New incentives aim to curb rising school absences - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New incentives aim to curb rising school absences

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

School administrators are adding incentives to teachers with the goal of keeping more students in class throughout the year.

"We try not to reinvent the wheel of what we're doing here but we really want our kids to enjoy being here and learn while they are here," said Heather Powell, who is an English teacher at Worth County High School.

"I teach English and this year I have 9th grade 10th grade and 12th grade," Powell said.

She's also the mother of a middle school daughter who's always on time.

"Of course she doesn't have a whole lot of choice because whenever I come to work she comes to school," said Powell.

She says the incentives for teachers such as gift cards and time off are helpful.

"We all you know, when were asked, we go chip in and we cover a class but now this year we get a ticket with that and now we can have some time." 

She says benefits such as Popsicles and gift cards for students are also helping.

"I feel like we've got a rejuvenation at Worth County High School the students are realizing so many good benefits to be in class now."

Something that Principal Scott Chaffin says will continue at his school. 

"We need to advocate for them and we need to put things out there that they're doing and recognize the successes that they're having to make our school successful," Chaffin said.

One new policy in Dougherty County Schools that seems to be working is the allowance of only five unexcused absences per year.

Daily attendance during the first week of the 2015 school year was 200 to 400 students higher than last year.

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