DA launches school attendance initiative at Waltham event

Dr. Alan Ingram and District Attorney Ryan

Waltham News Tribune

September 24, 2013

WALTHAM — Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc. brought together school superintendents, police chiefs and fire chiefs from the 54 communities in Middlesex County at a Waltham event to launch a year of programming, training, prevention and collaborative efforts between schools and law enforcement.

Ryan announced this year’s school-based initiative, “Present and Accounted For,” at the annual Superintendents and Chiefs Breakfast at the Embassy Suites in Waltham. The goal of this year’s initiative is to improve attendance at all grade levels, keep students engaged, and address issues that may be impacting why a student is not regularly attending school.

“One of the most important predictors of success in school performance, improvement in youth safety and the prevention of crime is having children at school every day,” Ryan said. “If schools and community partners work together to make sure students are at school, we can address the issues that may be leading to truancy, be it a problem at home or a situation in school.”

In addition to Ryan, Alan Ingram, deputy education commissioner from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and Thomas Malone, regional counsel, Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, also spoke about issues related to attendance and truancy.

Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides prevention and intervention resources and training to Middlesex school districts and communities. Ryan is the chairwoman of the organization’s Board of Directors.

Through the efforts of Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, educators, parents and students can regularly engage in collaborative trainings with law enforcement, social services and community-based organizations as well as share the latest information and resources, according to the DA’s office. Such interactions provide the foundation for creating solution-oriented, community-based, multi-disciplinary approaches to addressing youth violence, substance abuse, child abuse and neglect, hate crimes and harassment across Middlesex County, the office said.

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