PATERSON, NJ- Furthering their efforts to reduce the number of chronically absent students in public schools across the city, Paterson Superintendent Eileen Shafer has announced the creation of 17 part time positions to help ensure regular attendance.
Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10 percent of school days, equaling 18 days a year. Absences include both days out sick and on suspension.
Shafer has made improving attendance a central priority for her administration, including developing the Chronic Absentee Taskforce as well as a citywide public awareness campaign that enlisted parents and students to fight chronic absenteeism.
While the “#PPShowUp” effort showed early success boasting a 43 percent reduction in chronic absenteeism through the first half of the 2017-2018 academic year, the schools were unable to maintain that level of success through June.
Shafer said the goal in hiring is to find “professionals who understand and represent Paterson’s diverse population.” Those hired as Chronic Absentee Specialists (CAS) will be tasked with working with students who are chronically absent or at risk of being chronically absent. In order to meet their objective, according to a press release distributed on Friday, successful applications will make calls, send messages, and visit parents and students to identify the root causes of the absenteeism, and, when appropriate, refer parent and students to community service providers and governmental agencies for additional support.
“We believe that all of our kids can be successful once they get in front of our great teachers,” said T.J. Best, Director of Student Attendance and Anti-Bullying. “Showing up is the first step.”
The part-time positions will pay $17 with successful applicants holding a minimum of a high school diploma, having experience working in a multicultural, urban environment, and being able to “exhibit integrity and good moral character.”
Click here for a complete job description or to complete an application.