I followed Rochester City School District Superintendent Bolgen Vargas yesterday as he knocked on the doors of truant children. These were kindergartners to third graders who had racked up excessive absences. One-third of students districtwide have already missed a week of school.
One mother, whom Vargas woke up at 11 a.m., said her son repeatedly misses the bus and she has no other way of getting him to school. Vargas told her that was unacceptable. He said neighborhood schools could cut down on transportation issues, which were cited by many parents of absent children.
Children’s health issues was another big excuse. Staff told one mother the nurse has her son’s medication and can dispense it or home tutoring is available. Another family’s version of health problems were not the types of issues that prompt most people to keep their kids home from school.
“The woman had recently had a baby, had some complications. She seemed to really get the message her son really needed to be in school,” Redon said. “She said he’s very bright and she knew this wasn’t good, but with all the trials and tribulations of the new baby she wasn’t able to get him there as regularly.”
Staff members and volunteers said the parents they encountered were extremely receptive. They appreciated someone cared. It’s clear the parents need accountability along with positive support and help solving problems.
It’s certainly appalling a mom can’t get her kid on the bus every morning, but placing blame won’t get the kid to school. One volunteer said she wished she could knock on the door of the parents again today to make sure they followed through. Maybe that’s what it will take.
Links of the Day:
– Shower drug dealers with love. That might get them off of Clifford and Conkey.
– A plan to build a Wegmans on New Jersey farmland has met opposition. The complex would include an affordable housing component, which one resident likened to a “ghetto.”
– After assaults on Buffalo teachers, the no-suspension movement is under scrutiny.
– Doesn’t it seems colleges are always under construction? That building binge is costing students and it’s not sustainable.