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|District 205 Attendance Increase Initiative Approved
|The Galesburg School Board wasn't unanimous on the matter, but members did approve partnering with a company that claims they've increased student attendance at every school they've worked with.
The District-205 Board Wednesday night voted to spend $50,000 with a group called Leadership Matters to develop what has been described as a marketing and incentive campaign that they claim will increase the overall district attendance rate from roughly 92 to 93 percent, which district officials have said could result in more revenue to operate the schools.
But two of the six members in attendance didn't like the plan. One was board member Robert Lindstrom, who says he doesn't think kids not coming to school, or those who show up late or leave early, is a district-wide problem.
"It appears that, looking at this information, the only place we really have an attendance issue is at the high school level," Lindstrom said. "Otherwise we're at 95%, 94%, 93%. I think that's going to be hard to top."
Board member Doctor Carl Strauch agreed, and said at some point it's up to parents to get their kids to school, not the school district, while administrators blamed the Knox County Regional Office of Education for allegedly not being serious enough about addressing the dropout rate.
The group put a plan in place similar in Peoria Schools, where District-205 Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Guy Cahill once worked. Cahill says he didn't like the plan at first either, until he was talked into it.
"All other kinds of plans trotted before the board didn't have a goal or an objective or something measurable. This was the exception," Cahill said. "This had a specific target, numbers assigned to that, and it was measurable. There was a time horizon in which it was going to be measured."
The plan will be implemented over three-years, but Leadership Matters' consultants would only work with the district for the first year to create things like yard signs, brochures that will be sent to parents, and possibly even radio advertising, all taking up half of the $50,000, while the other half will be used on other expenses including incentive money for schools.
|07 22 10 by Newsroom
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