In an effort to promote student attendance at Lakeside Elementary, LES teachers Stephanie Jackson, Laura Raykowski, Vickie Cariveau and Cindy Harvey formed a committee and came up with a plan to motivate students to arrive on time every day.
The program, “Every Day, On Time,” kicked off on Nov. 19 and by Dec. 20 Harvey’s second-grade class was the first to have every student in class on time for 10 days in a row.
“For some kids it is just a few minutes late and some kids are missing hours a day, some will walk in an hour or two late and it happens frequently,” Harvey said. “Attendance is crucial to make any gains. You can send work home but it is not easy to get caught up if not actually there for the lesson. It’s not the same.”
Although teachers can send make-up work home, the hands-on experiences and collaboration with other students has a greater impact on the learning experience. Most grades start the day with reading and math instruction by 8:30 a.m., making punctuality of vital importance.
Each class has a poster they created with the words “Every Day, On Time!” on it, and for each day the entire class is present before 8:25 a.m. they get to fill in one of the letters.
But, once another class fills their board they get to steal the clock and the original class has to erase their board and start over with another round of perfect attendance.
The school also implemented a monthly attendance board that can be seen as the students head to the buses. Each month, all of the students with no absences or tardies gets his or her picture taken and posted on the bulletin board.
At the end of each trimester, the school holds an attendance assembly. Students with perfect attendance for the trimester get recognized with a certificate during the assembly.
At the end of the year students with three or fewer absences will be recognized at the end-of-the-year assembly.
Prior to the program, teachers at LES were having difficulty educating their students due to poor attendance and late arrivals. For the month of November the school had 40 percent of their students arrive on time each day.
“I think it’s becoming more of the normal thing, a lot of schools have started an attendance thing to get their kids there on time,” Harvey said.