News Article

PYN News Article

Mayor's Office of Education and Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite Announce Citywide School Attendance Campaign

Philadelphia unites to raise awareness and increase academic achievement by improving citywide school attendance.

Category: Project U-Turn | Oct 30, 2013

Philadelphia - With support from Mayor Michael A. Nutter, the Mayor's Office of Education and Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite, Project U-Turn is pleased to announce the launch of its attendance awareness campaign. Project U-Turn is a citywide collaborative approach to dropout prevention and re-engagement. The campaign coincides with "Attendance Works," a national and state initiative to promote awareness of the important role that school attendance plays in achieving academic success. 
Chronic absenteeism is one of the earliest indicators that a student may be off track. There is an increasingly strong correlation between dropout rates, early illiteracy and chronic absenteeism, which is why Philadelphia is taking action to promote attendance.  
"I strongly support Project U-Turn's Attendance Awareness Campaign, an effort to improve educational outcomes for young Philadelphians," said Mayor Nutter.  "The campaign's goal is to help students and families understand how critically important regular attendance is to success in the classroom.  By creating a city-wide culture of attendance, students will be less likely to miss class and more likely to stay on the right track toward graduation and post-secondary education."
This campaign will promote the benefits of regular school attendance in Philadelphia through public service announcements, social media, local partnerships and community outreach.  
Research shows that one of the primary indicators of dropping out is missing school. Students should miss no more than nine days of school each year to stay engaged, successful and on track to graduation. Frequent absenteeism can start as early as preschool and affect performance in later grades.  
"The benefits of good attendance extend far beyond academic gains," said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia. "It means students are engaged in school and developing a sense of persistence that will serve them well past their school years. It means teachers can teach to full classrooms without slowing down for students who miss too much school. It means lower crime rates and higher graduation rates, which helps to strengthen local economies." 
"As a student, I previously struggled with attendance which ultimately led to me dropping out of school," said Nicole Vega, who is currently earning her GED at E3 Congreso.  "Campaigns like this are so important, and looking back I wish I would have had this information when I was struggling with high school and attendance."
Campaign materials will be made available in both English and Spanish. For more information on Project U-Turn's attendance awareness campaign, please click here or via social media:

PYN, Inc.  
400 Market St.
Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19106