The City and Philadelphia School District are spreading the word about attendance. The #AttendanceHero initiative, a city-wide messaging effort, aims to increase attendance throughout Philadelphia schools.

Attendance is critical for academic success. Studies show that missing at least two days in September can lead to chronic absences for the year. Students who show these habits in middle grades are far more likely to drop out of high school.

Mayor Kenney and Superintendent Hite were present for this year’s #AttendanceHero celebration at John Hartanft School. Hartranft was a perfect setting because it was one of the most improved when it came to attendance in 2016-2017. Principal Jason Lytle credits the accomplishment to better communication between parents and students.

The first ever #AttendanceHero honors went to fifth-grader Zydeek Perez. Zydeek earned the title by having perfect attendance over the last four school years.

Local radio stations are joining the effort by airing public service announcements (PSA). And you might get a call from Philadelphia Eagle Brandon Graham and the Mayor reminding students to go to class!

Here are a few ways you can make sure your child gets to school:

  1. Make a plan. By planning out a daily morning routine you can make sure the student in your house is at school with plenty of time to spare. Be sure to leave time for showers, breakfast and travel to the bus stop.
  2. Speak with teachers and staff if you’re having trouble getting your student to school on time. They want to see your student succeed just as much as you do, don’t hesitate to reach out, they’ll be glad to help.
  3. Talk with your friends, neighbors and family about alternate plans to get your student to school if you need to. A community works together!

Together, we can make every Philadelphia student an #AttendanceHero.