Aki Kurose Middle School Academy in south Seattle has been named the winner of the 2011 Get Schooled Fall Attendance Challenge. The students and staff will be recognized with a star-studded event and significant college scholarships later this winter.
Sponsored by the Get Schooled Foundation, the friendly competition included nearly 80,000 students at 73 schools in 17 states between Oct. 3 and Nov. 18. Leading the pack in the nation, Aki Kurose improved its attendance by a remarkable 3.7 percent. On average, schools see less than a 2 percent annual gain in attendance.
“I’m extremely proud of the students, staff and the Aki Kurose community for winning the Get Schooled Fall Attendance Challenge National Championship,” said Mia Williams, Principal of Aki Kurose Middle School Academy. “Get Schooled has been great for us. We’re using the momentum, school spirit and the increase in student engagement from the challenge to focus on improving academic achievement school-wide.”
Attendance is the greatest predictor of graduation and a significant driver of student achievement. Research shows that just missing ten days a year can lead to academic problems. Roughly half of public school students miss that much school. Students who miss 20 days a year (or about one month) have less than a one in five chance of graduating from high school. Few districts report these chronic truancy numbers despite their correlation to low graduation rates.
In January, Get Schooled will launch another national challenge — this one focused on a key milestone related to students’ likelihood of success in college: completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
Details are at www.getschooled.com