Attendance, behavior and course completion are the three key factors the district is focused on in their push to get students to graduation.
In an effort to improve attendance rates, Ferndale High School (FHS) Principal Jeff Gardner has implemented a FHS Attendance Honors program intended to reward students achieving better than 90% attendance. Attendance Honors students can take advantage of specials in the student store and Gardner is investigating offering discounts in other areas specific to high school events and activities.
Students who have achieved Attendance Honors will have a sticker to that effect on their student ID.
Gardner wants to get the business community involved in this program pointing out how programs typically see better results when backed by the community.
Initial attempts to involve the business community were tied to the suggestion for them to refuse service to students during off-campus lunch periods. That proposal was not well-received by local businesses. Gardener has since revised the suggestion for businesses to be involved.
As seen in a letter to local businesses that Gardner provided Discover Ferndale, businesses, specifically restaurants, are being asked to offer discounts to Attendance Honor students when possible.
The Attendance Honors program has only recently launched with teachers passing out stickers last week. Gardner was not aware of any businesses offering specials or discounts yet.
“So far, I’ve met with two students who felt they deserved their Honors sticker,” Gardner said in an email. “What ensued was a great conversation about the importance of being at school and how that connects with their lives during and after high school.”
“Additionally,” Gardner pointed out, “one of our running start seniors (above a 3.0 gpa) heard we were doing this and wanted her Senior Black Honors sticker as well. She doesn’t even come to FHS for classes.” She told Gardner, “I just want the sticker because I’ve earned it.”
Gardner said initial results were already looking promising.