Russell County School District partners with Helping Families program to increase school attendance

Russell County School District partners with Helping Families program to increase school attendance
The Russell County School District is celebrating their new joint effort with the Helping Families Initiative to spread awareness to parents about the importance of school attendance.

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

The Russell County School District is celebrating their new joint effort with the Helping Families Initiative to spread awareness to parents about the importance of school attendance.

“If students don’t go to school then we can’t teach them, If we do not teach them, they cannot learn,”said Shelia Baker, Russell County High principal.

Russell County School Board members and the high school principal held an “attendance matters” workshop for parents to discuss their partnership with the Helping Families program.

The program requires the county's district attorney's office to step in and insure students aren't missing school.

“At your third unexcused absence, there will be a what’s called an alert letter from Ken Davis, the district attorney, basically saying there’s a law called the Alabama Compulsory Law and our records show your child has three unexcused absences. Please contact school officials,”said Justin Clark, Russell County’s assistant district attorney.

Helping family’s goal is to help prevent crime, decrease the number of students entering the juvenile justice system, and improve social services among at-risk families.

Parents say getting the district attorneys office involved will help improve the community

“The root of what I took away from today is partnering and bridging from the child to home and from home affecting the community. So, this is a tool that’s been put in place to prevent the children from having to be put in the system and jail and those types of things, and being able to afford them the opportunity to just learn,”said parent, Denise Patterson.

The Helping Families initiative will provide at-risk families the proper resources needed to help their child have a successful school year and in attendance.

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