IL (August 30, 2004) - The Department of Children and Family Services
(DCFS) is set to knock on doors in the Englewood and Austin communities
on Tuesday, August 31st to get parents and students fired up for the first
day of school.
Public School officials, community and faith leaders, as well as volunteers
have joined together in an effort to remind families that school starts
the first week in September.
want to take every opportunity we can to encourage students to do their
very best," said DCFS Director Bryan Samuels. "I think we have
a greater impact on students when we catch them just before the first
day of school rather than trying to make up missed days in the end."
officials and other volunteers will be going door-to-door in 40 Chicago
communities between August 16th and September 3rd. Sixteen of the 40 communities
were chosen because of their struggling daily attendance rates, with a
combined average daily attendance of 91 percent or lower.
90 percent may seem like a high number, what it actually means is that
10 percent of a school's student body is missing every day," said
CPS CEO Arne Duncan. "That translates into hundreds of kids across
the district who are not in school on a regular basis."
and volunteers will also be set up at the city's 3-1-1 center from August
30th through September 1st to call parents at home as part of a CPS 'It's
Time for School' phone bank.
the school year off on a good start really does have an impact on a student's
achievements," continued Director Samuels. "If students feel
the excitement that we have for a new year, maybe they will adopt that
attitude and enter this year with a totally new outlook on what's ahead
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services