year.
The city’s 90.74 percent average attendance masks the fact that 20 percent of students missed more than 20 days of school last year, Bloomberg said. That figure was first reported by Center for New York City researchers in a 2009 report that called on the city to marshal the efforts of city agencies and community groups.
The 25 schools participating in the Every Student, Every Day pilot will assign volunteers from programs such as City Year, Citizen Schools, and Learning Leaders to mentor the most frequently absent 1,500 students. They’ll also host special attendance-focused parent meetings early this fall. (more…)