Waterbury schools tackle chronic absenteeism - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Waterbury schools tackle chronic absenteeism

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Parents and educators are trying to tackle an attendance problem that seems to be plaguing Waterbury schools. (WFSB) Parents and educators are trying to tackle an attendance problem that seems to be plaguing Waterbury schools. (WFSB)
WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) -

Parents and educators are trying to tackle an attendance problem that seems to be plaguing Waterbury schools.

An effort is underway to bring many voices to the table to solve the problems.

It isn’t just at the high school where absenteeism is an issue; it’s even a concern in kindergarten.

Karen Harvey, who sits on the Waterbury Board of Education, said students who miss several days of school fall way behind.

"The effort here is to impress upon parents the importance of having their children in school in order to learn. We can't teach them if they are out in the streets, we can't teach them if they are not in school,” Harvey said.

Officials said the absentee rate in Waterbury schools is 15 percent, and it is chronic absenteeism where students miss 18 school days or more.

The Board of Education is working with the community and youth council groups to reach out to students and their parents.

Next week they have scheduled a meeting.

"It’s always been a concern, chronic absenteeism. How we can help our parents, how can we get our students to school, to make it better so that everybody will be on board collectively to help out children succeed,” said Angela Holmes, who does community outreach and is a parent.

The meeting will be held on Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the WOW Community Learning Center on Walnut Street in Waterbury.

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