Mission Alabama READY DAY ONE INITIATIVE
Assisting Families for Student Success on Day One
Each year in our community many students do not show up to begin school on the first day. In fact, there are many families for a sundry of reasons that do not send their children to school until the Tuesday after Labor Day. As a result, students begin the school year significantly behind the majority of their classmates in their courses of study. They also find themselves significantly behind in assimilating into the classroom culture. The first two weeks of school are essential for teachers to build rapport with the students as he/she establishes rules and expectations that will define the culture.
There is also an impact on the school system in the day to day operations and in the funding of the school system. Like most large organizations, the logistics of personnel and resources is a monumental task. Because of late enrollments, a process that usually takes two to three weeks to stabilize now takes five to six weeks. This often times delays the norming of the classroom and school setting, indirectly impacting teachers beginning direct instruction and subsequently student achievement.
Last but not least, it impacts the funding of our school systems. Schools are funded based upon attendance. The state determines a systems enrollment for the school year based upon their average daily attendance from the first few weeks of school. At a time when educational funding continues to be significantly cut, we cannot afford to underfund our schools because our students are not ready on day one of the school year.
A Community Response
READY DAY ONE INITIATIVE is an essential community response to the challenges facing our families and schools as we prepare our children for success in the coming school year. In partnership with the Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Craig Witherspoon, Mission Alabama is building bridges between corporations, churches, community based organizations, public entities and families to ensure that our children are ready for school on day one of the 2013-14 school year. The hope is that these partnerships will help to bridge the gap between student readiness and student achievement.
- We will facilitate a communitywide campaign in conjunction with Birmingham City School’s Partners in Education program that promotes the importance of students being prepared and present to learn on the first day of school.
- We will seek to mitigate any perceived or actual internal barriers in the enrollment and registration process through continuous improvement measures and innovative approaches.
- We will conduct a series of initiatives that seek to remove financial barriers to families needing assistance with the resources needed for their children to be ready to learn on day one.