We need caring and compassionate members of the community invested in building a thriving Walla Walla today, and for years to come. We are excited and hopeful to engage you in a relational approach to decreasing truancy in our schools, what many consider our new national pandemic. Your annual commitment of only 5-10 hours problem solving with families will help address chronic absenteeism.

The social disconnectedness imposed by the pandemic exacerbated a lack of connection to the schools in many members of the community; some have disengaged altogether. As a result, chronic absenteeism has increased to alarming levels and is having significant effects on students’ outcomes and their ability to achieve academic, economic, and social goals. This will impact our community adversely in the long term, adding significant strain to social service, mental and physical health, and housing infrastructure. Now is the time to come together and break the cycle of chronic absenteeism. Every day a student comes to school, it greatly bolsters their ability to have a future positive impact on our community and local economy.

Our vision is to move from an institutional, punitive approach to a consensus-building, problem-solving process. This requires a school, community, and institutional partnership that will work together to leverage systems to remove barriers and provide access at an individual level. By partnering with families, we avoid the necessity of going through a legal process. Instead, we will work together to listen, learn, and identify specific options and solutions that will promote student and family re-engagement in our local schools.

You can make a difference! Join us in developing this community of support for students and families by becoming a member of a Community Engagement Board (CEB). Become part of a team that supports families in a low-stakes, high-value process. Your commitment to this work will help ensure that we meet the growing needs of our students, families, and school communities.

Contact rubena@cisbluemountain.org to learn more.