Davenport schools hoping to boost student attendance

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Davenport schools are pushing more parents to get their kids to class.

On Thursday, September 29, 2016, school leaders highlighted the importance of attendance at the annual 'Parent Extravaganza,' a conference that offers tips and tools parents can use to help their students succeed.

The district is in the second year of an attendance initiative being rolled out at the elementary school level.

"The family that takes their child to Disneyland for a week is chronically absent," said T.J. Schneckloth, director of student supports and federal programs for the district. "What if they teach a very important skill in math during those five days? You might forever have that hole in your learning. So, chronic absenteeism is not just for an at-risk student, it's for anybody."

According to Superintendent Dr. Art Tate, one in every ten students at Davenport elementary schools is considered chronically absent. That means they miss 18 days or more in a year.

Parents like Octavia Evans say it can be challenging to make sure kids attend class.

"I have actually personally struggled with attendance with my kids, especially the teenager. He's a senior now, so he thinks he can just go when he wants, and that's just not the case," said Evans.

Evans, though, is thankful for the opportunity to network with other families, and lean on them for support.

"I think it's awesome, the support that you get from other parents with different things. They say it takes a village, and I'm a true believer in that," said Evans. "That's what the other parents give each other -- support."

Davenport administrators say the goal is for students to miss fewer than five school days each year.