United Way of the Midlands (UWM) and the School Based Attendance Coalition will host a one-day “Attendance Matters” conference beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4th at the Mid-America Center, Council Bluffs. The conference will highlight the efforts of two “Bright Spot” communities working to improve attendance rates: Cleveland, Ohio and Baltimore, Md. Lorri Hobson, director of attendance for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and Sue Fothergill, associate director of policy at Attendance Works, will deliver the keynote address.
The “Attendance Matters” conference is a vital component of a coordinated attendance awareness campaign executed by UWM and the School Based Attendance Coalition. The regional campaign is part of a nationwide event recognizing the connection between school attendance and academic achievement. Approximately 18,500 students in our three-county area (Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie Counties) missed 18 or more days of school last year. Chronic absence is a problem we can solve when the whole community works with families and schools.