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Attendance Matters

Be A Pro Always Go

The San Diego Padres have stepped up to the plate to help the San Diego Unified School District raise awareness about the importance of regular school attendance amid a nationwide increase in absenteeism following the pandemic. 

To help promote strong attendance, with an emphasis on elementary schools most impacted by absenteeism, the Padres have collaborated with San Diego Unified on a campaign that includes a public service announcement (PSA) and tickets to a Padres game as a reward for schools that improve attendance this spring.

The Padres will provide tickets to students, staff, and families at the school that increases attendance the most this spring, among the elementary schools most impacted by absenteeism. Meanwhile, elementary students at every school in San Diego Unified that improves attendance will have the opportunity to enter an opportunity drawing for tickets to a Padres game.

San Diego Unified schools will share the PSA during the attendance contest throughout March and April. The results will be announced in May. Both the Padres and San Diego Unified are hopeful the attendance campaign will make a lasting impact and curb absenteeism going forward.

Research shows that missing 10 percent of kindergarten is associated with lower academic performance in first grade, especially among Latinx students, according to the nonprofit organization, Attendance Counts. For students from socioeconomically disadvantaged families, the academic impact of missing 10 percent of kindergarten can extend through fifth grade.   

Since the pandemic, schools locally and nationwide have seen a spike in absenteeism. COVID-19 and other illnesses, mental health needs, housing and food insecurities, unmet transportation needs, and inflation, all contribute to chronic absenteeism.

San Diego Unified is committed to identifying the root causes of chronic absenteeism, and is working to implement solutions and strategies to support families so all students can regularly attend school and thrive.

The Padres have been longtime supporters of San Diego Unified and public education. The team stepped up with an offer to help when it became aware of the increase in absenteeism, especially at schools in areas that were hit hardest by the pandemic.

Watch the PSA from Manny Machado