A Cure For Absences: New Incentives Are Made to Encourage Student Attendance


Sydney Braxton

No Essence of Student Presence: NAHS attendance rates at all-time low

As teachers call roll at the beginning of each class period, students may notice many empty seats and silence rejecting the word “here,” indicating a student’s absence. Over the past school year, absences have been at an all-time high, with fewerstudents attending class all day. However, administrators aim to tackle this issue with incentives that reward students simply for showing up to class. Every month a raffle will take place for students who have unblemished attendance records. Raffle prizes include gift cards to places such as Starbucks, Moe’s, and more. While this system sounds effective in theory, is it guaranteed to work? 

Finding the motivation to attend school is something that some students need help with. Administrators hope this new incentive program will push students to stay at school for the entire eight hours. All that’s required to gain admission into the raffle is to simply attend school. Yet, some teachers worry it may appeal to only some students and thus might lack effectiveness. “The idea is great, but I don’t think it motivates every student to come to class more often, and there can still be a significant amount of students missing,” said science teacher Samantha Whitehead. “However, I think if it’s announced and pushed more to students, it could work.”. 

The group of students most guilty of wrestling with spotty attendance records is seniors. The so-called “senioritis” has certainly “sickened” numerous twelfth-graders this year, causing attendance rates to plummet further. Senior Liv Peters feels that incentives for school attendance are a great trade and may be a great way to encourage better attendance rates. “I think that some sort of prizes or gifts just for showing to school would motivate me because who doesn’t like gifts,” said Peters. “So, if the school can become more frequent with them, it may be an excellent idea.” 

It’s clear that this new idea of incentives has the potential to increase North Atlanta’s attendance rates. If the idea of learning, reading, and writing isn’t enough to get students off their couches and into their desks, maybe gift cards will be.