MASON COUNTY — Attendance rates have been a topic of discussion at the last couple of meetings of the Mason County Board of Education.
Each elementary school in the county has incentives for students with good attendance, in an effort to raise rates.
Ashton Elementary students who have perfect attendance all year have the chance to win a bike. Social Worker Amanda Tarbett said every week students will get a “brag tag” if they are present everyday. At the end of the week, the class with the highest attendance percentage gets to pick a reward — which includes a pie in the face to a staff member, an extra 15 minutes recess, lunch with parents, or class outside under the shelter on the warmer days. Every student who misses 10 days or less gets to help tape the principal to the wall at the end of the year.
Beale Elementary participates in the Ron Clark Academy House System, which randomly places every student and staff member into one of four houses — Altruismo “The Givers,” Amistad “Friendship,” Isibindi “Courage” or Rêveur “Dreamers.” Students earn points for their houses by having perfect attendance for nine-weeks, getting good grades, good behavior or wearing the “house colors” to meetings. The program began in November, but Counselor Christana Long said that students were excited and motivated to get points for their houses.
Leon Elementary recently finished a program that targeted reducing tardy days. There was a surprise reward for students who were at school on time. Soon the school will begin a “AAA” program to target attendance, achievement and attitude. Students who have all passing grades, an attendance rate above 90 percent and no behavior that sends the student to the office will be able to go on the field trip at the end of the year. In the spring, every day that a class has perfect attendance, they will receive a star. After four stars, the class gets 15 minutes of extra recess.
New Haven Elementary has a monthly drawing for students who have perfect attendance that month. The winners receive Walmart gift cards. Principal Walter Raynes said at the end of the year the school will make a push to raise the overall attendance rate above 94 percent. They will have competitions between the homerooms.
Point Pleasant Primary School will give bikes to all students who have perfect attendance all year. Principal Vickie Workman said “perfect is perfect,” meaning these students can not have any tardy days, leave school early or miss a day. Some classrooms have competitions to encourage good attendance.
Point Pleasant Intermediate School also gives students with perfect attendance a bike at the end of the year. There are prizes and rewards at the end of every nine-weeks and the month. For students who missed five days or less, or “faithful attendance,” will have a field trip. Rewards throughout the year include dances, extra recess, books, t-shirts and lunch with the principal.
Roosevelt Elementary students with perfect attendance at the end of the year will be given a bike. The class with the highest attendance percentage at the end of the year will be rewarded with a field trip.
Mason County Schools encourages good attendance to increase the chances of students achieving in education.
Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.