Rochester, N.Y.— In a departure from truancy “blitzes” involving school leaders visiting parents of students who rarely show up, the schools superintendent and city’s mayor spent Tuesday evening recognizing students with strong attendance records.
“It shows that there is an expectation that you attend, and plenty buy into that, and plenty of young people are doing it,” said Bolgen Vargas, Superintendent of Rochester City School District.
Rochester Mayor Tom Richards traveled to four homes and handed out certificates to nine students who have displayed excellent or perfect attendance for the current school year.
“That means somebody in the family and somebody in that home is making an effort to make sure these kids get to school,” said Richards.
Daily attendance in the Rochester district hovers between 79 and 93 percent, according to district records. Vargas said nearly 10,000 students attend school between 97 and 100 percent of the time, leaving roughly 22,000 who do not.
“I want them to have all the opportunities they can get,” said Krystie Lanier, parent of one student recognized on Tuesday. “I don’t want them in the streets with nothing to look forward to.”