St. Louis – Students in the St. Louis Public Schools return from summer break on Thursday, and on Sunday the district's leader and his top staff fanned out to about 20 area churches to stress the importance of first-day attendance.
Superintendent Kelvin Adams said adults have a responsibility to see that kids go to class.
"We need every single person in this community to really care about what's happening with kids, whether it's our kids or kids in other schools," Adams said. "That's the only way you can make a difference."
Adams gave out his cell phone number at one stop and encouraged parishioners to call him if they knew of any children who were not in school.
Attendance figures are one factor in determining funding levels in Missouri.
About 5,000 St. Louis public schools students missed the first day of classes last year.