“Family engagement remains our top priority. Even though we had a huge jump in attendance, we still need to focus on engaging and supporting our families. We improved a school that has many challenges, and to keep building on that momentum we need to continue focusing on strong teacher parent engagement and a climate and culture that puts students and parents first.”
—Dave Cardona, Family-School Liaison, Meriden Public Schools
When it came to attendance, Roger Sherman Elementary—a school in Connecticut’s Meriden district—was among the lowest performing schools in the district. Free and reduced lunch rates hover at 90 percent, and the school has a higher than-average special education population.
Despite these factors, along with severe weather conditions and a changing student demographic, between the 2016–2017 and 2017–2018 academic years the school decreased chronic absenteeism rates by over 10 percent, emerging as a district leader in student and family reengagement.
How did they do it?