Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Mayor Chandler? New Seattle Schools Attendance Initiative Wants to Make it Happen

October 18, 2012

Eight year old Chandler, a 4th grader at Roxhill Elementary School in Seattle, WA in the U.S. says he wants to grow up and become the mayor someday.

He’s learning that in order to do that, he’ll need a great attendance record at school.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn launched this year's attendance campaign called  for more than 100 schools throughout the district this week. McGinn is challenging the students to have 20 or fewer absences each year.

As Superintendent Jose Banda told the audience, “Education is everyone’s business.” The lives of our kids, and the future of our communities are on the line.

In the future, two-thirds of the jobs in our state will require some sort of post high school credential. That’s why it’s so critical to the Gates Foundation to make sure kids are going to school ready to learn, and getting a great education – no matter where they live.

In King County, the county in which Seattle resides, less than 1 out of 4 children today will graduate from college. We must make sure they understand what this means to their futures and to our community.

Roxhill Principal Sahnica Washington emphasized the need to close the achievement gap.  It’s clear that at Roxhill Elementary, teachers, staff, parents and students are all working hard together to do this, in spite of the challenges faced by the 370 students at Roxhill, where more than 80 percent receive free or reduced lunch.

Today, Chandler’s 4th grade class was honored for  having one of the highest attendance rates for September at his school - 97 percent ! Several media outlets joined the launch as well.

He asked the Mayor if he ever had any challenges when he was in school and Mayor promptly replied, “Well, sometimes I got a bit bored.”  The rest of the class nodded. Chandler told the Mayor that he was a good mayor because he cares about them learning.

Let’s all help Chandler achieve his dream – so that we can officially call him "Mayor Chandler" someday.

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