Schools throughout Granite School District are taking steps to stomp out chronic absenteeism.
This past November, the Prevention & Student Placement Department issued the Every Day Counts challenge to encourage administrators and teachers to develop ideas and incentives to improve student attendance. The top five schools with the most improved attendance numbers over a six-month period will receive cash awards.
Overall, the 50 elementary schools participating in the challenge increased their attendance by .172% during December.
Orchard Elementary topped the list with a 2.13% increase in attendance from November to December. Spring Lane, Farnsworth, Beehive, and Oquirrh Hills rounded out the top five. These schools will receive $50 to reward students and/or classes for their achievement.
Why the focus on attendance? The answer may seem obvious, yet 7.5 million students nationwide miss nearly a month of school every year. Chronic absenteeism is a red alert that students are heading for academic trouble, and the problem can start as early as kindergarten.
Schools are experimenting with a plethora of attendance programs and incentives, including: prize drawings, essay and art competitions, classroom parties, certificates, etc.