Students at Southmoreland High School can expect some important changes coming to the school’s attendance policy. Any student with consistent daily attendance is now eligible for a monthly reward as part of a push for better schoolwide attendance. Students who maintain perfect attendance all year will be eligible for a grander prize, possibly an iPad or laptop computer.
The goal of the prize initiative is to “get people excited” about attendance.
“We want to increase daily attendance from 91.26 percent last year to 93 percent in the current school year,” vice principal Mrs. Tawnia St. Amant said. “Attendance has been ‘on par’ for a few years now, including last year, but “there is always room for improvement.”
Administration is also cracking down on students who are tardy to school or late to class, especially of those students who drive themselves to school. Those who receive too many tardies to school will lose their parking pass and will not be permitted to drive to school any longer. Thereafter, if a student has no tardies to school, is late to no classes, and has no more than three absences, they will receive a refund on their parking pass.
Southmoreland students are also eligible for the newly named “Red and Black Award,” previously known as the “Student of the Month Award.” Mrs. St. Amant said underclassmen who do something positive around the school or community will be nominated to win prizes monthly.
“Hopefully these incentives will help to reach attendance goals and increase positivity throughout the school,” Mrs. St. Amant said.
“It’s definitely a good incentive for keeping kids in school and keeping them learning,” said junior Maria Schultheis, 16. “I commend our school.”
Schultheis has maintained outstanding attendance through high school, missing only one day since beginning her freshman year. She had perfect attendance during the 2015-2016 school year.
“It’s easier to maintain perfect attendance because then you don’t get behind on schoolwork.” Schultheis said.
Junior Austin Keyser, 16, has also had perfect attendance in the 2015-2016 school year.
“Why wouldn’t I come? It’s easy.” Keyser said. In regard to the new attendance award, “It’s a great idea, it might push some kids to come.” Keyser said.
Monthly prizes throughout the school year include $25 gift cards from various local businesses and other retailers. These include JJ’s, Alexander’s, King’s Super Tire, Wise’s, iTunes, American Eagle, and other gift cards. Donations and gift cards from the community are currently being accepted and should be forwarded to Mrs. St. Amant.