COVID-19 has shifted the landscape for attendance, and due to the pandemic, the Attendance Awareness Poster Contest is currently on hold.
“Although schools have launched a new academic year, almost everyone is still coping with stress and/or trauma. Responding to absences with positive problem-solving rather than blame or punishment is more urgent than ever before. What improves attendance is partnering with students and families to identify and address the root causes that lead students to miss school in the first place, whether absences are connected to a lack of digital resources, negative experiences in school or a lack of engagement.” — Attendance Works
Read Attendance Works recent blog to learn more about why a positive problem-solving approach is essential to improving outcomes and reducing educational inequities.
Before the pandemic, to honor Attendance Awareness Month in September, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading hosted an annual Attendance Awareness Poster Contest to promote good attendance habits and help students and parents understand why going to school every day matters.
Since the inaugural Attendance Awareness Poster Contest in 2015, nearly 200,000 posters have been created by students from Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties about the importance of outstanding attendance.
When the pandemic ends and students re-engage in the poster contest, there are many ways schools can support them:
During the next contest, posters will be judged according to the following criteria:
We know that there’s no such thing as perfect, especially when it comes to attendance. After all, children do get sick or may need to miss school for a number of reasons. We know missing more than 10% puts children in academic danger. We don’t want our children missing 20 days, so what’s a realistic number? Consider striving for less than five absences per year as hitting the mark of excellence!
— In the 2018-2019 school year, a total of 82 elementary schools in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties created posters with the message “Every Day Counts.”
— 49,911 students participated.
— 480 school-level winners received four tickets to Major League Baseball Spring Training games as a gift from SCGLR with support from The Patterson Foundation. Each ticket holder also received a complimentary drink and snack ticket because a baseball game isn’t the same without the ‘Cracker Jacks!’
— On December 1, 2018, Attendance Awareness Poster Contest winners were invited to participate in the Sarasota Holiday Parade with their families. Four hundred eighty people joined, and SCGLR’s float won for the best walking unit!