Educators often note that how a student does in ninth grade is a good indicator of whether he or she will graduate from high school. And showing up for class is a critical part of that.
On Monday, District Attorney George Gascón and San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Carlos Garcia announced a pilot program to make sure freshmen stay in school. At Burton High School, in the Silver Terrace neighborhood, the program focuses on 20 students who were chronically truant in eighth grade.
Using funds from the District Attorney’s Office, case managers from the Truancy Assessment and Resource Center, run by the YMCA, follow the students closely to make sure they go to school and help them overcome obstacles to good attendance.
According to SFUSD, these teens have attended school 23 percent more frequently since the program started in August. If the trend continues, it will add up to an additional 40 days of school compared with the students’ eighth-grade years.
SFUSD and the DA’s office have been working together to fight truancy since 2007. They say that the effort has led to one-third fewer chronically or habitually truant students.