Editor’s Note: Mrs. Rene Banard is the attendance coordinator at Nocatee Elementary School in the School District of DeSoto County.
What if we celebrate the success of children when they attend school regularly? That’s just what Mrs. Rene Banard does as the attendance coordinator at Nocatee Elementary School. The vision shared by students, families, and educators at Nocatee Elementary is that all students will be confident learners and respected leaders.
Through her experience in various school administrative positions, Rene understands the impact of chronic absenteeism. She knows students are more likely to succeed in academics when they attend school every day, and if a large number of students are frequently absent, it’s difficult to get ahead.
As the Attendance Coordinator, Rene loves expressing her creativity in positive ways that encourage kids to attend school. This year, Rene turned Attendance Awareness Month into a program that lasts the entire year!
Rene thinks of ways she can incentivize the students for attending school rather than punishing them for missing school and has captured their attention with her unique approach to celebrating their successes:
- Children are rewarded for attending school the day before and the day after a break.
- During FSA testing, the grade-levels compete for the highest attendance rate. The winning grade-level gets a party.
- All children participate in the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s Attendance Awareness Poster Contest, fully funded by The Patterson Foundation. This year, Nocatee Elementary has four regional winners in this contest!
- Rene gives each month a theme. The students with the best attendance for the month get to attend a themed lunch party — on the stage in the lunchroom! — complete with costumes and food.
This is the first year the students at Nocatee Elementary have participated in the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s (SCGLR) Attendance Awareness Poster Contest. This annual contest promotes good attendance habits and helps students and families understand why going to school every day counts!
This year, students from Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties designed 49,911 posters. That’s 49,911 students thinking about the importance of attending #SchoolEveryDay!
SCGLR is looking forward to celebrating the grade-level winners and their families at the upcoming spring training baseball games. Winners and their guests will attend a Baltimore Orioles game on February 23, a Tampa Bay Rays game on March 2 or a Pittsburgh Pirates game on March 9. Each ticket holder will also receive a complimentary drink and snack ticket.
Learn more by visiting www.gradelevelreadingsuncoast.net/