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"Attendance + Effort = Success."

Attendance is key to academic success—and so is celebrating the students who are working hard and coming to school! Attendance celebrations have been taking place in all of the GRPS & Believe 2 Become Hope Zones, and the importance of making every day count is the rallying cry.

/Photo courtesy of LINC.

/Photo coutesy of LINC.

Attendance challenges are underway throughout GRPS and the Believe 2 Become Hope Zones, and everyone is excited to be where the cool kids are—in school!

Schools in the GRPS Hope Zones and district-wide are all tracking attendance, and the numbers are going up.

At the Southeast Student Success Center in the Central Zone, attendance has always been a challenge. Principal Chet Huff and the staff of SESSC make a special effort to honor students for the good things they are doing, and he says the kids notice. They have boards with photos and names of students and the halls are plastered with one of the school mottos: “Attendance + Effort = Success”.

He and his staff served food at their October attendance celebration on November 8th, with LINC and B2B staff helping to honor the students. Principal Huff pointed out that any time you can accentuate the positive, it helps.

“Things like this celebration are important,” He said. “Kids might not say it, but they notice, and they want to be recognized like anyone else.”

A group of girls at the celebration sat and ate together, certificates with their names on decorating the table. One said she wants to be a crime scene investigator, another a photographer. They had different ideas on how they would reach their goals, but every one of them agreed attending school was important. One girl, Asha Mohamed, spoke about how she likes to help people, and if she wants to do that, she knows she has to graduate.

“If you want to become something, you have to be there. You can be a role model,” she said.

Moving the needle on attendance involves a lot of relationship-building, and consistency. West Zone Community Liaison Rosie Lozano is proud to see the schools in the West Zone with attendance numbers at nearly 100 percent. She says over the past two years she has seen a marked difference in attendance, because more parents and people are involved in their children’s education. Keeping up with the positive reinforcement for the kids in those schools keeps them coming back, she says.

Community Liaison Willie Patterson has been seeing attendance numbers rise this fall, too, and agrees that celebrations and recognition are key. He says he sees the importance of showing up in all Believe 2 Become and LINC activities, so it makes sense that honoring that in schools is working.

“We are seeing an overwhelming response to attendance challenges, and it’s the strong partnerships and the relationship building that is driving it. Everyone is working at all levels to make every day count,” he said.

There were celebrations at MLK, Ford and Alger this month, too. For example, at Alger a full 80 students achieved the 98 percent attendance level and 20 students achieved the 100 percent. Not only were the 100 percent students entered into the raffle for the $50 gift card, those 20 also received a movie pass to Celebration Cinema. As they left the celebration and continued their day, you could hear them chattering to one another.

“Next month, I’m going to win that gift card.”

We can’t wait!

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