FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Sept. 22, 2014
CONTACT: Valerie Martinez, Juliette Funes (909) 445-1001
POMONA, Calif. – Pomona Unified is joining Los Angeles County in its “I’m In” attendance awareness campaign for the month of September, designated as “School Attendance Month.” The District kicked off the program earlier this month when teams of volunteers visited the homes of truant and absentee students and successfully re-enrolled them in school.
Volunteers, district personnel and community partners visited more than 50 homes of students who have dropped out of school during “Attendance Recovery Day” on Friday, Sept. 5, discussing with parents and the students themselves about the importance of good attendance. About half of the students were registered to begin classes once again at PUSD.
“Studies show that students who are chronically absent from school have a hard time learning and are at greater risk of dropping out,” said Board of Education President Frank Guzman. “Our goal with this campaign – which is uniting parents, teachers and community organizations – is to ensure that all kids in the community are off the streets and in our schools ready to learn.”
School Attendance Awareness Month is a national initiative sponsored by Attendance Works that brings together families, schools, community and statewide leaders to publicize the connection between school attendance and academic achievement.
As part of the County’s “I’m In” campaign, Pomona Unified schools are rewarding students for their good attendance. To incentivize them, PUSD will hold fun contests, rallies, attendance competitions and raffles throughout the rest of the month.
“We really want our kids to know that in order to learn and prepare for the successful future that lies ahead of them, they must attend school every day,” said Director of Pupil Resources Cesar Casarrubias. “One of the proactive ways to combat truancy is by making attendance fun and raising awareness to our community partners to help us in that effort.”
Pomona Unified is one of the few districts in the area receiving support from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office through its Abolish Chronic Truancy program, which is designed to intervene in the early stages of a student’s truancy problem by working directly with school administrators, teachers, parents and students to find positive solutions.
Similar to this year’s “Attendance Recovery Day” event, PUSD staff and community organizations also came together last year to target and visit the homes of “no-show” students, many of whom returned to school.
“We want to welcome students back into the school system and help them understand the link between good attendance and academic achievement,” said PUSD Superintendent Richard Martinez. “Working together is critical to getting that message out.”