Avon Maitland Education Superintendent, Jane Morris says research has shown that missing just ten per cent of school, or two days a month, has a noticeable impact on academic success. Morris says they're addressing that with the launch of their first ever attendance campaign, called I AM Here.
Morris points out, for the past two years, students, staff and families have navigated some unprecedented challenges as they move from in person to virtual classes, or in some cases, temporary school closures and that has definitely impacted students and student learning.
"What we're really hoping to see this fall is a return to that re-connection between school and school staff and families and students so that kids can be re-engaged in that learning and be better supported to learn within the classroom."
Morris says this year they've added two more attendance counsellors to the two they already had.
"We're going to leverage those folks, in addition to our mental health and well being counsellors, to really find ways to engage families and students to help figure out what are the barriers and what are the challenges that they're experiencing and how can we help address those challenges."
Morris says the attendance counsellors have been in place for a week now and she suggests any parents who are struggling with getting their kids interested in going back to school, they can call their school principal, who will put them in touch with an attendance counsellor.