Simon MS Wins Attendance Challenge – 1st in Central Texas, 14th in U.S.
Campus will host a celebration pep rally Monday and accept a $5,000 prize
(Kyle, TX) Hays CISD, in partnership with the E3 Alliance and Get Schooled, are proud to announce Simon Middle School as the Central Texas Region Middle School winner of the Graduate for Más Fall Attendance Challenge. Nationwide, Simon placed 14th out of all participating middle and high schools. The Challenge was a friendly ten week competition to rally students to improve attendance and stay focused on education. More than 135,000 students participated nationally in the 2013 Fall Attendance Challenge.
Get Schooled, in partnership with the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, sponsored the Challenge in districts throughout the country from October 7 to December 13, 2013. Partnering with local school districts and backbone organizations such as E3 Alliance, the Challenge provided students with incentives and fun, educational activities that engaged students while providing college planning information and promoting a peer culture that supports attendance improvement and academic success.
High absenteeism has been a challenge in Central Texas. Each year, Central Texas students are absent 2.4 million days of school and miss more days of school than their peers across the state in every grade. Each day our students miss costs our schools about $38 in lost state revenue. Across Central Texas, our schools have been losing more than $91 million a year! That’s why E3 Alliance spearheaded a regional campaign to improve attendance starting in 2011. Since the start of the campaign, Central Texas schools have saved more than $12M in increased revenue due to improved attendance.
“We’re excited to win this Challenge,” said Simon Middle School Principal Matt Pope. “We worked hard last semester and emphasized the importance of learning good attendance habits. Credit belongs to our parents, our students, and our staff for working as a team to win the Challenge. The lasting effect is that our students, who have learned to appreciate the significance of excellence attendance, are on their way to lifelong success.”
To encourage students to come to school every day during the Challenge, Simon used a variety of mini in-school challenges between grade levels and offered incentives, games, and activities to rally students around attendance improvement.
Simon Middle School will be celebrating their accomplishment with a school-wide “Champion Rally” on Monday, January 6th at 8 a.m. with performances from their students, cheerleaders, high school dance team and the world premiere of the champion motivational music video for their students.
E3 Alliance (Education Equals Economics), is a regional, data-driven, education collaborative based in Austin, Texas. E3 Alliance is leading the effort to build the strongest educational pipeline in the country to drive economic prosperity for Central Texas. E3 Alliance does this by using objective data and focused community collaboration to align the education systems so that all students can succeed. Together with the Central Texas community, E3 Alliance has created The Blueprint for Educational Change, the strategic plan for Central Texas to build the strongest educational pipeline in the country.
Get Schooled is a non-profit organization dedicated to using media, technology, and popular culture to improve high school graduation rates and college success rates. Get Schooled connects with young Americans through its combination of on-air programming, online content, on-the ground events and school-based initiatives. Together with hundreds of schools, educators, and students, and boosted by partners like Viacom and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Get Schooled motivates and empowers students to make high school education a priority and college education a possibility. To learn more, go to www.getschooled.com or follow Get Schooled at www.facebook.com/getschooledfoundation, or www.twitter.com/getschooled.