Cresaptown Elementary School Implements Attendance Incentive Program
Students, Classrooms Recognized Regularly for Good Attendance
New this year, Cresaptown Elementary School has implemented an attendance incentive program to encourage all students to strive for regular attendance. Research shows that attending school regularly helps children feel better about school and themselves and reduces the risk of academic failure.
According to Cresaptown school counselor, Tracey Little, “In the past we were focusing more on truancy issues or unexcused absences. Now we are more focused on the academic impact of students missing school.” She went on to say that the school’s goal is to educate families as they make a universal effort to move students into the satisfactory range for absences, which is nine days or less. Those students who have chronic absenteeism miss eighteen or more days a year.
Little conducted a staff development at the beginning of the school year to onboard teachers to the new attendance incentive program. Chronic absenteeism can have many negative impacts on not only the absent student, but also teachers, who loose valuable preparation and instructional time because of the need to attend to absences. Classroom instructional activities are also more difficult when students are frequently absent. As part of this new program, teachers will emphasize the importance of attendance in their classrooms, help to promote school wide incentives, and display daily attendance for students to see.
A variety of incentives will be used to provide opportunities for children to be positively rewarded for coming to school. Students and classrooms will be recognized with awards throughout the year, culminating in an end-of-year grand prize drawing for new bicycles. Classrooms with 100% attendance will be honored each day during announcements. The classroom with the highest average daily attendance rate at the end of each month will receive a trophy and banner to be displayed inside and outside of their classroom. Finally, every nine weeks, one student from each classroom will be randomly selected to be the “Gold Dollar Winner”, and students who have maintained regular attendance during a nine-week period will be recognized at a quarterly awards assembly.
Cresaptown has sent letters as well as an attendance tracker home to parents to help them monitor a student’s absences. “We will also monitor each student’s attendance across the year sot that we can work with families when the number of absences puts a student at risk,” said school principal, Scott Llewellyn. “When families make school attendance a priority, they help their child get better grades, develop healthy life habits, and build positive relationships with both peers and adults.”