Schools Offer Rewards for Good Attendance

2-7-06 - Schools like Denison are using incentives to spur students to perfect attendance records. With rewards like gift cards and bicycles, it’s an option more schools are going to keep students in class and help the bottom line of their budgets.

Attendance clerks are responsible for the roll sheets that ultimately end up at the state Capitol, and the fuller they are the better because in Texas school funding is based largely on average daily attendance.

Denison estimates that they lose about $40 per absence, so they give their students a reason to show up.

Their elementary school campuses hold a raffle for new bicycles. Other schools in the area say they offer perfect students gift cards, pizza parties or test exemptions.

But the cost of those is very small to the cost rung up by absent students.

Henry Scott, Denison Superintendent, says, “If we had every student everyday it would give us an additional $700,000.”

Now in Oklahoma average daily attendance has less weight than average daily membership, but most of the schools are still offering these rewards. They say that having students in class to teach is the true motivation behind them.

The schools say their attendance rate has risen since they began offering incentives.