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'Count Me In' attendance initiative kicks off

 Posted August 29, 2014

Tucson Unified School District and Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, along with business and community leaders, kicked off a "Count Me In" attendance program on Aug. 29 at Roskruge Bilingual Middle Magnet School in conjunction with national Attendance Awareness Month.

The "Count Me In" initiative in Tucson is aimed at children in kindergarten through third grade. Studies have found that missing just two days a month, or 18 days a year, can greatly affect whether they stay in school in later grades.

TUSD is providing attendance tool kits to principals in the district and is launching school-based attendance competitions. One example: Each month the school with the best attendance will be given a flag to fly on their flagpoles to celebrate the accomplishment. The mayor's office has resources for parents at Those include attendance pledges, calendars and suggestions for rewards for children.

The "Count Me In" initiative is also supported by the Tucson Metro Chamber and the Tucson His

At the kickoff, Dr. Adrian Vega, deputy superintendent for teaching and learning, thanked the mayor and the community and business leaders for their support of Tucson's children.

"Our charge in TUSD is to provide a premier education," he said. "Ensuring this can only be done through community effort."

Front and center at the event were posters encouraging children to attend school. Those will be provided, courtesy of Walgreens, at each TUSD school.

Have we got your number?

TUSD launches new attendance notification system
Make sure we have your current phone number and email address

On Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, TUSD launched an automated attendance notification feature through ParentLink. Parents and guardians receive automated phone calls and email messages to notify them if their children are absent unless they have called into the school.

Schools and district offices will also use the system to send information about important meetings and school events. This notification system also is used for emergency messaging and for transportation information.

Help us keep in touch with you!

Please update your phone number and email address at your school site to ensure you get the ParentLink notifications.

 Photo of Mayor with students
Mayor Rothschild, center, talks about the importance
of attendance for young children like Alejandra Guiño,
a third-grader, and Diego Gallegos, a kindergartner,
both students at Roskruge.
 Photo of Tony Penn
Tony Penn, president and CEO of United Way of
Tucson and Southern Arizona, said "Chronic
absenteeism is the community's responsibility,
and it's our community's responsibility to deal with it."