Attendance All Star Logistics: Data and Donations
Throughout the school year, City Year Detroit has been sponsoring an Attendance Initiative at Cody High School. Once every month, the top 8 Attendance All Stars are invited to attend an Attendance All Stars VIP Lounge during their lunch period. All of the Attendance All Stars (>90% attendance) will be given recognition for their attendance habits.
For the Attendance All Stars Lounge that has been put together by Heather Bishop and Stacy Starr, Co-attendance Coordinators, we were looking for “All Star” students. City Year originally wanted to use ADA (Average Daily Attendance), however the ADA data was inconsistent with what we were observing in our class rooms. As you probably know, ADA is measured and counted from a student attending one class out of the day, explaining the data being inconsistent with our experiences. Considering this we decided to use average class attendance.
The data that we were asking for is much more difficult to calculate and therefore a slightly unconventional measurement. The fact that this measure is more unconventional put a few obstacles in the way of obtaining this data. The main obstacle was that these particular reports are not run often, if ever, by the attendance officers. It took about two weeks for staff to be able to set aside enough time to run the reports for their academies. Stacy Starr says, “I imagine the process will go quicker in the coming months.”
In order to encourage the students to come to school we have been seeking donations from businesses and restaurants in the Detroit area. Buddy’s Pizza, a Detroit Original has donated pizza for every month that we are hosting the lounge. Students who attend the lounge are also able to enjoy sweet treats from the Cheesecake Factory in Novi. All of the Attendance All-Stars will also receive gift bags filled with snacks and candy. These gift bags were made with donations from Target in Allen Park. We have been using the donations we have received to help sponsor the lounge. Through increased attendance student academic performance will rise and we hope this helps incentivize good attendance habits.
-Heather Bishop & Stacy Starr, Attendance Co-Coordinators
Attendance Check In-Check Out
There are so many uncontrollable factors that make it increasingly difficult for students to succeed in school; some, unfortunately, fall victim to the circumstances that surround them. A majority of the time, students need someone to talk to; someone to encourage them and to help them excel to their highest potential. City Year’s research based attendance coaching model, Check In Check Out, allows for corps members to support students in setting weekly goals for their attendance, while trouble shooting potential challenges and problem solving for the future.
Attendance coaching provides opportunities for students to build relationships with corps members while helping students develop key lifelong skills like responsible decision-making, problem solving, goal setting and perseverance. During attendance coaching conversations corps members try to figure out why a student is not attending school. These conversations motivate students to problem solve and set attendance goals. As City Year attendance coaches, we can affirm that perseverance and character awareness is blossoming in our students at Cody High School.
-Heather Bishop, Attendance Co-Coordinator
50 Acts of Leadership: A Behavior Initiative
Chrissy Starzyk and Evette Deidzic are Cody’s behavior coordinators. As behavior coordinators, they oversee the 50 Acts of Leadership program employed by the corps members of City Year.
50 Acts of Leadership is a behavior and socio-emotional skill coaching program. The program includes socio-emotional learning concepts and opportunities for students to positively benefit the people and environment around them. This is important because the most common trait separating students with chronic behavior problems from those who have no issue is their lack of social-emotional skills.
50 Acts of Leadership helps students acquire and integrate pro-social behaviors into their everyday lives, classrooms, and school community. The basic goals of the program include developing leadership and socio-emotional capacities including teamwork, appreciation of inclusivity, communication, and conflict resolution. It also hopes to foster a sense of school connection and community mindedness by providing opportunities for students to serve the school and cultivate youth voice and galvanize their capacity as school leaders.
This program also helps these students flourish academically. Many of the lessons have students reading, writing goals for themselves, brainstorming, and applying their critical thinking skills to everyday issues.
Each corps member meets with a group of students picked for 50 Acts of Leadership once or twice a week. The students are picked using a few pieces of criteria chief among those being that they have had problems with behavior and that they could be developed into leaders among their peers. Most of these students were already influencing their peers in ways that a natural leader does, but corps members use 50 Acts of Leadership to redirect the negative influence towards a more positive one.
The students get lessons made to develop all of the aforementioned skills and are asked to begin doing things to help the people around them. The “Acts of Leadership” are then recorded in a “Leadership Log.”
-Chrissy Starzyk, Behavior Co-Coordinator
-Jennifer Choate, Communication Coordinator
In school we would like to be able to appreciate every student. However, with students being at varying levels of academic achievement, it presents a challenge. So we were looking for a way to be able to appreciate and show love to all of the students. So we had to ask ourselves the question, “How can we make it so that every student can be rewarded regardless of academic ability?” which begged the simple question “what can every student do?” Every student can (and should) come to school! This is a direct answer to the first question we asked. It does not matter if you are below, at, or above your academic grade level to simply show up to school. So we have decided to implement an attendance initiative called Attendance All-Stars, for the Attendance All-Stars. “What is an Attendance All-Star?!”, you might ask yourself. The Attendance All-Stars are just what they sound like! Students that are All-Stars at attending school.
The Attendance All-Star initiative takes care of two jobs for us! It rewards students for regularly coming to school, also it gives students something to work towards as far as their attendance is concerned (a little extra incentive as if the education is not enough). Attendance All-Stars has two levels students can strive to attain. They can either be All-Stars with 90% or above average class attendance over a month, or they can be Almost There with 85%-89% average class attendance. The All-Stars will be recognized on the Attendance All-Star board and will also be placed in a raffle for various prizes (ranging potentially from movie tickets to concert tickets). The second tier, B-Squad, will be recognized on the board.
The end goal of the initiative is to have the students who did not meet the criteria for the previous two groups to want to be included in the festivities and get their attendance in one of the two aforementioned ranges. The idea would be to build a culture of attendance, where such incentives may not be necessary, where high attendance is the norm. Until then, we will be looking to name monthly Attendance All-Stars!
– Stacy Starr, Attendance Co-Coordinator