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How To Combat Chronic Absenteeism In Boston Schools12:30
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Manny Allen, manager of the Boston Public Schools reengagement center, left, and Rajon Brooks, an outreach manager with the center, begin their day of engaging with chronically absent students at Brothers Deli in Mattapan. (Joe Difazio/WBUR)
Manny Allen, manager of the Boston Public Schools reengagement center, left, and Rajon Brooks, an outreach manager with the center, begin their day of engaging with chronically absent students at Brothers Deli in Mattapan. (Joe Difazio/WBUR)
This article is more than 4 years old.

Starting next month, Boston public high school and middle school students can get a special morning wake-up call.

"Wake up! It's David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox. Get out of bed and get ready for school. Your future is yours."

That's what Boston families will hear if they opt-in for a BPS service that provides an automated wake-up call from Big Papi himself. It's an effort to combat chronic absenteeism — that's when a student misses 10 percent of the school year (18 days or more).

This past year, 28 percent of BPS K-12 students were chronically absent. A WBUR analysis found most of those students live at or below the poverty line, eight out of 10 are black or Latino, and most are teenage boys.

Guest

Tonya Mosley, senior education reporter for Edify, WBUR's new multimedia home for education coverage in Boston and beyond. Tonya tweets @TonyaMosley.

Colin Rose, assistant superintendent for the BPS Office of Opportunity Achievement Gaps. He taught at the Higginson/Lewis K-8 School in Roxbury.

This segment aired on August 10, 2016.

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