Thursday, August 10, 2000

Cincinnati district plays up start date




By Andrea Tortora
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A yellow school bus — dressed in banners that shout out Aug. 29 as the first day of school — will deliver school supplies and information to Cincinnati students and parents throughout the city.

        The “bus blitz” is part of a push to get students back to school on time and ready to learn.

        The campaign was kicked off Wednesday at Douglass Elementary School in Walnut Hills.

        Superintendent Steven Adamowski said the effort goes a long way toward increasing the number of students who report for school on the correct first day.

        “We have created a different dynamic,” Mr. Adamow- ski said. “We've begun to change the laissez-faire attitude about the start of school.”

        It wasn't always this way. In 1998, 3,500 students missed the first week of school. The next year, administrators considered pushing the start date to after Labor Day.

        That's when the idea for a back-to-school campaign was born.

        Results were good: attendance the first week of school was only 3 percent less than the district's attendance rate of 90.4 percent, and much better than the week before Christmas.

        This year, school and community officials expect even better results. Efforts involve financial and volunteer support from more than 150 civic, government and religious organizations.

        “This is truly a community effort,” said parent Spencer Bouldin. “We all need to come together to help the children.”

       



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