CMS, United Way team up to tackle chronic absences - | WBTV Charlotte

CMS, United Way team up to tackle chronic absences

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A little more than a week away from the start of the school year, community leaders have a message for students and parents: Don't miss time!

Thursday morning, CMS and the United Way formally teamed up to spread the word of chronic absences across the school system at an event at ImagineOn in Uptown Charlotte. 

CMS Superintendent Ann Clark and United Way Executive Director Sean Garrett spearheaded the event that catered to both students and parents.

Garrett said it's vital to spread the word so our kids give themselves the best chance to succeed.

"We're trying to get the message out to everyone in our community," said Garrett. "It's not just about us as donors or us as students it's about the whole community and how we can tackle this issue together." 

Data collected for CMS says by 3rd grade, children who were chronically absent (missing 2 days a month) in kindergarten and 1st grade are far less likely to read on grade level than peers. By 6th grade, chronic absenteeism becomes a key predictor that a student will drop out of high school.

Clark said attendance is one of the easiest ways to move the needle on helping children stay on track toward graduation.

"That's the message I'm trying to give to students here so they understand when they're falling behind," said Clark. "But when they're showing up if others
are not, they're not getting the opportunity to move forward as quickly as they should."

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