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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

One Ohio school district’s juvenile court partnership lowered absenteeism

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Tuesday, February 20, 2024   

Around 30% of Ohio students are chronically absent from school, but in one district, a long-term partnership with the juvenile court system has lowered the number of kids missing class.

Heidi Kegley, Delaware City School District superintendent, said chronic absence dropped by nearly 9% during the 2021-2022 school year, largely driven by the juvenile court mediation process with families, that also involves school counselors and principals. She said a dedicated liaison meets regularly with families to hep eliminate barriers to their children's ability to show up to school.

"Ensuring that they know they're not in trouble, that we want to work together, and we want to partner. And the most important piece is their students and their child being successful in school, " she explained.

Rep. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, and Rep. Dani Isaachsohn, D-Cincinnati, recently introduced legislation that would create a statewide pilot program aimed at addressing chronic absenteeism, that includes cash transfers for parents and guardians as incentives for high attendance rates for students in kindergarten and ninth grade.

According to a report by the group Attendance Works, during the 2021-22 academic year, nationwide around 66% of students attended a school with high or extreme levels of chronic absence - meaning they missed almost four weeks of school. Kegley added the mediation process allows families to open up about the problems causing poor attendance.

"Once we're at that mediation, families sometimes are more willing to share, and then we're able to see, is it something with transportation? Is it something with clothing, is it something with food, whatever that barrier is, working to overcome that, " she continued.

Students who attend school regularly are nearly seven times more likely to read at grade level by third grade and nine times more likely to graduate high school on time, according to data from the Ohio Department of Education.


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