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BPS Records Highest First Day of School Attendance in Six Years

On the first two days of school for the 2019-20 school year, Boston Public Schools (BPS) recorded the highest student attendance rates in six years, BPS Superintendent Brenda Cassellius announced on Saturday, September 7.

Attendance data show that more than 83% of students attended the second day of school on Friday, and just over 80% of students attended the first day of class on Thursday. This increased to 91% by the fifth day of school.

The first day of school for students in grades 1 through 12 was Thursday. Pre-Kindergarten (grades K0 and K1) and Kindergarten (K2) students will be welcomed back to school on Monday, September 9. Dr. Cassellius will greet preschool and Kindergarten students at the Roosevelt K-8 School in Hyde Park at 8:00 AM this Monday.

“When students are attending school right from the first day, they’re more engaged and more likely to succeed throughout the year,” Cassellius said. “It takes an all-hands-on-deck approach, involving our teachers, families, faith leaders, and community partners, to make sure we’re meeting the needs of our students so they’re in class and learning.”

“BPS is doing great work making gains in our student attendance, and this data shows the outreach is working," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "While we have more work to do to get every student engaged from day one, I am proud of this improvement. We will continue doing all that we can to make sure our students are in school and learning every day of the school year."

On the first day of classes in 2014, the district recorded a 75% attendance rate. Last year the attendance rate stood at 78% on the first day of school.

Over the past year, BPS has led an aggressive outreach effort to engage with chronically absent students through a door-knocking campaign, community partnerships, mentoring, and an increased use of technology that better tracks student attendance. Earlier this week, Superintendent Cassellius participated in the most recent door-knocking effort, which has increased from taking place once a year to four times a year.

The superintendent also launched a Saturday neighborhood-based school registration effort at Boston Centers for Youth and Families community centers for the month of August to make school registration easier and more accessible for families. The effort was the result of a collaboration with BCYF, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, and several community partners in a show of a BPS core value of collaboration through an all-hands-on-deck approach.

“It’s amazing to see so many volunteers, teachers, and staff doing what they can to help re-engage our students,” said Boston School Committee Chairperson Michael Loconto.

Young people who have dropped out and are interested in re-enrolling in BPS, or are interested in alternative school settings, should contact the BPS Re-Engagement Center at 617-635-2273, or visit the center at 55 Malcolm X Boulevard, Roxbury.