Winston-Dillard School District students celebrate 'Strive for 5' success

Douglas High School (File / SBG photo)

WINSTON, Ore. -- Winston-Dillard School District students are reaping the rewards of great school attendance in a series of celebrations that include a Nov. 20 movie outing and a Nov. 21 bowling session.

These special occasions and others are all part of the first quarter rollout of the school district’s Strive For 5 Days or Less Absent campaign. The program is funded by local grants and donations and has already boosted districtwide attendance, according to Rob Boyé, WDSD director of instructional services.

“Our district has always made attendance a priority, but we thought we could achieve better results by adopting a model of the nationwide program that works in part on incentives,” Boyé said. “We have allowed each school to decide how it wants to celebrate. These November rewards are aimed at encouraging students and families to keep up their efforts to make attendance a priority.”

The campaign’s goal is to reduce absences for each child to five or fewer during the school year. The program is based on a challenge that started in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and reportedly brought down chronic absence rates there by 25 percent over three years.

WDSD administrators are hoping the program, which is funded through the 2017-18 school year, may prove effective enough to carry it forward in successive years. Community partners are donating funds for the November rewards celebrations.

Lookingglass Elementary opted for a Nov. 9 school party, Winston Middle School chose a Nov. 16 rewards assembly and McGovern Elementary decided on a Nov. 16 skating party. Other schools will take their celebrations on the road, with Brockway Elementary children going to a Nov. 20 movie screening at Roseburg Cinema 7, and Douglas High teens plan to chase strikes and spares at TenDown Bowling & Entertainment on Tuesday, Nov. 21.

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