- Campbell Soup apologizes for SpaghettiOs’ Pearl Harbor tweet
- Former Reagan aide James Baker: President regretted apartheid veto
- Some donations to gay waitress who allegedly forged hate note refunded
- German President Joachim Gauck boycotting Sochi Olympics
- Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel: If you want to pay more for your doctor, you can under Obamacare
- Sen. Rand Paul: ‘I am seriously thinking about’ running for president in 2016
- Sleet, ice, deepfreeze hit large swath of U.S.
- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
D.C. schools optimistic on trimming truancy
City rolling out new initiatives to cut down on unexcused absences
Officials at D.C. Public Schools told city council members they hope that central monitoring of data, early intervention and more staff will help reduce truancy in the upcoming school year.
According to data presented to the D.C. Council's Committee of the Whole and Committee on the Judiciary by public schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson,11 percent of the District’s students are chronically truant, meaning they have more than 10 unexcused absences. As of March, 13 percent of high school freshmen had more than 30 unexcused absences in the past year. Complete statistics for the 2011-12 school year will be available in two weeks, Ms. Henderson said.
Half of the high school students with more than 30 absences come from six of the District’s high schools, Ms. Henderson said. Anacostia and Ballou high schools, both located in Southeast, had the highest truancy rates.
“Our students have no chance to be successful if they are not in school,” Ms. Henderson said.
To reduce truancyin the upcoming school year, the schools are adding new initiatives, Ms. Henderson said. To get a better picture of the problem, the district will monitor referral and truancy rates centrally.
They will also expand the Byer Court Model - a program that provides early intervention to students at risk of failing - to at least four more middle schools. De'Shawn Wright, deputy mayor for education and co-chairman of the Truancy Taskforce, said preliminary data show student who participated in it increased their average daily attendance.
Additionally, new staff members to work with truant students and their families will be added at the six high schools with the highest truancy rates, and more case management support will be provided to ninth graders at Ballou and Anacostia high schools.
“We have no choice but to take on this challenge,” Ms. Henderson said.
Ms. Henderson and principals from elementary and high schools told council members that having a system for dealing with truant students is not enough. Schools must develop a relationship with the community around them.
Parents must be reported to the Child and Family Services Agencyon the 25th truancy offense, but Caroline John, principal of Stanton Elementary School, said that such reports often create more problems and strain the relationship between parents and the school, she said.
“We don’t believe a one size fits all model is going to reduce the rate of truancy,” she said.
Council member David A. Catania, at-large independent, said parents must be held accountable for their children’s absences.
“We as adults have allowed this to go on for just too long,” Mr. Catania said.
Council members will meet in the fall to revisit the issue. Mr. Wright said that the Truancy Taskforce will have a new report available by then.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Sen. Rand Paul: Supreme Court needs to re-examine Fourth Amendment
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Dick Cheney: Family feud over gay marriage has been 'dealt with'
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- Sen. Rand Paul: Long-term unemployment benefits are disservice to workers
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Let it snow
White House pets gone wild!