Council Bluffs, IA

Council Bluffs Reads

The Council Bluffs Community School District kicked off their C.B. Reads initiative with a special surprise performance during the Friday night basketball game on January 18th, 2013. Thomas Jefferson High School's dance team, faculty members, and some elementary school students participated in a reading 'flash mob'!

Here are handouts and other materials from the awareness-raising event: council_bluffs_ia_cb_reads_flash_mob_documents.pdf

2012 Attendance Awareness Efforts

Representatives of Council Bluffs area schools, the City of Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County gathered on Thursday, August 30th, 2012 for a news
conference to announce a renewed effort this school year to encourage regular school
attendance by all students. The event was held at Longfellow Elementary School, 
2011 S. 10th Street in Council Bluffs at 11 a.m., with photo/ video opportunities in
classrooms before and after the news conference.  

Recognizing the need to increase the average daily attendance from the 91% rate two
years ago, Council Bluffs Community School District Superintendent Martha Bruckner
invited leaders of the Lewis Central Community Schools, St. Albert Catholic Schools and Iowa School for the Deaf to join in promoting the importance of students attending school every day.  Together, they serve about 12,000 students. According to Dr. Bruckner, the focus is being renewed this year as districts see that it is making a difference. The percent of students who are regularly attending school increased this past year at every school in the Council Bluffs Schools, with 95% of elementary and middle school students attending on a daily basis.

Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan signed a proclamation to signify the 2012-13 school year as one to focus on increasing attendance. Police Chief Ralph O’Donnell and Assistant County Attorney Dawn Landon will also be present. This joint effort is designed to raise the awareness in the community of the need for all adults to make sure children are attending school every day unless they are ill.

Under Iowa Law, students who are at least six and less than 16 years of age on
September 15th must enroll in school for the entire school year. The parent, not the child, would be reported to the county attorney if the child is repeatedly absent without an approved excuse.  

According to Bruckner, students with poor attendance typically have lower academic
achievement than students who attend school on a regular basis, and a smaller chance of graduating on time, if at all.  In addition, students who are not in school on a regular basis frequently end up in trouble with the police and the juvenile court system. 

“We expect students to attend school on time every day. We strive to have students attend school at least 95% of the time,” Bruckner said. “Parents, grandparents, neighbors and ministers are among our community members who can positively influence student success by making sure school-age children do not miss school,” Bruckner said. “Even employers of teenage students can play a role by not expecting them to work during school hours or late in the evening.”

Summer Exploration

Finally, click here to see pictures from Council Bluff's Summer Exploration reading program!

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  • We're looking forward to multiple events for Attendance Awareness Month, including a visit from Lt. Governor Reynolds on Friday, September 6.  Lots of things are going on!

  • Flash mob - love it! Interesting too that you've included  Lewis Central Community Schools, St. Albert Catholic Schools and Iowa School for the Deaf in the attendance promotion activities!   Look forward to talking soon to introduce myself, learn more, and connect you with others in the Network.

    Betsy (manager of the Campaign's soon-to-be-launched online Community Solutions Accelerator, which builds upon the NING!)

    p.s. I'm another Iowan - I live in Des Moines. (I joined my first flash mob this summer during RAGBRAI!)

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