School Board Proclaims September as Child Welfare and Attendance Month

Los Angeles (August 30, 2022) – The Board of Education unanimously approved today a resolution, sponsored by Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson, and co-sponsored by the rest of the board, to declare September as the Child Welfare and Attendance Month. Los Angeles Unified continues to work tirelessly to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and address the communities’ basic needs. There was an effort to support child welfare and as a result, families were able to reconnect to schools and continue learning.

The resolution is part of a strong effort led by the Association of Pupil Services and Attendance Counselors (APSAC) to make child welfare a priority. On August 10, 2022, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a similar resolution.

“This resolution acknowledges that supporting the whole child and their mental health makes a positive difference in the lives of students through their commitment toward regular daily attendance. I am grateful to our district employees and counselors for their dedication, passion and support and for always ensuring welcoming environments for our students and families,” Board Member Schmerelson said. “I encourage all schools in Los Angeles Unified to work with families and community stakeholders to make child welfare a priority throughout the school year.”

“Student attendance is critical because we cannot teach an absent child,’’ Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “Chronically absent students, classified as those who have missed 10 percent or more of a school year, face fundamental disadvantages due to missed instruction. To close opportunity gaps facing students in Los Angeles Unified, and set all students on a path to success, we are channeling significant resources into our attendance recovery strategies.”

“Our Pupil Services and Attendance Counselors provide invaluable support to ensure our students are at school and able to learn,” Board President Kelly Gonez said. “During our August iAttend efforts, we saw firsthand the impact of our school community when we offer families support to remove barriers that prevent them from coming to school. I’m looking forward to continuing this work in September and recognizing the year-round work our PSA counselors do for our schools.”

“It takes a village to foster our students’ learning, growth, and wellbeing — and that effort starts with attendance,” Board Vice President Nick Melvoin said. “We are grateful to all the dedicated Pupil Services and Attendance Counselors who work tirelessly to reach out and provide every child with the resources and support they need.”

“Back in the day, they called it playing hooky and sent the truant officer after you,” Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said. “Today, our compassionate Pupil Services and Attendance counselors reconnect our students to our schools while helping children and their families get the resources and services they need to succeed.”

“Today, Los Angeles Unified is more committed than ever to do whatever it takes for our kids to come to class, learn, succeed and flourish,” Board Member Mónica García said. “Let us be the village committed to Child Welfare and Attendance in September and every day until graduation!”

“One of the greatest challenges to a child’s education, regardless of background, is absenteeism,” Board Member Jackie Goldberg said. “Designating September as Child Welfare and Attendance month reminds folks that we have effective strategies and resources to keep our kids in school. Pupil Services and Attendance Counselors work daily to identify and assist any child who needs a helping hand.”

“As we focus on student success and well-being, I am happy to celebrate Child Welfare and Attendance Month,” said Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin. “It is crucial to highlight the importance of daily attendance while ensuring that all families receive the continuous and individualized support necessary to thrive holistically.”

“Thank you to our PSA counselors for their work to support attendance, intervention, and student engagement,” Student Board Member Nathaniel Shin said. “From July 2021 to February 2022, PSA counselors made 262,000+ outreach attempts to students and families. This resolution reflects the District’s continued commitment to whole child wellbeing and honors the incredibly dedicated staff who make that happen.”

“This magnificent resolution underlines that supporting Child Welfare makes a positive difference in the lives of students,” Ofelia Ryan, President of the Association of Pupil Services & Attendance Counselors, said. “Child Welfare and Attendance Counselors are committed to aid students to turn impossible academic goals into inevitable success.” #