Community helping students cut back on absences

Mainspring School classroom on Aug. 11, 2016 (KXAN Photo/Phil Prazan)
Mainspring School classroom on Aug. 11, 2016 (KXAN Photo/Phil Prazan)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The community is looking to help cut down on the number of student absences in school.

Ashton Cumberbatch, Executive Director of the Seton Foundation and Pete Inman, Principal with Camino Real Financial Services, joined us in the KXAN studio to discuss the community’s role is cutting down on absenteeism.

“I think the community should be aware that absenteeism not only affects the absentee students, it also disrupts learning for an entire classroom when teachers have to repeat lessons for students returning to class,” said Inman.

If our students are not in the classroom they miss out on:

  • Learning opportunities
  • Relationships with peers and adults that will sustain them
  • Developing important habits (such as attendance) that will help them in the future meet the demands and challenges of work and an adult life

“Having caring, consistently supportive adults are key for the growth and development of our children,” said Cumberbatch. “So it is really up to us to create a cycle of virtue in the lives of our students. By showing up for them. Mentoring in the schools. Being there when they need us.”

The key is supporting all children, said Inman. “Our children, especially those living in poverty, deal with a lot of barriers:  from food insecurity, to lack of access to options for transportation, to lack of reliable healthcare, on top of having to learn in poverty.”  

There will be a regional attendance rally on Sept. 7. Organizers are asking every adult who cares about kids and the community to come join voices and forces to send a message to our region.

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