Determined to improve chronic absenteeism across DPSCD schools, Dr. Nikola Vitti promotes the Blueprint 2020 plan by creating an intervention plan for Communication and Media Arts High School.

At CMA high school, being absent 18 days (10%) or more in a school year is considered to be chronically absent. Of the 582 students, 32% are currently categorized for excused, unexcused, and suspension chronic absences.

Some school absences are unavoidable. Children get sick, or there may be a family emergency or other important reasons for missing school.

Unfortunately, many parents aren’t aware of how many days their child is missing or the impact that can have on school success.

“I believe that it is important that students know whether or not they are a risk of being classified as chronically absent,” said CMA Principal Donya Odom.

Chronic absences prevent kids from getting the consistent instruction needed to build on basic skills and can set the child back from their necessary learning standards.

Just like academic disruptions, behavioral disruptions also might slow the learning process for those students who are attending class regularly, as teachers must devote their time addressing the issues and controlling the room rather than giving instructions

Recognizing the problem, implementing calls to parents and guardians and including teacher attendance notifications on Mi-star has made a positive impact. If matters have not been reached, then there would be a referral to the attendance agent consequently leading to a required meeting with the counselor.

An attempt to diminish chronic absences, CMA has committed to recognizing good and improved attendance, educate and engage students and families about the importance of attendance for achievement, monitor absences and set attendance goals, and establish a supportive and engaging school climate.

Odom assists with meeting these goals by implementing various awards and activities for those who attend school on a regular basis, such as: pistons tickets, free dress, dances, and many more. She believes that attendance plays a huge role in being college ready and prepares you for other life essentials.

Stated as the Strategic Plan: Blueprint 2020 vision, Vitti states: “All students will have the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to thrive in our city, our nation, our world.”