The “Every Day Matters” campaign kicked-off last Monday by Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora, Trenton Public School’s (TPS) Acting Superintendent Alfonso Llano, Board of Education Members and Trenton community leaders.

The message “attending school today will help students achieve tomorrow” throughout the school district, the City of Trenton, and the community is being spread to promote student engagement. The campaign, supported by The City of Trenton and Princeton Area Community Foundation’s All Kids Thrive Initiative is focused on helping families connect with Trenton Public Schools so students can participate in virtual classes and continue achieving academically, despite school closures required by the pandemic. Ultimately, the district seeks to reduce chronic absenteeism by 15 percent by 2023.

“The most critical factor to student achievement is showing up for instruction and maintaining consistent daily attendance,” said Llano. “A critical partner in the battle against chronic absenteeism is the parent’s role in guiding our most precious resource to engage with their education. Without the support of our families to encourage daily and consistent attendance, we will continue to struggle to improve student achievement.

He continued, “Therefore, TPS calls all parents and community members to encourage students to “Attend Today to Achieve Tomorrow.” Improvement begins today – attend today and stay engaged. Your life depends on it!”

School attendance is critical to learning and required for advancement from one grade level to the next; however, there are many challenges that students have faced that block students from virtually attending school. Attendance has declined as schools remained closed for COVID-19 safety. Educators are reaching out to parents and the community for help encouraging students to remain engaged in their classes.

Board Member, Gerald Truehart said, “Good attendance establishes good habits and behaviors that propel our young people into leading a prosperous lifestyle and sets the tone for success in family, education, community and career for all students.”

TPS has closed the digital gap by providing every student with a Chromebook. Hotspots have been distributed to any parent that did not have access to internet services at home. Hotspots are still available for any family that does not have internet access. Parents can contact their schools directly to submit a hotspot request.

Mayor Gusciora, who has made education a priority of his administration, urges the community to join this effort. “We know that chronic absenteeism in younger grades leads to higher dropout rates in high school, and that chronically absent students are significantly less likely to attend college,” said Mayor Gusciora. “These trends, which have been exacerbated by COVID-19, further divide Trenton students from their peers in other districts. It’s more important than ever that we encourage attendance while our students are still young to ensure this behavior follows them through their academic lives and beyond.”

During the kick-off event, panelists representing Henry J Austin Health Center, HomeFront, the Smith Family Foundation, Capital Area Y, Capitol County Children’s Collaborative, Trenton Public Schools and Trenton Health Team discussed health and other barriers affecting school attendance, along with available support services.

The “Every Day Matter” campaign featured a contest inviting students to design a logo encouraging attendance, with a top prize of an Apple iPad and pen. For more info regarding Student Contest Visit the TPS Parent Connect Site or click HERE.

In addition, families are asked to join the TPS Parent Connect Site www.trentonk12.org/connect.aspx offering important information, as well as updates on student attendance and grades and contacts for Student Services, and Family and Community programs. Families also can download the free TPS app and learn more on the Attendance Works website.

The kick-off event was sponsored by Aramark, ETS and the Princeton Area Community Foundation