Friends of Granger
Every Child, Every Seat, Every Day Project
Grant funds for the Friends of Granger project Every Child, Every Seat, Every Day were expended per grant specifications without delays. Expenditures were made quarterly and year-end incentives for Granger Middle School students who achieved perfect attendance in either a specific quarter or during the entire year.
The goal of Every Child, Every Seat, Every Day program was to increase attendance for students at Granger Middle School. The strategies for doing this included: A comprehensive approach that went beyond sanctions and includes incentives for attending school every day. In addition, to incentivizing students we developed regular interventions with students and parents which provides support before the student becomes truant. We created an attendance team composed of attendance clerk, family liaison, nurse, counselor, and truancy coordinator. This team met every week to discuss weekly attendance, identify those students which are nearing truant status, and discuss strategies for course of action. A follow up with parent and student occurred after the first absence to discuss students’ attendance, revisit attendance policy, discuss the importance of regular school attendance, give attendance tip sheet, and discuss reasons for absence. We also discuss any barriers which can be preventing student from attending school every day and attempt to identify additional community resources which can fill those needs and help overcome those barriers. This is the attendance protocol we use in conjunction with the quarterly incentives.
Every Child, Every Seat, Every Day program correlates to improved attendance during each quarter of the 2014/2015 academic school year ranging from 15 percent to 22 percent compared to the less than 1 percent during 2013/2014 academic school year. In addition, we had 26 students achieve perfect attendance compared to 4 students the previous year increasing perfect attendance by 400 percent. We were able to increase parental school involvement through a family financial literacy night in which we served 151 families, 2 college career nights in which we collaborated with the gear up program where we provided attendance tip sheets and Becca Bill ruling information to parents and students. We culminated the year with a school wide celebration with students, teachers, and parents at which time the grand prize of 5 IPads and additional prizes were raffled among those students who earned perfect attendance.
Every Child, Every Seat, Every Day made great strides towards changing the norm of not attending school by educating and supporting students and parents of the importance of regular school attendance and setting a new school wide standard. While the incentive program increased the rate of perfect attendance and had a profound effect, it also created new best practices. During the 2014-15 academic year Granger Middle School provided over 400 bi-lingual tip sheets (See Attached Tip Sheet) to parents and students each quarter reinforcing perfect attendance and practical tips for overcoming obstacles to school attendance. Over 130 parents were directly contacted by school staff and volunteers to educate parents on the importance of their children being in school and providing solutions and support in assuring the importance of their children’s education.
In collaboration with Friends of Granger, Heritage University Enactus Club, Heritage Social Work senior class and Key bank we hosted a financial literacy night for 151 families. Families received informational resources from social service agencies which included Yakima Valley Community College, Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic, AmeriCorps and WIC, and Job Corps. In addition, the Heritage University Senior Social Work Class distributed donated scarves, gloves, and hats to children serving approximately 325 kids.