San Diego

Franklin Elementary Students Get ‘Super' Surprise for Good Attendance Records

Students at Franklin Elementary School STEAM Magnet in the Kensington neighborhood of San Diego were treated to a super surprise Monday for having good attendance records.

The school's assembly was interrupted by more than a dozen superheroes who announced Franklin Elementary's students had the best attendance record across more than a dozen schools within a program aimed at getting fewer students to miss school. 

Students were first greeted to high-fives from the superheroes, dressed-up volunteers from neighboring businesses, as they walked into school on Monday. 

The initiative called "Every Student, Every Day" is a partnership between United Way of San Diego County and 16 schools within the San Diego Unified and Lemon Grove school districts.

A tenth of San Diego County students missed a month or more of school during the 2017-18 school year, which leads to higher drop out rates,  according to United Way.

The initiative, which began in 2015, targets at-risk kindergarten to third graders and provides support to their families to get students to school regularly. It also hosts school-wide awareness activities like the one at Franklin Elementary. 

The non-profit United Way focuses on three factors to target chronic absenteeism: flagging students with early warning signs, pairing young students with a support staff, and creating school-wide events that engage young students. 

Support staff are typically college interns who connect at-risk students with community services like counseling, housing assistance, food pantries, healthcare providers and transportation. 

The initiative last year reduced truant students absences by 6 to 7 days, according to United Way.

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