Students can not be successful if they don't show up to school. That's the message Rochester's Superintendent Dr. Bolgen Vargas wants parents to understand. If your child doesn't come to class, Vargas may come to your house.
Tina Shively tagged along on RCSD'S latest Truancy Blitz.
Dozens of volunteers, parents, and adminstrators committed to getting RCSD students to class met Tuesday morning to take action.
Among them; Superintendent Bolgen Vargas. He allowed our crews to tag along as he hit the streets searching for chronically absent students.
Since September, 8,078 RCSD students have been absent 10 days or more.
4,817 have been absent 15 days or more. 195 have been absent more than 20 days.
The 5-year-old who lives at this home has already missed 5 weeks of class this year.
Dr. Vargas was pleased to find out he was at school today. He said "When you're talking about a child thats in kindergarten its not the child's fault. As adults we need to come together and provide support that the child needs."
Tina Shively asked "What are some the excuses you hear from parents about why they're students aren't in school?"
Dr. Vargas responded "They're not always excuses. Some families have issues. There are a lot of issues behind truancy. They could be illness. There could be social or emotional issues with the family or the child...Common sense will tell us that unless we get children to school on a regular basis we are not going to be as successful as we like to be."
A small success came at Dr. Vargas' next stop.
He went inside this house looking for an elementary school student, but instead found his older brother.
The ninth grader at Charlotte High School told Dr. Vargas he overslept, but wanted to be in class.
So, Dr. Vargas gave him a ride.
Tina Shively asked "Would you say today's effort was a success?"
"The parents that I spoke with are very open to this effort, they appreciate that we care," said Dr. Vargas. "It reinforced my belief that if the community gets behind this effort we will succeed."
If you'd like to report a truancy, call RCSD's truancy hotline at 262-8105.