Truancy rate drops from 7.5 percent to 6.8 percent in Rockford Public Schools
From press release
Two hundred fewer students were chronically truant in Rockford Public Schools during 2008-2009 than during the previous school year. A year-end report released Aug. 3 shows the rate of chronic truancy declining to 6.8 percent from 7.5 percent in 2007-2008.
“The trend is encouraging, but the rate remains unsatisfactory,” said Jon Malone, director of Attendance and Truancy Initiatives for District 205. “We’re reorganizing our schools to provide maximum support for students so that all students succeed, but there can be no victory for students who aren’t in the classroom.”
The number of chronic truants dropped by 3 percent or more at three of Rockford’s four traditional high schools, the likely result of four additional counselors devoted to tracking absences, calling parents, visiting homes and resolving issues that discourage students from attending school.
During her first month as superintendent, LaVonne M. Sheffield has met with Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey (I), Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen (R), State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato and 17th Judicial Circuit Court Chief Judge Janet Holmgren, and each of the elected leaders has agreed to participate in a special task force to develop new strategies for confronting truancy.
“We’re working earnestly to reshape our approach to truancy, but we’re not rushing to conclusions,” Dr. Sheffield said. “We’re exploring long-term, collaborative solutions that engage parents and involve the business community, churches and nonprofit agencies in meaningful ways.”
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