Chamber Encourages Businesses to Remind Employees about the Importance of School Attendance | Schools

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Chamber Encourages Businesses to Remind Employees about the Importance of School Attendance
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 Chamber Encourages Businesses to Remind Employees about the Importance of School Attendance

As the new school year approaches, the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce is encouraging businesses to remind employees about the importance of the first day of school and provide greater flexibility for employees during the first two weeks.

New bus routes and preparations for school create a busy environment for families. Employers can assist with the transition by reinforcing the importance of day one, reminding employees to plan schedules ahead of time, and when appropriate, offering flexible work schedules.

“Education is a top priority at the Chamber and instrumental in attracting business to the region,” said Wally Lee, president of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Companies considering Northeast Florida desire qualified candidates for jobs, and it starts with ensuring students are attending class.”

The Chamber started communicating the importance of improving attendance records after thousands of Duval County students were absent the first day of school in 2001. Approximately, 123,000 students are expected this year. Attendance plays a role in the schools’ ability to obtain resources as funding is directly tied to the head count for the first 20 days of class.

“By reminding employees about the first day of school, companies can make a significant difference in attendance rates,” said Tina Wirth, director of Workforce Development for the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce.  “Enabling parents to adjust their work schedules may also help ensure children are in class the first day and ready to start the school year.”

As part of the effort to raise awareness this year, the Chamber is utilizing email and social media communications to remind businesses about school dates for each county and tax-free week, which starts Friday and continues until Monday, Aug. 15.  For more information about the retail items included in tax-free week, please visit http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/tips/pdf/2011taxholidayQAs.pdf.

The school start dates by county for 2011 are as follows:

  • Monday, Aug. 15: Nassau County
  • Tuesday, Aug. 16: Clay County
  • Monday, Aug. 22: Duval, Flagler, St. Johns and Baker counties
  • Tuesday, Aug. 23: Putnam County
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