Administrators at Patrick Henry Middle School have taken a page from a best-selling series of children’s books to boost their student attendance rates.
Last year, the leadership team introduced the concept of “houses” on campus, such as those described at the fictional wizardry school in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels. In honor of the school’s namesake and his role in the American Revolution, Henry’s student groups are called “colonies” instead of “houses,” and each one competes to accumulate points throughout the year.
“It was something that we wanted to try, just to build up the culture and school spirit,” said Assistant Principal Vernitra Ussin. “It definitely gave the kids a sense of ownership, getting to name the colony (using a mascot whose name begins with P, A, or T) and getting to pick the colony’s colors.”
This year, colonies can also win points by having the fewest absences per day, and the one with the best record at the end of each month will get a “sweet treat” party and the option of wearing jeans and a college/club shirt the next full week of class.
“The kids love it, because it’s immediate,” said Ussin. “It’s a friendly competition, and we all wait for that end-of-the-day announcement. I’m the leader of the ‘A’ colony, and when I hear our name, I’m overjoyed, too.”
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Awesome….keep up the awesome work….