Del Rio / Staff report

DEL RIO – Every day, like clockwork, students and staff at each elementary, middle and high school campus anxiously await the results of the daily attendance report. District-wide, campus principals also eagerly wait to see if their efforts to promote attendance will pay off. 

Started the attendance campaign last school year which resulted in better attendance in all District campuses. In fact, the District average attendance improved from 94.95% to 95.46 %. This percentage equals to 55 more students attending classes and gaining instructional time each day compared to the previous school year. In the 2016-17 school year, District leadership looked closely at the issues surrounding attendance and formed a new plan to promote student attendance community-wide and address chronic absenteeism. SFDRCISD launched the Matinee with the Superintendent, which provided an incentive for all elementary-aged children who had perfect attendance for the six-week reporting period to view a movie with the Superintendent in the auditorium at the Student Performance Center and Administration Building. The District expanded this incentive to include 6th grade students, and later added other motivators, which included recognizing and awarding campuses with the highest overall attendance on a Zero Absence Day and at the end of the 6 weeks academic period. Elementary and secondary campuses who demonstrated the highest attendance were either treated with a burger BBQ or a pizza party; and have bragging rights to the District Attendance Trophy for an entire six weeks – that is, unless they remain the campus with the highest attendance for the following six weeks.   

As the District’s attendance figures began to rise, administrators soon took notice of individual teachers who had an entire class with perfect attendance for 20 then up to 30 consecutive days! Teachers, like Mrs. Jonna DeWitt from Dr. Lonnie Green Elementary, empowered her students to attend school every day. Last year, by October 17th, her class reached 42 consecutive days of perfect attendance! She is one example of how teachers became models for other fellow educators and were recognized and rewarded with a gift basket full of goodies for their part in this important cause. This year, three SFDRCISD teachers are in the running having the most consecutive days of perfect attendance. Thus far, Mrs. Sunderland’s 5th grade class at North Heights Elementary, Mrs. Soliz’s first grade class and Miss Gomez’s second grade class at Buena Vista Elementary each have nearly 30 consecutive days of perfect attendance. Awesome!

This year, San Felipe Del Rio CISD continues the energized effort to motivate students towards success through attendance. With this in mind, this year’s attendance campaign slogan is titled “Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow!” It promotes the idea that every student can reach their goal of graduating high school, which in turn, leads to achieving their dreams of attending college and/or career if they attend school today and every day. 

SFDRCISD would like to congratulate Ruben Chavira Elementary for having achieved the District Award for having the best overall attendance during the Zero Absence Day on October 10th. The District also congratulates Dr. Lonnie Green Elementary for having achieved the highest overall student attendance for the 1st 6 Weeks for elementary schools; and Early College High School for having achieved the highest overall student attendance for secondary schools; and applauds SFDRCISD’s Blended Academy for closing the gap on overall student attendance for the 1st 6 Weeks.  Congratulations to all campuses! This month these campuses will be treated to pizza courtesy of Mr. Gatti’s. 

SFDRCISD invites our parents and the Del Rio community in encouraging our SFDRCISD students to attend school every day, meet their daily attendance goals, and achieve their goal of graduating high school. The next Zero Absence Day is scheduled for Monday, November 20th.