Steinbach MLA and Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced that the Manitoba government is striving to improve student attendance at school by examining best practices in other provinces.
“School attendance is a critical factor in student achievement,” said Goertzen. “Students who attend school regularly are more engaged in learning, have a greater sense of belonging to the community and are more likely to obtain a high school diploma. Manitoba Education is working in partnership with parents, schools and communities to support and improve regular daily attendance for all students.”
The Manitoba government has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to look at best practices in other jurisdictions for improving and maintaining student attendance. The RFP will close on Feb. 3, 2020. The RFP comes after Manitoba Education established an attendance task force which includes community members and school division representatives and is co-chaired by the deputy ministers of Education and Justice.
The minister noted regular daily attendance at school is critical not only for education, but for the protection of children and youth, especially the most vulnerable, in improving their outcomes. Conversely, school absenteeism is connected with poor outcomes such as justice involvement or mental illness and addictions. These efforts will help address concerns raised by the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth, who recommended that the province examine attendance, suspension and expulsion policies to ensure that vulnerable children get the supports they need.
Manitoba Education has a leadership role across government departments and with community agencies to promote student attendance.