M.D. Fox Elementary School in Hartford held a back to school barbeque to connect with parents before the first day of school next week. It’s the district’s latest effort to promote the importance of attendance.
Chronic absenteeism is one of Hartford’s greatest challenges.
“If the child is not in school then the child is not going to be educated,” said Iris Ramos, the assistant principal. “You lose instructional time. I cannot stress how important it is the children are in school.”
A student is chronically absent when they miss more than 18 school days a year.
School leaders say district-wide, at the kindergarten level the chronic absenteeism rate is as high as 30 percent.
Ramos says the most important day for attendance is the first day of school. Hartford students go back to class August 27.
“It is important because it sets the tone for the whole school year,” she said. “If you were in school that first day of school then chances are you are going to continue to come," Ramos said.