Oakman program encouraging attendance

By NICOLE SMITH
Posted 9/1/18

OAKMAN — Students at Oakman High School are participating in a fun, incentivized program this school year to encourage attendance.Assistant Principal Lethan Waid conceptualized the idea of having …

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Oakman program encouraging attendance

Posted

OAKMAN — Students at Oakman High School are participating in a fun, incentivized program this school year to encourage attendance.

Assistant Principal Lethan Waid conceptualized the idea of having students meet in various classrooms for an excel class between first and second block each day, which is designed as an advisory and counseling period. Students will also take part in test preparation, hear important school announcements and work on character building during the specified time.

Attendance is calculated as part of the excel class, and students are competing against each other to see which classroom can achieve the highest attendance score.  

"What we've done is we take the percentage of students that are there for that class, and they're awarded so many points according to the percentage," Waid said.

Principal Patrick Gann added that test scores later in the year will also be factored into the overall score.

Near the front office, classroom scores are displayed for students to monitor their progress and encourage their peers to come to school in order to increase their points. At the end of every nine weeks, the classroom(s) that have the highest score will earn a small party or a reward trip. 

"We're just trying to create some friendly competition between students, and hopefully encourage them to come to school, which will in turn allow them to learn more," Waid said. "A lot of times, students who are coming to school, they get overlooked when we have to focus on students who are not coming to school. This allows those students who are coming to school to be rewarded."

Gann said attendance scores are typically high, but they are always looking for incentives to encourage students to come to school.  

"Attendance is not what it used to be. It's dropped off a little bit," Gann said. "Our average daily attendance is usually around 93 or 94 percent, but you want it above 95 percent. ... We're trying to look at it not from a discipline aspect. We can get to that if we need to, but we want to have some kind of award for them to come to school."

Waid said he has noticed students are engaged in the concept, and the excel class is also serving to help students improve their academics and character.