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First day Chicago Public School attendance up

Updated: November 26, 2011 12:28AM



Opening-day attendance among Chicago public school students reached its highest level since a new tracking system was introduced four years ago, district officials announced Wednesday.

Attendance Tuesday was reported at 94.7 percent, up from 92.9 percent last year, according to a Chicago Public School news release.

CPS back-to-school efforts this year included robocall reminders from Chicago sensation Jennifer Hudson — a Dunbar High graduate — to thousands of students’ households.

Also featured in robocalls or public service announcements were hip-hop artist Common; A.J. Pierzynski and Ozzie Guillen of the Chicago White Sox; Kerry Wood of the Cubs; Israel Idonije of the Bears; Patrick Sharp of the Blackhawks and Marco Pappa of the Chicago Fire.

Plus, students and their parents were offered free CTA service on opening day.

Chicago Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard joined a CPS phone bank to parents to get the word out. Other efforts included targeted literature drops at CTA stations, bus stops and neighborhood festivals, and Google and Facebook ads.

“This year, we took an unprecedented approach to build awareness among families and students all over the city about being in school on the first day, which is critical to student success,’’ Brizard said in a news release.



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