September is a make or break month for students, study shows,

Now that school is back in session, parents/guardians will have to keep in mind that missing only 2-4 days of school a month - considered chronic absence can negatively impact a child’s academic performance and put them on track for dropping out of school, according to a recent study.

Cleveland hasn’t escaped the absenteeism problem yet, but efforts are underway to turn it around by helping students feel more connected to their schools. City Year Cleveland is focusing on helping students arrive to school on time. We train and deploy diverse teams of AmeriCorps members in seven (7) local Cleveland schools. In addition to providing whole class support, individual interventions in math and literacy, behavior interventions, and creating school events to engage parents and the school community, these teams of 17-24 year-olds lead initiatives in three attendance areas:

  • Targeted Interventions – City Year AmeriCorps members work with students who are dealing with systemic factors keeping them at home, including but not limited to lack of safe walking options, having to take care of relatives, jobs, or not feeling safe at school.
  • Student Engagement – They create a school culture where attendance is celebrated through attendance recognition initiatives and tactics like “morning greetings” where students are energetically welcomed on school steps each day.
  • Parent Engagement – Team members make personal calls to students and parents of students who are absent to get them engaged in the school—and coming every day. 

City Year Cleveland’s efforts are generating results. In the 2014 - 2015 school year, 78 percent of teachers agreed that City Year AmeriCorps members positively impacted the attendance of their students.

This year Cleveland Metropolitan School District kicked off a school attendance drive, Get to School.You can make it! And this years effort has so far paid off! 91.6 percent of Cleveland Metropolitan School District students made it to school for their first day this year, up from 84.3 percent last year. 

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District's "Get to School. You Can Make It!" attendance campaign invited City Year Cleveland to participate in the #At10Dance challenge on social media! We answered the calling and showed our support for improving attendance in Cleveland. 

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