Principals Share Strategies to Increase Attendance

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From friendly campus competitions to going door to door in their communities, HISD schools are getting creative in ways to increase student attendance. September is Attendance Awareness Month, and HISD is joining school districts around the nation to deliver the message that attendance matters for success in school and in life, and that too many absences can easily add up to academic trouble.

At the monthly HISD principals’ meeting on September 4, school leaders shared what they are doing to reward students who come to school every day, and how they are reaching out to those who are having attendance issues.

At Windsor Village ES, Principal Diana Gibson-Johnson and her staff honor students with perfect attendance for nine weeks with a special ice-cream social during lunch, plus they earn a chance to win a laptop at the end of year. Herrera ES also offers incentives and even a weekly block party for grade levels with 100 percent attendance.

Shadowbriar ES Principal Stephanie Davis is hoping to improve attendance at her school through a new incentive program that puts student names on an “Attendance Board” for all to see. Over at Milby HS, Principal Roy de La Garza and his staff will be using this weekend’s Grads Within Reach Walk to speak to students who were chronically absent last year, which means they missed 10 percent or 17 days of school or more.

Let us know what your school is doing to raise awareness about the importance of attendance. Send an email and photo to, and tweet about it with the hash tag #schooleveryday.