Updated: 09/26/2013 5:56 PM
Created: 09/26/2013 2:32 AM WHEC.com
By: Brett Davidsen
If students won't go to school, they might just get a visit at home from the superintendent. The Rochester City School District says hundred of students haven't been to school yet this year. The superintendent says they need to find out why. As part of the city's efforts to cut truancy rates, he and a group of volunteers went out into the neighborhoods Thursday to track some of those kids down.
Calling it a “truancy blitz”, Superintendent Bolgen Vargas and a group of volunteers gathered at the district office at 9:00 a.m. Thursay armed with a list of kids who haven't been to school yet this year. He says there are about 550 of them. They then fanned out across city neighborhoods trying to find out why.
Vargas says the reasons are often health-related, transportation problems or social issues. In some cases, they are discovering the child is no longer living in the district. At one point, while visiting one home Thursday, a parent told Vargas about a situation their child was having at school. As News10NBC followed, Vargas then went right to that student's school to speak with a social worker to try to resolve it. He says there's a role for the entire community to help.
Vargas said, "I believe this community in one day could resolve that by going door-to-door and knocking on those 500 doors and finding out how come our children are not in school and doing everything that we can to help them when they are confronting issues that are beyond their control."
While there are about 550 kids who haven't been to school yet this year, that's not the whole story. Vargas acknowledges that, on any given day, there are about 2,500 kids who don't go to school. The district says it will continue with these blitzes, visiting about 100 homes each month through the end of the school year.