Nine Rockford schools will be getting additional resources to help administrators deal with discipline and truancy problems and a lack of parent involvement.
Officials with the Rockford School District say the schools are in what they're calling a neighborhood empowerment zone, which has high crime rates and a higher volume of 911 calls. Officials say more than 90 percent of students at the schools also are economically disadvantaged and qualify for free or reduced lunch rates.
The Rockford Register Star reports that the district plans to add personnel at each of the schools.
“These were also our schools that were having great academic struggles, where we saw a large number of disciplinary issues, where we saw kids that had lots of truancy issues, and then just family issues,” said Asst. Supt. Martha Hayes.
Additional staff will include a full-time intervention specialist for each school, and at least a part-time achievement specialist and part-time social worker. At some schools, those positions will be full-time. A total of nine intervention specialists, six achievement specialists and seven social workers will be added to staff those schools in the fall.
Hayes says the goal is to change student behavior and ultimately boost student achievement.