Margie Daniels, Executive Director
467 Main St.
Wakefield, MA 01880
For Immediate Release
Friday, Nov. 1, 2019
Media Contact: Kelsey Bode
Email: [email protected]
Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth Hosts Annual School Attendance Summit
WAKEFIELD— Executive Director Margie Daniels is pleased to announce that Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth held its annual School Attendance Summit on Monday.
Approximately 130 school counselors, social workers, psychologists, youth officers, school resource officers and administrators gathered on Monday at Middlesex Community College in Lowell to learn more about and discuss excessive student absenteeism as well as the best practices for preventing and addressing it.
“We hold this event early each year in an effort to help schools establish successful patterns of student attendance,” Daniels said. “Much of the information presented focused on the importance of working with families, early on, and how to partner with families to understand why a student isn’t regularly coming to school and remove obstacles and barriers. I’d like to thank each of our speakers for sharing their insight and expertise, as well as all those who attended.”
The summit included presentations by Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Drop-Out Prevention and Recovery Specialist Lisa Harney, Private Practitioner Richard Catrambone, Winchester Public Schools School Resource Officer Dan Perenick, Attendance Supervisor for Lowell Public Schools Heather Ganley, Massachusetts Department of Children and Families Regional Counsel Thomas Malone, Adolescent Consultation Services Executive Director Leah Kelly and Judge Jay Blitzman, First Justice for Middlesex County Juvenile Court.
“It’s amazing to have that many educators and law enforcement professionals in the same room talking about school attendance,” said Lowell Public School District Attendance Supervisor Heather Ganley. “In reality, excessive absenteeism is the tip of the iceberg. Often it is due to poverty and challenges going on in their lives: mental health, drug use, and so on. It is important to meet with students and their families and talk and listen to what they have to say, and come up with a plan.”
Other topics discussed at the summit included information about how the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education uses attendance data in the district accountability system, how schools may use data programs to track student attendance and how the court system may be used if prevention efforts are not successful.
About the Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth, Inc
Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth, Inc. is a non-profit 501.c(3) organization that provides training, fosters collaboration, and develops programming to increase the health and safety of students. MPY is committed to bringing cutting-edge information and high quality trainings to our constituents and endeavors to provide solution-oriented, community-based, multi-disciplinary approaches to reducing and ideally eliminating risky behaviors for youth. The nonprofit is governed by a Board of Directors made up of school superintendents, police and fire chiefs, and other community leaders who work closely with MPY staff to deliver this mission.
To learn more, visit www.mpyinc.org.