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Back to school 101: Show up to class

Sep 8, 2017 by

Ingrid Jacques –

School officially starts today in Michigan, but that doesn’t necessarily mean children will be at their desks this week — or in weeks to come. This is especially true in Detroit, where heading to school is too often more of a whim than a daily ritual.

Past studies have shown how stark the numbers are for Michigan’s largest school district. An in-depth report last year looked at data from the 2013-14 school year, and found nearly 60 percent of students in the Detroit Public Schools Community District were chronically absent — meaning they missed at least 15 days a school year. Many miss more days than that.

That places Detroit with one of the worst records in the country for school attendance.

As the district, now under new leadership, seeks a fresh start and a renewed image, getting kids in school every day must be a top goal. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti knows that, and he’s put together a team that will also place a priority on being in school.

Students in the Detroit district do face significant challenges. Nationwide, it’s high-minority districts where large percentages of families live in poverty that face the highest rates of absent students. And Detroit’s numbers outpace other urban districts like Baltimore, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Cleveland. It’s 98 percent minority and 51 percent of students live in poverty.

Source: Jacques: Back to school 101: Show up to class

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