by S. Purdom
Photo 1: MES students in Kara Brown’s kindergarten class wear hats in support of Sept. 18 state-wide attendance Day
Photo 2: MMS Supports High Attendance Day (front row left to right) Perry Owens, Apirada Chetawatee, LaChandria Barnette and Tim Dinh, (second row left to right) Master Dinh, Hasting Hale, Morgan Jennings, Ms. Butler, Christian Dinh, and Dawn Therrell. (back row left to right) Grant Jones, Lydia Grogan, and Allyson Carson
Photo 3: MHS Supports High Attendance Day (from left) Kathryn James, freshman, Jacob Mayes, senior, Rebecca Pauluso, sophomore, and Jacob Oakley, junior.
Murray, Ky., Sept. 9 ------- This year’s ninth annual state-wide High Attendance Day, Wednesday, Sept. 18, has been slated with an array of incentives and activities through-out the Murray Independent School District. Just last year, the MISD claimed fifth in the state for their attendance.
Plans are being made at Murray Elementary, Murray Middle and Murray High school in support of the ninth annual High Attendance Day sponsored by The Kentucky Directors of Pupil Personnel. Each MISD respective school will offer competition and incentives to reward students for their attendance.
Named a regional winner in 2009, Murray Middle School was also named the 2012 state and regional high attendance recipient. Teresa Butler, MMS attendance clerk, said the stellar test scores achieved by MMS students is complimented by their state-wide high attendance. Butler said MMS promotes attendance each and every day, while preparing students for the real world when entering college, military, technical school or the work force. “Students cannot gain academic knowledge if they are not in attendance; it is so important for students to be at school every day. Students can pick up homework that they missed, but they cannot replace the amount of learning inside the classroom.”
MMS hopes to capture a regional title again for attendance. Plans are in place to promote this year’s MMS “ Get Fit for Perfect Attendance,” theme. An array of prizes will be given out to students to help students get fit. Prizes will also be given to homerooms for perfect attendance. “Primary Care is donating Water Bottles so that the students can stay hydrated and can keep their brains hydrated; for not only physical fitness but brain fitness. Healthy snacks will also be provided to our students.”
A huge pep rally will be held inside the MMS gym at the conclusion of the day. Dawn Therrell, a personal trainer, and Master Dinh, of Quest Fitness, will illustrate exercises and healthy tips for ‘Perfect Attendance.’
Murray Elementary School will sponsor HAT Day – High Attendance Tiger Day. All students who are in attendance will begin their day with a positive clip up as soon as they enter the MES doors. (The clip up system is new MES behavior system utilizing wooden clothes pins that are used to reward students’ positive behavior throughout the day). All classes with 100 percent attendance will also be recognized with a reward. “Attendance is extremely important each and every day, and every minute,” Denise Whitaker, MES principal said. “We are glad our state assists in motivating our students to have perfect attendance.”
Jane Ann Turner, Murray High School The Den Youth Service Center director, said a free cappuccino bar will be set up in the lunch room from 7:30- 8 a.m. to encourage early arrival to school.
Teresa Speed, MHS principal said every day is considered high attendance day. “However, we are excited about rewarding our students for all their efforts to be at school every day,” she said.
Schools throughout Kentucky will compete for the highest average student attendance Wednesday. The categories of competition will include elementary, middle and high schools. Winning schools will be announced at the Kentucky Directors of Pupil Personnel Conference. Awards will be determined statewide based on each individual school's performance, regardless of district.
Murray Independent School District students are urged to honor High Attendance Day Wednesday, Sept. 18. The event is meant to encourage and stress the importance of school attendance. Attendance is directly correlated with the students’ opportunity to succeed, and this event is meant to foster positive attitudes about the importance of school.