In our building, we have two initiatives going on right now to promote attendance, and they're really making a different. What's the game changer? Food. Remember how I suggested having snacks or a meal on family nights at school, to encourage families to attend? It works for kiddos too!
In March, we are continuing the program, but have moved Breakfast Club to Tuesdays. Now, students must attend Monday and Tuesday to be invited to their special breakfast. As the school year closes up, the day of Breakfast Club will be moved one day later every month, ending in June with it being held on Fridays. Students will be expected to attend every day prior to Breakfast Club to be allowed to attend. So far, so good! The kiddos look forward to Breakfast Club each week, and on their way up to class, have stopped adults and even the principal to tell them about their special treats.
Our other, shiny and new, program is another breakfast party (who doesn't love breakfast food, I always say). In February, we tracked the homerooms to see who had the best attendance for the whole month. This was some serious business, as it involved algorithms and advanced math beyond my comprehending. We had to make sure that no class was being penalized for having 25 students vs. 6, and that the one kid who's come to school for 4 days this whole year didn't bring his whole class down. In the end, the person calculating did some fancy average of the days possible, days missed, and number of students in the class. One of our third grade classes came out on top and won a stellar pancake breakfast.
We had a blast, and the kids did too. Their faces lit up when they came down to the cafeteria in the morning and they were giddy the entire breakfast. I'm sure that they went back upstairs and told evvvverybody how great the treat was, which will hopefully get some more kiddos enticed to come to school. I've got a whole box of food coloring waiting for them.
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