NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Local leaders came together to announce the results of working groups led by the city’s Office of Youth and Families and the NOLA Public Schools to address truancy and chronic absenteeism.

School superintendent Dr. Avis Williams stated, “The pandemic shifted everything and I don’t subscribe to the idea of a new normal, but I am looking forward to opening schools this fall and engaging in a school year that feels more like what we used to call normal.”

Mayor LaToya Cantrell spoke to the need of clear and tiered sets of interventions to manage unexcused absences. The mayor also stated that there was opportunity for increased communication between the courts and the school system to identify and help troubled students and families.

While there exists challenges in reporting for a system with dozens of individual charter operators, Williams says getting everyone on the same page a priority, “I did meet this morning with our school leaders and to make sure that they are equally engaged and with a sense of urgency as to the work that has to be done.”