Love, JHS Work Together To Encourage School Attendance

Love Elementary School second graders, Jaiceon Warrior, Ariella Rivera, and Nevada Goodridge, stand outside Laurie Hind’s classroom holding the Js the class has received for their good attendance. Mrs. Hind’s class has had one of the highest attendance rates in the building.

In the hallways of Love Elementary School, visitors will notice some new wall art featuring a familiar figure: the new Jamestown High School “Red Raider” mascot.

According to Cindy Johnson, Love principal, the posters’ purpose is twofold: Love classes receive their “Js” for having 90% class attendance, while also serving as a visual reminder of what the ultimate goal for Love students should be.

“Our goal for all of our kids is to graduate from high school versus just get through elementary school or just get through middle school,” said Johnson, who is in her second school year as Love’s principal. “It was important then for us to visually start making that connection between Love School and JHS with the high school and make it more of a real thing for our students.

“Some of our kids who don’t have older siblings think the high school is out of their league,” Johnson added. “Our job is to make sure that they know that it’s not.”

That connection took a deeper meaning during a school assembly in October when a special broadcast of the JHS Morning Announcements included a segment congratulating Love students who reached 90% attendance that month.

The clip, made possible thanks to Technology instructor Sam Qadri and the high school’s Broadcast Communications Club, featured special appearances from JHS athletic director and varsity basketball coach Ben Drake as well as assistant principal and varsity football coach Tom Langworthy.

“I would like to congratulate all of you for reaching your goal of 90% attendance for the beginning of the school year,” Langworthy told the students in the video. “Being in school is the best way to learn and build relationships with your friends. Congratulations, great job, and I hope you have a great rest of the year.”

“The kids loved it,” Johnson said of the surprise video. “They got a big kick out of it.”

That attendance goal continues to be one of Love’s greatest priorities, Johnson noted.

“There is so much research that shows that kids who can read fluently by third grade end up doing well by high school and beyond,” she said. “If they’re not here, we can’t teach them. We see the importance of school and being here. We see the kids who are here everyday and their achievement is pretty high.”

Johnson continues to be hopeful that the collaboration with JHS will only grow. This spring, she hopes to have a mentoring program in place that will help Love students establish connections with high school students.

“I told my staff that my goal and my dream is to see 100% of Love School students cross the stage at graduation,” she said. “Any connection we can make with students helps them get closer and closer to that goal.”


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