Students who miss school frequently end up with gaps in their learning. They are less likely to read proficiently by third grade and more likely to drop out of school. Missing school, even in kindergarten, has consequences for children. Almost 1,000 Cumberland County elementary students, kindergarten through fifth grade, missed over 10% of their school year in each of the last two years. 15% of all Maine students were chronically absent according to the US Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.
Chronic absence is a problem that can be solved when schools, families, and communities work together to create a culture of attendance among children as soon as they start school; when we monitor student absence; and when we identify and overcome barriers to getting to school.
To listen to a recent interview on this topic with Maine Public Broadcasting Network's Jennifer Rooks, click here.
Count ME In is an exciting partnership of schools, youth, families, and the community including businesses, state agencies and community organizations working together to determine how we can all support children to learn and succeed.
To create a solution, it takes commitment, collaboration, and tailored approaches to the particular challenges and strengths of each school and community. Through shared accountability, we will have greater impact.
Count ME In website offers an array of training opportunities, resources, models, and strategies, that can be used in schools, home and the community. These resources are designed to be cost effective and high impact with universal preventative strategies for all students, intervention plans for students at risk of chronic absence, and an intensive approach targeting students who are chronically absent.
These are the winning posters from the 2016 Count ME In Student Poster Contest.