Pacific school attendance initiative shows huge gains for 2018
Powercat is on hand to congratulate students at Monroe Elementary School who achieved perfect attendence during the "Every Day Counts Attendance Challenge."
University of the Pacific's Beyond Our Gates community engagement outreach once again challenged San Joaquin County students to achieve perfect attendance through the annual "Every Day Counts Attendance Challenge."
And did they ever respond.
Now in its fourth year, Every Day Counts saw a huge increase in both the number of schools registered and the count of Pre-K through eighth-grade students achieving perfect attendance during the month of September. The 122 registered schools boasted 35,163 students with perfect attendance for the month. These results soared past the previous year, in which 82 registered schools reported a total of 22,130 students with perfect attendance.
The challenge is held each year during the month of September, which is National Attendance Awareness Month, to stress the importance of being in school every day. Lisa Douglass, community engagement manager at Pacific, spearheaded the attendance challenge, with support from Janae Reinhardt, External Relations administrative assistant, and student worker, senior Paige Walker '19.
"This year's Every Day Counts Attendance Challenge showed the level of commitment students have to attend school," Douglass said. "As there is a direct connection between chronic absenteeism and achieving grade-level reading by the third grade, we are so pleased with the increased level of participation from our San Joaquin County elementary schools and students." Research shows that the ability to read proficiently by the end of third grade is a powerful predictor of future academic success.
Many schools are holding assemblies to celebrate the attendance success. Douglass and Pacific mascot Powercat took part in a festive celebration Friday, Oct. 5, at Monroe School in South Stockton, where 263 of 500 students had perfect September attendance. All students with perfect attendance receive a Pacific Tigers bookmark and a voucher for two tickets to a Stockton Heat hockey game and are entered in a drawing for a Kindle Fire (one electronic reader is presented to each registered school).
The Stockton Heat and Wells Fargo Bank are co-sponsors for the challenge.
Here are a few highlights of this year's accomplishments:
- Martin Luther King Elementary School in Stockton Unified School District (SUSD) had 773 of its 1,010 students with perfect attendance.
- Nightingale Elementary School in SUSD saw an increase of 100 students (270 to 370) from last year. The school has 500 students.
- Lodi Unified School District doubled the number of registered schools from 13 to 26 over 2017.
- All 11 elementary and middle schools in Lincoln Unified School District took part in the challenge.
About Beyond Our Gates: In 2010, Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck held a series of public forums to discuss the major issues within the community and to figure out helpful solutions. These forums provided several promising solutions and led to the forming of the Beyond Our Gates initiative. The university and community partners are working to improve education and provide a better quality of life.