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Attendance Incentive Program Helps Motivate Students

Just a few of the many Persell Middle School students who received attendance badges as part of the school’s Attendance Incentive Program.

In collaboration with Jamestown Public School’s goal to reduce the district’s chronic absenteeism rate, this year Persell Middle School implemented a new incentive program to get students excited about going to school, and to reward their efforts to be present daily.

Each month, students have the opportunity to earn badges based on their attendance. A gold badge for perfect attendance is earned if a student had zero absences the previous month and a blue badge for excellent attendance is earned if a student had just one absence. The students wear their badges on lanyards and use them to earn prizes and certain privileges geared toward each grade level, such as: pens, supplies, snacks, use of phones during breakfast and the freedom to use the badge as a hall pass when appropriate. The students are also surprised with random events like hat days or unexpected treats.

It’s understandable that kids get sick, and when they are too ill to be in school, it’s definitely in their best interest to stay at home and get better. With this in mind, the program was designed to start with a clean slate each month so that students have plenty of opportunities to earn badges throughout the school year.

In conjunction with other plans to improve attendance, the incentive program seems to be successful so far. The rate of chronic absenteeism at Persell is currently down two percentage points from this time last year. The students are eager to earn their badges and are enthusiastic about the benefits they receive. It’s great to see the kids motivated to get to school everyday, and to see their pride in realizing their efforts are being recognized.

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