My students need 110 portfolio folders, different colored paper, and a hole punch.
The success that students experience in their first year of high school greatly impacts the future of their high school career. Students that have low attendance rates as freshmen have a greater possibility of dropping out of high school. I am a Freshmen English teacher at a high-need high school with a low attendance rate. I feel very fortunate to work with freshmen so that I can inspire them to reach higher levels of education. Recently, I was appointed the Freshmen Lead Teacher in which I am in charge of addressing critical issues of the freshmen class.
Improving freshmen attendance rates is the biggest obstacle that my Freshmen Team faces. It is extremely difficult to have students attend school on a daily basis. Previously, teachers have tried contacting parents via phone calls home or parent teacher conferences. However, since our students are from low-income families, many times phones get disconnected, parents work during the day, or students do not have a primary parent that looks after them and the problem goes unresolved. This is a major concern because students do not learn if they are not in class, their grades drop, and they are discouraged to stay in school.
I created a new attendance plan that offers students weekly incentives as they monitor their weekly attendance. Students will chart their own attendance and write a reflection once a week in an attendance portfolio. This will make students aware of their attendance and encourage them to improve it. Also, students have the opportunity to receive colored coupons for each class that they attended all week. Students can cash in the coupons for classroom incentives to help motivate them to come to class. Since I work at a low-income school, I do not have the funds to purchase a folder for students to use as their attendance portfolio. Students will hole punch their reflections into their portfolios that they can review and reflect upon. Freshmen teachers also need colored paper to make classroom coupons for the students to cash in to prompt them to attend classes on a regular basis.
With your help, we can empower students to take responsibility for their attendance and hopefully inspire more freshmen to attend all of their classes. It is crucial that freshmen are attending school so that they can experience success throughout their high school career.
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