Instruction resumes with clear message from District leaders: Come to school every day

LOS ANGELES (Jan. 8, 2017) – As instruction resumed across the Southland, L.A. Unified’s Acting Superintendent Vivian Ekchian joined members of the Board of Education to welcome students, families and employees back to school for a new semester.

Leaders emphasized increasing attendance as a top priority as they visited campuses across the District.

“The board members and I are unified in our message that attendance is a cornerstone of academic success,” Ekchian said. “The first step toward college and career readiness is to come to class every day, on time and prepared to learn.”

Alongside Ekchian, Board President Mónica García spoke about the inspirational climate found throughout L.A. Unified.

“It was an exhilarating first day back to school visiting students, parents, teachers and school communities that modeled a strong record of attendance and commitment to learning in Los Angeles,” García said. “Our students and staff absolutely matter. And, I invite all to commit to show up to school every day, especially when we experience challenges. There are resources and solutions on every campus. With each day, we get closer to the graduation finish line in June.”

Board Vice President Nick Melvoin also commented on the positive atmosphere on campuses.

“Despite the clouds, it was a bright day at L.A. Unified campuses as our hard-working staff welcomed back students to the new semester,” Melvoin said. “Spending time in classrooms today, it was clear that our teachers are not wasting any time making sure students are on-track to graduate and excited to be back with friends and caring school employees. I know that 2018 will be a year of progress, and I look forward to spending more time at schools to see all that our students are capable of achieving.”

Others commented on the importance of focusing on attendance as a top priority.

“As the new semester begins, we remain committed to accelerating student achievement in L.A. Unified,” said Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III. “Every student is a valuable member of our school family, and coming to school is essential to academic success.”

Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson pointed out that healthy attendance rates translate into healthy revenues to invest in classrooms.

“If every student came to school just one more day in the school year, that would mean an additional $30 million dollars annually,” Schmerelson said. “Most importantly, higher attendance rates positively affect the personal growth of students. I am excited to promote attendance as something that matters to every student.”

Other board members echoed the importance of good attendance as it relates to positive student outcomes.

“Being in school leads to succeeding in school,” Board Member Dr. Ref Rodriguez said. “Teachers, parents, and administrators should work together to help ensure that students receive the support they need to attend school every day.”

“Today, kids throughout Los Angeles came to school on time and ready to learn,” said Board Member Kelly Gonez. “And, our school leaders, teachers, and classified staff eagerly welcomed them back. Attendance is one of the most powerful ways students can prepare for success in school and in life. This semester, we are all united around the goal of getting every single student to school every day.”

Added Board Member Dr. Richard Vladovic, "I want to welcome back our students and staff as we start a new semester. Let’s begin the year on solid footing, as we pay particular attention to the new campaign focused on increasing attendance. As educators, we can create opportunities for our students, but students and parents must do their part by promoting good attendance and study habits that will translate into lifelong success."

Throughout the day, school officials recognized students and employees for excellent attendance.

“It’s not just student attendance that matters,” Ekchian added. “When our teachers and employees have good attendance, they serve as strong role models for our students while ensuring continuity in our efforts to promote high quality teaching and learning.”


 Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-6766