NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – A unique rally was held at Celentano Magnet School on Friday in New Haven to promote school attendance.
“The only way those doors are open is if you’re in school. Those opportunities to become a police officer, become a doctor, to become a teacher – that starts here at Celentano School,” said Michael Brandt, an administrative judge at New Haven Children’s Probate Court.
The 10th annual event is held to reduce chronic absenteeism in New Haven with the help of local probate judges and court staff.
“A lot of times people come before us as judges, and they think we’re there to punish them. This is our opportunity to support them, to hear their issues and there’s a lot of concerns. Attendance is a big issue in the school system right now,” Brandt said.
These judges work with students who are at risk of absenteeism because of family, health or other issues. The program gives families assistance and incentives to improve school attendance and students’ lives.
“It’s so important to start them at a young age they get to learn the routine and the importance of school. We get to get them excited to come to school and that stays with them throughout their academic career,” said Mike Piscitelli, a member of the school attendance team.
Courtroom and school leaders rallied together for brighter futures.
“If we can just touch one family at a time, do what has to be done to help that one family get their children to school. We’ll make an impact,” Brandt said.