MENTOR to Support National Initiative Aimed at Combating Chronic Absenteeism

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
March 7th, 2016
Posted In: Education, In Real Life

Throughout March, we are focusing on the role education plays In Real Life. Visit MENTOR’s blog to read weekly blog posts on the unique ways education intersects with mentoring, including program stories, real life mentoring features, and announcements on initiatives supporting our efforts to building a strong foundation for all young people to reach their potential.

As part of a collaborative effort including the U.S. Department of Education, My Brother’s Keeper, Attendance Works, Everyone Graduates Center, Mott Foundation and City Year, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) and its network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships are providing technical assistance to 20 school districts starting this school year in support of a nationwide campaign to help prevent and respond to chronic absenteeism in our nation’s public schools.

Launched to help support communities in addressing and eliminating barriers to students’ daily attendance at, and meaningful engagement with, school, the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Success Mentors initiative will call upon national and local education, health, housing, and justice agencies and organizations, in partnership with community stakeholders, to join forces and commit to creating or enhancing cross-sector systems for identifying and supporting students who are, or are at risk of becoming, chronically absent.

Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing at least 10 percent of the school day, and is one of the best predictors of disconnection from school.  It is estimated to effect 6 million students each year, and begins as early as kindergarten, where 1 in 10 students are chronically absent, missing the equivalent of a month or more of school.

The campaign aims to reduce chronic absenteeism by at least 10 percent each year, beginning this school year, according to officials at the U.S. Department of Education.

In providing technical assistance to districts participating in the initiative, MENTOR and its affiliate network of Mentoring Partnerships will support the inclusion of evidence-based practices for mentoring, ultimately leading to greater positive outcomes for young people.

Technical assistance available to districts includes guidance and consultation on mentor recruitment plans and screening strategies, analysis and improvement of match support processes, and recommendations on best practices for serving special youth populations or designing innovative service models.

MENTOR is coordinating with its affiliate network and partnering agencies in developing the training, support, and trouble-shooting tools.

The initial cohort of 10 cities with school districts participating in the initiative include:

  • Austin, Texas
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Miami, Florida
  • New York City, New York
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Seattle, Washington

For more information about MENTOR’s role in this initiative, contact Delia Gorman, Program Manager.

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