State and Local Education and Law Enforcement Leaders Join Forces to Encourage Attendance at Chronic Absenteeism Conference

State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, to join state/local officials to discuss aligning conditions of learning, outcomes, and engagement for all students during Attendance Awareness Month

2015 Reducing Chronic Absenteeism ConferenceRIVERSIDE – Students whose academic careers include frequent and recurring absences are subject to lower academic performance, are more susceptible to dropping out of high school, and are less likely to complete college according to a 2014 research report from the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP). With social, economic, and educational outcomes dependent on student attendance and achievement, leaders in law enforcement, education, and community organizations will gather at the Chronic Absenteeism Conference on Friday, September 18, 2015, at the district offices of the Corona-Norco Unified School District.

The Chronic Absenteeism Conference, as part of Attendance Awareness Month throughout September, includes a full day of workshops from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Corona-Norco Unified School Districts (2820 Clark Avenue, Norco, CA 92860). The cost is $100 and includes breakfast, lunch, and event materials. Online registration is available at

Scheduled participants include:

  • State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson
  • Special Assistant Attorney General, California Department of Justice, Jill Habig
  • Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Kenneth M. Young
  • Riverside County District Attorney, Mike Hestrin
  • Corona-Norco Unified School District Superintendent, Dr. Michael Lin
  • Attendance Works Consortium, Hedy Chang
  • Martin Luther King High School Theater Students

“Working together, we can provide children and their families the support they need to attend school – and prepare for their future. We all have a stake in that. By identifying and addressing chronic absence issues early, we give students a far greater chance of success,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson.

“Reducing chronic absenteeism and ensuring student success starts with strong partnerships among schools, within families, in coordination with governmental agencies, and integrated with community partners,” said Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Kenneth M. Young. “A conference packed with content that is aligned to the state priorities in the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) is essential to targeting and addressing specific needs within each school district.”

“Attendance Awareness Month and this conference highlight the connection between school attendance and success later in life for our youth,” said Riverside County District Attorney, Mike Hestrin. “But that success does not happen in a void. It is critical that families, school administrators, and the community join forces to not only provide opportunities for success for our young people but also that our efforts be known and supported locally and statewide. Attendance Awareness Month and this conference accomplish those objectives and are solid steps toward the goal of keeping our youth in the classroom rather than in the judicial system.”

School Attendance Awareness Month is a national initiative sponsored by Attendance Works ( that brings together families, schools, community, and statewide leaders to publicize the connection between school attendance and academic achievement.

For additional information on the conference, please contact Catherine Belcher, Administrative Assistant at the Riverside County Office of Education, (951) 826-6321, or Jasmine Marquez, Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, at (951) 358-3764.

CLICK HERE to download the event flyer.

For information contact:

Craig Petinak
Director, Public Relations & Communications Services
Office of the Riverside County Superintendent of Schools
(951) 826-6679

Evita Tapia-Gonzalez
Communications Manager
Corona-Norco Unified School District
(951) 736-5084

Jazmin Ortega
Southern California Liaison
Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction
(213) 620-2006

John Hall
Information Specialist, Community Information Division
Riverside County District Attorney’s Office
(951) 955-8662