Combating Absenteeism to Help Students Attend School

Steve Adubato sits down with Jeffrey Vega, President & CEO, Princeton Area Community Foundation, to discuss chronic absenteeism in schools, the long-term impact of numerous missed days and ways the organization helps students attend school every day.

2/1/2020 #332






"Good to see you Jeff. Thank you for having me Steve what do you folks do? We are the in the central new jersey we promote philanthropy we help to connect philanthropists with causes that matter, we currently steward about a hundred and eighty million dollars in charitable funds and we promote philanthropy we connect. Mm... We support nonprofits that are doing great things in central jersey. It's interesting the folks at the new jersey manufacturers we're having a conversation with them and they talk to us because they're one of your funders as well as ours they talk to us about your involvement in absenteeism. Yes. Chronic absenteeism first of all define it how bad is it and what does it have to a poverty absolutely chronic absenteeism is defined as students missing 10% or more of the school year it is directly connected to poverty, Steve if my son misses school i can call my teacher his teacher get the homework and I make sure that--same here Nico is taken care of many of our parents don't have that privilege they're working two to three jobs. Right they if their school if Their son or daughter misses school they can't keep up with that and what happens is that then they miss school for various reasons related to poverty they are going to school hungry they are missing school due to chronic illness so they may have asthma or childhood diabetes that they don't have the ability to know how to manage it yet or other poverty issues like homelessness. So let me ask you something Jeff, why is that everyone's responsibility not just the Parents of those children who are missing school and a whole range of problems created matter, around that why is that everyone's problem? Together we have to take care of the issue chronic absenteeism the the Princeton area community foundation has made a three million dollar investment over five years and we have invested it in ten school nonprofit partnerships in four communities in Trenton, Lawrenceville, Hamilton and Princeton and-- All very different communities all very different communities yet they all have chronic absenteeism and these are children who are missing school either because of poverty or because of issues related to school climate or because they are just disengaged in school are there long-term effects of this? Absolutely how so? There's a study from the university of Chicago that shows that kids who are chronically absent in preschool perform worse at the second grade. In preschool. In preschool perform worse in second grade than in the third grade when a child is going from learning..."