NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The New Haven school district will be welcoming its students back for the new school year on Aug 29.

On Monday, Mayor Justin Elicker and Superintendent Dr. Ilene Tracey launched this year’s community canvas for New Haven Public Schools.  

Mayor Elicker and Dr. Tracey were joined by educators, staff members, and volunteers to deliver bags filled with books to not only welcome kindergarten and 9th-grade families, but also to promote attendance.

“Attendance does matter,” said the Superintendent of New Haven schools, Dr. Ilene Tracey. “We know that we can not teach empty seats. The students have to be there in order to be taught, and we’re making this a great push for the next couple of days to encourage our parents to send the children out to school. We will do the rest.”

As part of canvassing, they will be knocking on doors because home visits are recognized as an effective strategy for building relationships with students and their families.

“Doctor Tracey’s right that attendance matters. You got to get the kids in the seats, right? Not just for their development for math and reading, but that social, and emotional learning that connection with their classmates,” said Mayor Elicker.

Monday was the first of five canvasses that will take place this week in the elm city.