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The Joy of School

Showing up every day

The kids went back to school in August. I looked forward to the blessed event beginning in early June, a couple of weeks after school let out for the summer. Finally, I am back on schedule and, with one kid in junior high and one kid in high school, I can just imagine the fun they are going to have and all the wonderful things they are going to learn.

I am really excited this year as I am fully expecting they both will have perfect attendance thanks to School Business Partnerships (SBP) with the Anchorage School District. When high school kids registered in August there was a brand spanking new Jeep Patriot parked in front of each school to build excitement for a new SBP program—aptly called Drive and Fly for Perfect Attendance and sponsored primarily by Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge of South Anchorage and GCI, two of the more than six hundred SBP partners that help Anchorage schools.

Automatic Entry—Attend Every Day

High school juniors and seniors are automatically entered to win a 2013 Jeep Patriot or two round trip airline tickets (one Jeep winner, four winners of two round trip tickets each) if they attend school every day. Grades nine through twelve are also automatically entered to win one round trip airline ticket that will be awarded at the end of each of the first three quarters—if students have perfect attendance.

A third level of prizes will be awarded next May to every qualifying high school student with 95 percent attendance for the full school year, and those prizes are compliments of SBP partners Lithia, GCI, Alaska Aces, and Pizza Hut.

Elementary School Incentives

SBP partner Alaska IBEW Local 1547 is sponsoring trips to Disneyland and an Apple computer for students attending elementary schools in Anchorage if they have no unexcused absences for the full school year. This is all part of the Anchorage School District’s goal of having 90 percent perfect attendance by 2020.

Rates and Goals

Last year, attendance by high school seniors was actually up 2.4 percent over the year before though still dismal at 57.8 percent. Sixth graders had the best attendance rate at 82.8 percent. There was quite a range overall and attendance rates drop sharply after sixth grade. Learn more at asdk12.org/parents/attendance and get the complete contest terms and conditions.

Show Up Every Day

Throughout life attendance is important. As we teach our children how to be good people, one thing that is so important is to show up every day. Drive and Fly for Perfect Attendance is a great incentive to get kids into that habit. Showing up every day is a transferable skill that will lead to success in the journey from the school house to the business world.

Speaking of showing up, the team at Alaska Business Monthly sure did! We’ve put together another really great magazine. Enjoy!

—Susan Harrington, Managing Editor  

This first appeared in the September 2013 print edition of Alaska Business Monthly magazine.

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