Center to reduce truancy in city schools opens

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other city officials announce new components to city’s groundbreaking school truancy initiative that take effect this school year. Credit: Spencer T. Tucker
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other city officials announce new components to the city’s groundbreaking school truancy initiative that take effect this school year.
Credit: Spencer T. Tucker

A new facility aims to reduce and prevent truancy in New York City schools, officials said Tuesday.

The first Engagement Center for truancy reduction and public safety will operate out of West Harlem, enrolling selected students on probation for high absenteeism and low-level crimes in Manhattan starting this year.

The center is part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s task force on truancy, chronic absenteeism and school engagement. Of those students monitored through the task force’s mentoring program, 52 percent are more likely to stay in school, officials said.

These efforts are integral in reducing crime in schools, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly noted.

“In order to keep kids out of the courtroom, we need to keep them in the classroom,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. added in a statement.

Students may be matched to a variety of engagement programs through the center, including tutoring, counseling, mentoring and group activities like sports programs.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


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