We’re working with the Rochester City School District (RCSD), Partners + Napier, ROC The Future, and other community organizations, to reduce chronic absenteeism in city elementary schools.  Chronic absenteeism — defined as missing two or more days a month over the course of a school year — is directly linked to poor performance in every measure of student achievement. 

This is a critically important issue in our community as the RCSD is currently the lowest performing district in New York State and more than 33% of students are chronically absent. 

Every Minute in School Matters is a community impact initiative of people and organizations working together to improve student success by helping parents understand the critical link between early grade attendance and the long-term success of their child. 

Partners + Napier developed a multimedia campaign with messages that encourage parents of pre-k - 3rd graders to embrace their responsibility to have their kids in school 100% of the time. The initiative is also working to increase programmatic supports to help parents overcome barriers that might prevent kids from getting to school like transportation, a problem at home, or lack of warm winter clothing. 

We’ve seen promising initial results. Over the first two years of the initiative, there was an 20% reduction in the number of chronically absent students across all RCSD elementary schools, meaning 1,700 fewer students were chronically absent.  In target schools, where there has been additional focus, there was an even greater decline in K-3 chronic absenteeism from 47% in ’13-’14 to 34% in ’15-’16.

Email info@causewave.org to find out how you can be part of the movement to boost student achievement in the Rochester City School District through this initiative.

PARTNERS: Rochester City School District | Partners + Napier | Tipping Point Communications | Charles Settlement House| Big Brothers Big Sisters | Ibero American Action League & PODER | City of Rochester | Monroe County Department of Human Services | Rochester Public Library | Goodwill of the Finger Lakes' 211/Lifeline | Wegmans

Nancy J. Farrell| United Way of Greater Rochester | Summit Federal Credit Union | ESL Charitable Foundation | Rochester Area Community Foundation | The Strong National Museum of Play | WDKX

Read about the 2017 "Cold Can't Stop Us" Winter Attendance Challenge here.