FWCS sees increase in absenteeism May 1 - May 01, 2006

Record Number: 2417
Displayed from: May 01, 2006 , until: May 05, 2006

RELEASE DATE: Monday, May 1, 2006 Despite an effort last week to appeal to parents not to keep their children home from school as part of the national A Day without an Immigrant protest, Fort Wayne Community Schools is seeing increases in the number of Hispanic students who are not in classrooms today. The district tracks school attendance each day. Schools showing 10 percent or more of their students as absent are required to report those numbers to the FWCS Student Services Department. While today's absences are above those generally seen this time of year, they do not compare with the numbers of students who are out during the height of flu season each year. Today, overall, there were a total of 587 Hispanic students on the district's unexcused absence list. That compares to last Monday, when there were only 206. Participating in a political protest is an unexcused absence. The 587 students not in school today represent 17 percent of the district's 3,482 Hispanic students. Wayne High School had the highest percent of its Hispanic students out today with 39 percent marked with unexcused absences. There are 76 Hispanic students there. South Side High School, which has the largest population of Hispanic students at 260, had 30 percent on its unexcused absence list. Other high schools and the percent of Hispanic students out today with unexcused absences include: Elmhurst High School - 33 percent of 80 North Side High School - 31 percent of 107 Northrop High School 20 percent of 88 Snider High School 13 percent of 76 FWCS middle schools saw some increases in absenteeism of Hispanic students today. Northwood reported 15 percent of its 101 Hispanic students gone today and Geyer logged 29 percent of its 160 out with an unexcused absence. Elementary schools were not affected to the extent that secondary schools were. Last week, FWCS officials joined members of The Hispanic Leadership Coalition of Northeast Indiana (HLCNI) and the United Hispanic-Americans, Inc. to urge local families not to boycott school today. Instead, they were encouraged to send their children to school and then as a family to participate in the Gathering of Reflection at 5 p.m. in the Foellinger Outdoor Theatre in Franke Park.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.