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Brizard Launches Massive Back-to-School Campaign

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Parents likely won't be able to escape message aimed at abating truancy.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's hand-picked schools chief on Wednesday launched a massive back-to-school campaign to abate truancy.

"Nationally-recognized experts confirm that it is critical for all students to start a year with strong attendance, said Jean-Claude Brizard at an event at Harris Park, in the 6200 block of South Drexel Boulevard. "Students who build good attendance habits are making the right choices to help them stay on track to graduate and be successful in life."

The campaign includes, in part:

  • Door to door outreach
  • Robocalls to CPS households
  • Targeted literature drops at El stations, bus stations and neighborhood festivals
  • Phone bank calls targeting parents
  • An ad campaign on Chicago Transit Authority buses and trains
  • Text messages and e-mail blasts to parents reminding them of back to school start dates
  • Google and Facebook ads aimed at parents to remind them of back to school start dates
  • Posters in retail outlets
  • Reminders on customer receipts from several retailers
  • Reminders on employee paychecks from select retailers
  • Reminders in employee communications from select retailers, including newsletters and email
  • Reminders during sermons, as well as back-to-school information in church programs and in bulletins, on church marquees and in email blasts to congregations and communities.

Special emphasis will be placed on city neighborhoods with the highest truancy rates, including Englewood, Humboldt Park, East Garfield, West Garfield, North Lawndale, Woodlawn and Austin.

The district has posted back-to-school information on its website at CPS.edu/FirstDay.

Track E year-round schools start on Aug. 8.  The regular school year starts Sept. 6. Each charter school has its own start date.

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