The principal of Maddox Intermediate School is reporting an increase in student attendance, in part thanks to a new incentive program. Principal Marc Sargent presented the school's continuous …
The principal of Maddox Intermediate School is reporting an increase in student attendance, in part thanks to a new incentive program.
Principal Marc Sargent presented the school's continuous improvement plan to the Jasper City Board of Education in December, and one of the main goals for the 2018-19 school year has been to increase attendance.
So far, Maddox is meeting that goal.
According to data from the 2017-18 school year, there were a total of 4,921 absences. Early data from the first nine weeks of this school year suggests that number is already down by 500 absences.
Sargent said the implementation of a board displayed at the school with hashtag #everydaycounts has encouraged some competition to come to school. The stats of absences in each grade is displayed on the board, and the grade level with the least amount of absences will get 1,000 points toward the school's money drop.
"They love competition, and it has helped somewhat," Sargent said. "The kids are into it. Fourth grade is winning right now."
Sargent said parent conferences have also proven beneficial in explaining the importance of attendance and how absences can now negatively impact the district's state report card.
An assembly is also being held every nine weeks to recognize students with perfect attendance.
The goal is to have absences decreased by at least 10 percent by the conclusion of the academic year, Sargent said.
Maddox is on track to meeting other goals for the school year as well.
Sargent said the school has a focus on learning capacity and hopes to have at least 85 percent of students show growth by the end of the school year. Last year's goal of 80 percent was more than realized.
Sargent said 95 percent of students showed growth in mathematics skills last year, while 82 percent showed reading improvements; however, he said recent Scantron testing data shows the school's English language learner population needs to show improvements in retention.
"We've got the data. Now we need to drill down a little bit more [on all students]," he said.
Students learning English as a second language, particularly, will receive intervention strategies to help increase their depth of knowledge and improve test scores.
Lastly, Sargent said the school wanted more parents and students involved, and he was happy to report a growing culture of participation.
"Our parent involvement is the most I've ever seen Maddox have. I really am pleased with that," he said.
More parents have reportedly been a part of classroom activities, events and other happenings at Maddox.
"We were trying to change the face of Maddox Middle School, and I feel like we're getting there," Sargent said. "I feel like it's going in the right direction."
Sargent invited everyone to follow Maddox Intermediate School on Facebook and Twitter to learn of all of the daily happenings at the school.