New Initiative Launched to Combat Chronic Absenteeism in Hartford Public Schools

March 5, 2021

24% of student body chronically absent: The Village, Hartford Public Schools and Travelers to take action

The Village for Families & Children today announced a partnership with Hartford Public Schools and Travelers to address chronic absenteeism in Hartford. The initiative, which reaches eighth-grade students who are identified as chronically absent, will use a multi-tiered approach backed by a $75,000 grant from Travelers to improve attendance and engagement in the classroom.

The Village will provide students and families from Burr, McDonough, MLK and Milner schools with support and incentives for improved attendance, as well as case management services and enrollment in The Village’s Truancy Prevention Program. The grant from Travelers will fund these initiatives and also help maintain existing schoolwide efforts to curb absenteeism through whole classroom and special incentives, social time, assistance for school personnel and workshops for parents.

“The Village is grateful to Travelers and Hartford Public Schools for this collaboration,” said Galo Rodriguez, CEO & president of The Village. “The pandemic is putting incredible strain on children and families who were already facing significant challenges. This initiative will provide immediate help and pay huge dividends down the road for these students.”

Shifting to virtual learning not only created obstacles in reaching and engaging students but also led to an increased number of absences. Students who miss 10% or more school days in a year are considered chronically absent, and nearly a quarter of Hartford Public School students fall into that category – a statistic that puts the city among the highest in the state of Connecticut.

Rodriguez continued, “We know that chronic absenteeism widens achievement gaps at all school levels, so providing pathways for students to remain present in the classroom is an effective strategy to help them stay on track toward a successful future.”

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