BALDWIN PARK – Baldwin Park Unified is launching an attendance campaign for the 2017-18 school year to drive academic achievement and success for all pupils.

The “Attendance Matters – Every School Day Counts!” campaign begins Sept. 1, coinciding with national Attendance Awareness Month, held annually to underscore the critical role attendance plays in ensuring student success.

“Regular school attendance is an essential element of our mission to ensure high achievement for ALL learners,” Superintendent Dr. Froilan N. Mendoza said. “Baldwin Park Unified is committed to increasing the attendance rate in all District schools. High attendance rates result in improved academic skills, as well as social and emotional growth for our pupils.”

Currently, Baldwin Park Unified averages 96 percent attendance – a robust performance overall. But school leaders want to combat challenges of chronic absenteeism that persist for a small number of students. The District aims to raise attendance rates to 97.5 percent.

In addition to the academic benefits, a higher attendance rate would also secure added resources for educational programs.

“Ideally, we would like all students in attendance all day” Mendoza said. “But we also understand that families need to take children to doctor’s appointments or on family trips. It would be helpful if, when possible, families could schedule these events so students could attend class for at least part of the day.”

Mendoza emphasized that if students are sick they should remain at home.

Improving attendance will require a community-wide effort. Baldwin Park Unified’s campaign will feature student assemblies, parent workshops, incentives for achievement and resources for families.

“Together, we can maximize valuable instructional time for all students,” Mendoza said.