Arlington Public Schools has started the school year getting more aggressive in keeping parents informed when their students might not be in class.
The school system on Jan. 17 rolled out an updated system for alerting parents to unverified absences, getting that information out earlier, more frequently and in more ways than previously.
“It really does matter in making sure students are in schools, in their seats, in their classrooms,” Superintendent Francisco Durán told School Board members at the Jan. 19 board meeting. “Getting the instruction they need is going to be critical for us to support them in their continued growth.”
Under the new arrangement, parents of elementary-school students will receive phone and text notifications at 11 a.m. Previously, parents had been notified by phone in the afternoon.
Phone messages will be offered in English and Spanish; text messages will arrive in English, Spanish, Mongolian, Arabic and Amharic, depending on parental preferences.
At the secondary level, notifications will be sent out at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. if students are not where they were expected to be.
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