Jennifer Castellano 

Special to the Times

Chronic absenteeism is a nation-wide issue that has been a struggle for students K-12.  When Principal Cammie Briggs and Attendance Dean Kaelyn Porter went to a conference at the beginning of this year to combat this problem, they came up with a plan: join in with our community members to encourage our students to be on time, every time.

“We want our students to be in school to learn because we care about them,” Porter said.  The “Earn to Learn” plan included: celebration lunches with the principal and administration for all students who had perfect attendance bell to bell for the month, working with our PTO to reward daily attendance for the class, and joining together with community sponsors.  Our sponsors would reward the exceptional–students who were never late, never absent, and never left school early.  Porter explained,   “Attending school all year is hard work in this remote area.  We wanted to give our students who accomplish the ‘college and career ready’ skill of coming to school every day, on time, and every time a payday of sorts.  Businesses were great about supporting our kids.”

Each student who achieved bell-to-bell, perfect attendance for the year received a new helmet and bike on May 30th in front of the entire student body.

“I am so proud of our community coming together and encouraging our children and families,this wonderful gift of the bikes couldn’t be made possible without the gracious help from several local businesses, agencies and organizations.”” Porter said.