The following letter was sent to the homes of all students:
Gloversville Enlarged School District has a serious problem with chronic absenteeism. It is slowly, but assuredly setting up far too many children for failure in future years. This quiet crisis can certainly be stopped in its tracks, but it requires a sustained commitment on your part to ensure that your children attend school on a regular basis.
New York State Education Department defines chronic absenteeism as a student missing 10 percent or more of a school year, which is approximately 18 days a year. So far this school year, 30 percent of elementary and middle school students in the GESD have been chronically absent. In the high school, that number swells to 35 percent. This is troubling because when students miss school, excused or not, they are missing critical instruction that negatively affects their overall success in school.
Regular attendance is crucial to students’ in their elementary years because the content is foundational. Students who miss a significant number of instructional days early in their academic careers, are far more likely to struggle as the curriculum becomes more complex. It is a fact that being an active, prepared and consistent presence is habit forming and ultimately leads to success in the higher grades and beyond.
We understand that transportation can be a barrier to school attendance, so the GESD has partnered with the Gloversville Transit System to help students get to school. All students can ride for free from any location where the GTS buses stop. Parents of Kingsborough and Park Terrace students can also ride with their children at no cost. To find routes and stops convenient to your home, visit the website www.ride-GTS.com or call their office at 518-773-4528.
Shuttles also continue to run between the elementary schools. This winter, two more bus stops were added — Dubois Apartments and the Gloversville Transit Authority.
We will continue working with community agencies, such as the District Attorney’s Office and social services, in an effort to curb chronic absenteeism, but at the end of the day, it is your influence that matters most. As always, do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s school counselor or principal or call the superintendent’s office at 518-775-5791 if you feel that we can assist you in any way.
As we head into the second half of the school year, let’s partner together with the common goal of making every day count.
Superintendent of Schools