The Hartford, CT, Grade-Level Reading Campaign is recognized as a 2014 Pacesetter for making measurable progress on student attendance outcomes.
The 2013-2014 school year was the first full year in which Hartford Public Schools began to focus on attendance using the chronic absence lens, rather than merely relying on average daily attendance. Implementation of its Chronic Absence Action Plan realized the following reductions from October 2013 to November 2014: 31 out of 49 schools reduced the number and percent of students with 6+ absences, while the overall number of students district-wide with 6+ absences decreased by 720, or 3.5%. For the 2014-2015 year, the school district is actively engaging all segments of the community and further refining its Chronic Absence Action Plan.
Buy-in from city leadership was also important and included support from the beginning from Mayor Pedro Segarra. The Superintendent of Schools at the Hartford’s Campaign launch was a grade-level reading champion as is her successor Dr. Beth Schiavino-Narvaez, superintendent as of July 2014.
The Hartford GLR Campaign reaches approximately 7,000 pre-K to Grade 3 students, which represents approximately a third of the District’s 21,000 children, the majority of which are from lower-income families.In partnership with the Hartford Public Schools, the Campaign regularly tracks the following as key measures of its overall impact on student attendance outcomes: percent of K-3 students from low-income families who are chronically absent, and percent of students from low-income families in publicly funded pre-K programs that are chronically absent.
Reflecting on the Hartford’s progress since it joined the Campaign in 2012, local GLR Lead, Paula Gilberto, commented, “We’ve really come together as a community to support the success of all children in learning to read. Pre-k to grade 3, school year attendance and summer learning all need to be integrated in support of children learning every day. We can do together what none of us can do alone.”
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading proudly recognizes the shared ownership for the progress in Hartford among the following members of the local sponsoring coalition and other community based organization and education partners:
- Achieve Hartford!
- City of Hartford
- Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
- Hartford Partnership for Student Success
- Hartford Public Library
- Hartford Public Schools
- Mega Education, LLC
- United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut