Press Releases

Columbus Crew launches partnership with Columbus City Schools as part of “Stay in the Game!” Network

COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew and Columbus City Schools today unveiled their programming for the 2022-2023 school year as part of their partnership to promote the importance of school attendance. The partnership is part of the “Stay in the Game! Keep Learning, Every Day” Network, which the Crew joined earlier this year, and serves as a statewide initiative designed to promote the importance of school attendance and put an end to chronic absenteeism.  
A student who misses as few as two days of school a month is considered chronically absent. Ohio's current rate of chronic absenteeism is nearly 17 percent — or approximately 260,000 students. With the addition of Columbus City Schools - Ohio’s largest school district with nearly 47,000 students - the “Stay in the Game!” Network has expanded to 17 districts across Ohio, benefitting more than 150,000 students in the upcoming 2022-2023 school year. 
“Attendance is essential to learning, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Columbus City Schools to help promote the importance of school attendance,” said Columbus Crew President of Business Operations Kristin Bernert. “We believe that our involvement with the ‘Stay in the Game!’ Network will allow us to make an impact in curbing school absenteeism in Central Ohio.”

“We know our students need to be in school every day and we are committed to uncovering the barriers that stand in the way of consistent daily attendance. Simply put, the more students are in school and engaged in the classroom, the more prepared they are for success – not just through academic growth, but social-emotional growth as well. Together, we will continue to engage our students, our families, and our entire learning community so our students are excited to come to school and will thrive in positive learning environments,” said Columbus City Schools Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon.

The “Stay in the Game! Keep Learning, Every Day” Network serves as a statewide initiative designed to promote the importance of school attendance and put an end to chronic absenteeism. The network engages local school districts and promotes quality education by using attendance data and feedback from families to build a school-going culture, uncover and reduce common barriers to attendance and support engagement opportunities for students to thrive.

Committed to reducing Ohio’s Chronic absenteeism rate by half over the next 10 years, the “Stay in the Game!” Network’s efforts are aimed at increasing student advancement and high school graduation rates for more than 150,000 students by emphasizing the significance of attending school every day. Through the power of partnership, the Network has rigorously tested and identified low-cost yet effective attendance interventions to move the needle like personalized communications such as postcards, robocalls and engagement with families increasing student attendance by up to 8%.

To learn more about the “Stay in the Game!” Network, visit During this new school year, Columbus City Schools is raising awareness on the importance of school attendance with a comprehensive community and family-engagement campaign and using data to target specific attendance-related intervention efforts for maximum impact. Joining the “Stay in the Game” network provides even more resources for the district to engage and excite students on coming to school every day, on time, when children are healthy.

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