SOCSD rolls out attendance campaign

By: 
SDN Staff
Staff Writer

The Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District will work to emphasis attendance during the coming months with a new campaign branded at “Show Up for Excellence.”

The campaign will focus on the months of October and November and is geared toward reinforcing the school district's new vision brought by Superintendent Eddie Peasant.

“Our potential demands that we expect nothing less than excellence of ourselves and our students, and that starts with showing up every day,” Peasant said in a press release.   

The goal of the campaign is to improve average daily attendance (ADA), which significantly impacts the level of state funding. 

The school district says the state uses attendance data from the months of October and November to calculate ADA for the year. 

As it stands, SOCSD claims the school district is losing about $840,000 annually because of students who are not at school, with the district saying the only way to increase its funding allocation is to increase ADA. 

The school district says a one percent increase in ADA from 95 to 96 percent would result in an increase of about $200,000 for the District at the current funding level.

SOCSD officials are also encouraging parents to follow the 63 percent rule to help increase ADA and funding.

Peasant said for a student to be counted present, they must be in school for at least 63 percent of the instructional day.

“Our goal is to make our parents aware of what those time requirements are as they make decisions about when to schedule necessary appointments and when to check their students out of school,” he said.

As part of the campaign, elementary students at West, Sudduth and Henderson Ward Stewart must arrive no later than 10:10 a.m., and they must remain at school until the end of the day to be counted present. 

Elementary students who arrive for the start of the school day at 7:30 a.m. must remain at school until 12:05 p.m. to be counted present. 

As for students at Overstreet Elementary School, they must arrive no later than 10:15 a.m., and must remain at school until the end of the day to be counted present. 

SOCSD says Overstreet students who arrive for the start of the school day at 7:35 a.m. must remain at school until 12:10 a.m. to be counted present. 

Armstrong Middle School students must arrive no later than 11 a.m., and must remain at school until the end of the day to be counted present.  AMS students who arrive for the start of the school day at 8:20 a.m. must remain at school until 1 p.m. to be counted present. 

Starkville High School students must arrive at school no later than 11:20 a.m., and must remain at school until the end of the day to be counted present.  SHS students who arrive for the start of the school day at 8:40 a.m. must remain at school until 1:20 p.m. to be counted present. 

Students can also check out and later return to school for approximately 2.5 hours during the middle of the day and still be counted present. 

The campaign includes incentives to students who show up every day and the school with the highest attendance at the end of October will win a school-wide pep rally to celebrate. 

The students with perfect attendance will also have priority seating for the celebration.  Special celebrity guests will also show up at schools during the months of October and November to encourage and motivate students.

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