Connecticut State Department of Education Launches ‘School Is Better with You’ Campaign to Promote Daily School Attendance and Combat Chronic Absenteeism
(HARTFORD, CT) — The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) today announced the School Is Better with You campaign, which is designed to inform parents, grandparents, caregivers, and students about the importance of attending school, every day, while raising awareness about chronic absenteeism.
According to a survey conducted by the School Is Better with You campaign, more than 5,400 parents and caregivers revealed various factors affecting attendance, including uncertainty about when to keep children home due to illness, mental health issues, chronic illnesses, and shifting social norms following the pandemic.
Nationwide, chronic absenteeism—defined as missing 10 percent of school days or 18 days per year—continues to be a growing concern even after schools fully reopened in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, CSDE has dedicated itself to establishing comprehensive systems and programs to support schools and families and heighten awareness of the need for consistent school attendance.
In 2021, Governor Lamont and the CSDE launched the Learner Engagement and Attendance Program (LEAP), a relationship building home-visiting initiative currently serving 14 school districts with the highest rates of chronic absenteeism. The program has garnered national acclaim as a best practice.
“We are pleased to see that all of the hard work supporting students and families to reduce chronic absence is beginning to have a positive impact on student attendance,” Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker said. “Recently released chronic absence data for the month of October 2023 shows a 17.8% chronic absence rate. This is a continuous decline from the end of last year and even lower than last October's rate of 22.7%. Through the School is Better with You campaign, we hope to continue these trends by reminding everyone that regular school attendance and engagement are foundational to academic success."
The School Is Better with You campaign highlights the following key benefits of attending school every day:
- Establishing daily routines to foster strong learning habits.
- Access to school health services and meals.
- Enjoying the social and emotional advantages of being with trusted adults and peers.
- Participation in clubs and extracurricular activities.
- Creating pathways to careers and postsecondary education.
For more information about the School Is Better with You campaign and CSDE's commitment to promoting the importance of attending school every day, please visit https://portal.ct.gov/betterwithyou.
For Immediate Release: Nov. 27, 2023
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