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Pittman Charter School Students at assembly

Students with perfect attendance during September at Pittman Charter School in Stockton are honored at an assembly.

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Community Engagement

Every Day Counts program emphasizes student attendance

Nov 6, 2017

Almost 22,000 San Joaquin County students had perfect attendance in September as part of the Every Day Counts attendance challenge, sponsored by the Beyond Our Gates community partnership through University of the Pacific.

A total of 82 schools registered for the challenge for students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. From those schools, 21,913 students had perfect attendance during September. When the challenge started four years ago, there were 40 schools registered and 10,000 students with perfect attendance.

"The passion that attendance officers, teachers, administrators, parents and - importantly - students exhibited during the attendance challenge was impressive," said Mike Klocke, Pacific's community relations director, who coordinates Beyond Our Gates initiatives. "Every day truly does count for students, and it was great to see this intense focus throughout the county on attendance."

Each of the students with perfect attendance received an Every Day Counts bookmark. Each school also was presented one Kindle Fire electronic reader to be raffled among the students. In addition, the Stockton Heat hockey team presented each of the students with a voucher good for two tickets for its Nov. 3 and Nov. 4 games.

"Literacy is very important and we were pleased to be part of this initiative," said Brian Petrovek, CEO of the Heat.

The push to improve school attendance is important in San Joaquin County. The 2017 Beyond Our Gates Literacy Report Card, published last month, shows an increase of 9 percentage points in truancy, which is defined as three or more unexcused absences. Students lag in learning reading skills when they are not in the classroom.

The James Irvine Foundation and Wells Fargo helped sponsor the attendance challenge.