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BOLIVIA—If students aren’t in school, they don’t learn. And if they don’t learn, they often fall behind.
Brunswick County Academy had the lowest attendance of all Brunswick County Schools last year. Students in the 8th Grade Transition Academy missed a combined 1,800 days last year.
BCA Principal Sandra Robinson and Transition Academy Principal Faye Lloyd are determined to decrease the number of absences this year.
The Academy along with the 8th Grade Transition Academy is celebrating student attendance, with an ice cream or candy bar for one week of perfect attendance and a pizza party for those with one month of perfect attendance.
“Some students cannot make it through an entire month, but even for a week, we can recognize them,” Robinson said. “Our goal this year is to promote good attendance.”
The monthly celebration was last Wednesday, and 17 BCA students and 21 students from the Transition Academy had perfect attendance from the beginning of school and were able to attend.
Chelsie St. Pierre, a BCA senior, said having perfect attendance for a month is hard, but the incentives work.
“I think it’s a good way to get us motivated, and we need motivation,” she said.
Robinson said students miss school due to suspensions. Some run away from home and do not attend school. Some “just don’t want to come,” she said.
Lloyd said absences lead to many students falling behind in classroom work, which often causes students to fail and be retained. Some students in the Transition Academy are now in their third year of eighth grade, Lloyd said.
“If they’re not here, we can’t teach them,” she said. “They have the missing skills needed in many subjects because they missed so many days.”
Floyd said the school has begun taping math classes, so absent students can review the day’s lesson and not miss critical skills. Teachers are also willing to review lessons with students and do everything possible to make sure all students receive the basic skills.
“We’re constantly thinking out of the box, trying to find new ways to meet the needs of the students,” Robinson said.
Michael Silva, Transition Academy student, said he missed 38 days of school last year and was receiving Fs in every subject.
“I didn’t really have anybody who really cared about me,” he said.
After being at the Transition Academy for almost two months, his Fs are now straight As and he has had perfect attendance since the beginning of the school year.
“Now I have people who care and believe in me,” he said. “From the first day I knew it was going to different. You could just tell it was going to be a great year.”
Brunswick County Academy
Perfect attendance: Caleb Adams, Kevin Aguilar, Ryan Aughenbaugh, Jimmie Bass, Marissa Beckman, Gerad Christman, Jermaine Frink, Austin Gallagher, Keith Giberson, Tommy Harper, Dillon Howell, Jonathan Reece, Chelse St. Pierre, Kermine Taylor, Xavier Williams, Cody Wilson and Quintin Wilson.
8th Grade Transition Academy
Perfect Attendance: Sarah Bishop, Kimberly Blanks, Joshua Brannon, April Bryant, Obed Flores, Brandi Gore, William Landa, Joshua Lynch, Fernando Ibarra, Trinesha Johnson, Zakiyyah Moses, Elemr Mosley, Megan Powell, Edgardo Serrano-Velez, Dondre Shaw, Michael Silva, Dashaun Smith, Jessica Trott, Haushawn Ward, Quashawn Washington and Bradley Williams.
KATHRYN JACEWICZ is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email@example.com.