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Cleveland Schools Use Incentives, Parent Outreach to Reduce Chronic Absences

March 23, 2018 7:57

Just a few years ago, the Cleveland school district realized it had a big problem when half of its 40,000 students were considered chronically absent. District leaders teamed up with community partners to tackle the problem in a citywide, public relations blitz. The slogan “Get to School, You Can Make It” was printed on billboards, t-shirts, and even grocery store bags. Students are given bus passes and uniforms, and staff members even call parents to encourage them to bring their children to school. A community college offers scholarships, local businesses check attendance before hiring, and the Cleveland Browns players visit schools regularly to reinforce the message. Over the last two years, Cleveland’s chronic absenteeism rate has dropped from 50 percent to 30 percent.


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