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First Day Chicago Public School Attendance Up

CPS Classroom

A classroom in the Chicago Public Schools. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 09/08/11 5:46 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago Public Schools chief executive officer Jean-Claude Brizard says first-day attendance this past Tuesday jumped to four-year high.

As WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports, CPS says first day attendance was 94.7 percent, up from 92.9 percent last year.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports

Brizard says the aggressive campaign that was launched in July including grassroots and new media tools paid off.

He says starting in the middle of the summer right up until the start of classes, the campaign made door to door visits, used a phone bank to encourage parents, and Chicago celebrities and sports figures also used public service announcements and robo-calls to cover all households. D

Robocall reminders were recorded by Chicago sensation Jennifer Hudson — a Dunbar High graduate – and were received by thousands of students’ households..

Also featured in robocalls or public service announcements were hip-hop artist Common; A.J. Pierzynski and Ozzie Guillen of the Chicago White Sox; Kerry Wood of the Cubs; Israel Idonije of the Bears; Patrick Sharp of the Blackhawks and Marco Pappa of the Chicago Fire.

In addition, students and their parents were offered free CTA service on opening day.

Other efforts included targeted literature drops at CTA stations, bus stops and neighborhood festivals, and Google and Facebook ads.

“This year, we took an unprecedented approach to build awareness among families and students all over the city about being in school on the first day, which is critical to student success,’’ Brizard said in a news release.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.