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Schools rewarded for excellence in attendance

Posted October 29, 2014

Four TUSD schools added a new flag to their flagpoles this month, a reward for having the best attendance in the district.

Tucson Unified began an Attendance Awareness program in September to coincide with a national campaign to bring attention to the importance of being in school.

"The research shows that there is a direct correlation between student attendance and academic achievement," said Eugene Butler, assistant superintendent for Student Services. "Therefore, this initiative served as a springboard for the rest of the year and will challenge all of the learners in TUSD to come to school every day and work diligently towards becoming the best of the best."

Part of the program includes a competition among elementary, K-8, middle and high schools. The schools with the highest attendance percentage get to fly an attendance flag for a month. The flag will move from school to school as the year-long competition progresses.

Last week, the September first-place winners were presented with their flags. They were:

 • Soleng Tom Elementary School (second place: Borman; third place: Fruchthendler)
 • Miles (K-8) Exploratory Learning Center (second place: Robins; third place: C.E. Rose)
 • Dodge Traditional Magnet Middle School (second place: Magee; third place: Gridley)
 • University High School (second place: Sabino; third place: Sahauro)

For kindergarten classes, the district held a separate competition. Children made paper bag owl puppets for a "Who's Here" activity. Each day the children were at school, they added a feather to their puppets. The class with the highest attendance percentage won a visit from Bubba, an owl from the Tucson Wildlife Center.

The winner was Kirsten Bradley's class at Borman Elementary. The class got to spend about 45 minutes with Bubba learning about owls, and Bubba dropped by the other kindergarten classes at Borman as well.

Butler encourages teachers, administrators and families to promote the importance of daily attendance and its connection to achievement and overall well-being.

"The Tucson Unified School District employs some of the top educators in the state and we thank all of our parents for entrusting us with their most precious resource... their children!"

 Photo of students raising flag
Soleng Tom raises its new flag.
 Photo of students raising flag
UHS students raise their flag.
 Photo of students raising flag
Soleng Tom Elementary School studnets and principal receives their flag from Dr. Eugene Butler.
 Photo of students raising flag
Dr. Butler presents the flag to Miles K-8 Exploratory Learning Center.
 Photo of students raising flag
Dodge Traditional Magnet Middle School earns their flag.
 Photo of students raising flag
Students from University High School receive their flag with enthusiasm.