First 40 days find attendance much improved in New Britain schools

Published on Thursday, 7 November 2019 20:39
Written by Catherine Shen


NEW BRITAIN - It has been 40 days since classes started and the New Britain school district is already seeing significant attendance improvements over last year.

Chronic absenteeism has decreased by 4.3% overall from the same time last school year, according to data from the district’s 40-day attendance report.

This year also marks the inaugural “Every Day Matters” campaign that focuses on celebrating everyday attendance and raising awareness of the importance of every day in a student’s education. Its goal is to reduce chronic absenteeism throughout the school district.

The grade level that has shown the most improvement is 12th grade with a 7.07% decrease in chronic absenteeism, followed by 6th grade at 6.76%, according to the data. The group that has improved the most is the Class of 2021, seeing a decrease of 7.62% in 11th grade compared to this time last year in 10th.

Other areas of attendance improvement include a decrease of 4.56 percent of chronic absenteeism from returning grade cohorts. According to the data, 10 out of 13 cohort levels have improved, 11 out of 12 grades have improved, 16 out of 17 schools have improved, and 431 fewer students are chronically absent.

Smalley Elementary saw the most improvement in the school district by decreasing chronic absenteeism by 7.06%. Gaffney Elementary showed the top chronic absenteeism decrease in the school district at 7.25%. Both English language learner students and special education student populations saw an improvement in attendance. The chronic absenteeism rate has decreased by 11.35% for English learner students and 10.6% for special education students through the end of October.

Superintendent Nancy Sarra thanked the students and their families who have committed to being in school every day and to the educators who help make those days impactful.

“As we prepare our students to be ready for work life and beyond, this commitment to be here every day continues to develop these lifelong skills,” she said. “‘Every Day Matters’ is more than just a slogan - it is a mindset for improvement and success. There are many more days ahead for this school year and beyond, and every one of them matters in our students’ continued success.”

Contact Catherine Shen at 860-801-5093 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Thursday, 7 November 2019 20:39. Updated: Thursday, 7 November 2019 20:42.