The Lauderdale County School District created a plan to reduce school absences titled “Challenge 39” where other schools in the area compete to have perfect attendance.
“Challenge 39 started last year with the committee here in the Lauderdale County School District, administrators and myself; we wanted to look at improving the attendance in our district because we saw that, that was a negative part of our district where our students were just not coming to school like they should; because we want them here you know a hundred and eighty days so that they can learn and be successful.”
Dr. Deshannon Davis adds she hopes that the success will result in the school district as a whole coming close to having perfect attendance.
“Right now we’re sitting as a district as a 96% attendance rate, you know some of our schools are 97, 98% some have struggled because of sickness that’s going around, so there around 94% or 93% but right now our district is averaging 96% we will really like to get that up to around 97% or 98%, so that’s our goal for this year.”
Northeast Middle School principal Deborah Porter says they are one of the schools that are standing out in "Challenge 39" and are showing off with school spirit.
“We have put forth trash talk videos, and we have called out all the different county schools as a challenge to say that we are going to try to win the trophy that is awarded for the school that has the best ADA for the 39 days.”
Dr. Davis also says there is something set up in place for students those students that may miss school for whatever reason.
“We have some very gifted and talented teachers in the school district, and they go above, and beyond if we have students that absent, we even have some teachers that video their lessons, and they can email that, or they can get on a program called Zoom and the students can login and actually watch the teacher teaching that lesson even though they are at home, and so they can keep up with their studies that way so we’ve become very creative with our students that are at home and we want to make sure that they are successful.”