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    Aki Kurose and Asa Mercer International Middle Schools Attendance Challenge
    Posted on 04/24/2018
    A student and their mom pose for a photo with certificate

    Aki Kurose and Asa Mercer International Middle Schools Attendance Challenge

    Thanks to a partnership with Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) and Seattle Public Schools (SPS), more than 100 SHA students from Aki Kurose and Asa Mercer International middle schools either had perfect or improved attendance during the month of March.

    During the month of March, each school and their community partners held weekly perfect attendance challenges within their school communities, while simultaneously challenging their neighbor middle school. The prize for the school with the best daily average attendance during the month? An ice cream celebration in April and bragging rights for the rest of the school year.

    A corporate sponsor, Lyft, donated and served ice cream for all students at Asa Mercer International Middle School on a recent Friday afternoon. Asa Mercer International Middle School students’ attendance was 93.6 percent in March compared to Aki Kurose Middle School’s 92.6 percent attendance.

    SHA Executive Director Andrew LoftonSHA also honored SHA students with perfect or improved attendance from both schools, as well as their families for supporting them in their achievements, at an ice cream celebration with SPS and Seattle Police Department at the Gathering Hall in the NewHolly neighborhood in Southeast Seattle on April 5.

    Student attendance is important to reaching key academic milestones, graduating from high school and having access to opportunities as adults. Studies show that students who are chronically absent (miss 18 days or more during the school year for any reason) are less likely to graduate from high school. SPS Housing and Education Manager Kathlyn Paananen speaks to the significance of caring adults in a student’s life as having a proven, positive impact on student success, “Best practices to address attendance include having a supportive community that positively reinforces regular school attendance!”

    Paananen conveys appreciation to educators and the community partners who brought the event to fruition, “We are extremely appreciative of the leadership and partnership of Ms. Mia Williams, Mr. Christopher Carter, Ms. Natalie Williams and Ms. Shauntel Callandret, who have engaged in friendly competition between Aki Kurose and Asa Mercer International middle schools to boost excitement and attendance during the month of March. A special thanks to the team at Seattle Housing Authority who honored the hard work of the students and families.”

    New Holly reader boardThe Gathering Hall event in NewHolly highlighted the strength of the collaborative partnership between SHA and SPS, which seeks to eliminate opportunity gaps and improve student outcomes.

    Toward the conclusion of the challenge celebration, officers from the Seattle Police Department operated the soft serve ice cream machine and passed out cones to eagerly awaiting students. Winners of the evening’s raffle received $25 Lyft gift cards.

    Aligned to the strategic initiatives of the Strategy and Partnerships Division, SPS’s partnership with SHA seeks to bolster educational success for 5,500 school age students who are served by both organizations.

    Read more about how Seattle Public Schools is working to eliminate opportunity gaps.

    Read more about attendance, including how to encourage good attendance.