Woodland at atten-danceAttenDANCE one way Johnson City Schools are encouraging attendance


September was Attendance Awareness month across the country and schools across Johnson City participated in special events to bring awareness to the importance of being at school each day. Many of the projects continue through the year, but with September being the second month of school, it is a great opportunity to gain a student, and their families', attention about the importance of attendance.

“Encouraging regular school attendance is one of the most powerful ways we can prepare our students for success—both in school and in life,” said Johnson City Schools’ Supervisor of Student Services Tammy Pearce. “When we make school attendance a priority, we help students get better grades, develop healthy life habits, avoid dangerous behavior and have a better chance of graduating from high school which sets them up for a strong future.

“Each of our schools wants to recognize and celebrate good and improved attendance while creating a strong school culture around daily attendance. “

During Attendance Awareness Month at Woodland, students were encouraged to “Team Up for Perfect Attendance.”  Classes were challenged to achieve ten days of 100% attendance, including no late arrivals or early dismissals.

The fourth grade class of John Hughes triumphed in a very close competition and won an ice cream party for their accomplishment. Furthermore, students worked all month to earn a ticket to the very first Woodland attenDANCE party.

In order to participate, students had to be present for every minute of school during the month of September. An amazing 137 students accomplished this feat and joined their principal to celebrate with popcorn and dancing on Friday. In perspective, 35% of Woodland students had perfect attendance during September.

“Our attenDANCE was another great way to get students excited about coming to school each day,” Woodland principal Dr. Karen Reach said. “This was very motivational for our students. They came in this morning and wanted to share that they wore special dresses and shoes for the special occasion.”


South Side

A special treat was given to the classes that had 100 percent attendance for September and the first week of October, with the winners being announced during a school-wide assembly on Friday. They kept track of the day by adding acorns to a bulletin board filled with paper squirrels that sits just outside the front office. Other classes will get an opportunity to win during the next nine weeks and will be awarded with a different prize.

Mountain View

At Mountain View, staff held their weekly attendance meetings to discuss ways they could help students and families that struggle with attendance. Through the hallways, teachers post signs outside of their doors if they have perfect attendance for that day. The staff also worked to make sure that parents are aware of the current attendance policy, which included featuring an article in their school newsletter.

Also, a new staple in the hallway of Mountain View is an attendance board. There you will see a mustang beside each teacher’s name that displays their homeroom’s attendance average.  At the end of the nine weeks, the homeroom with the highest attendance average will receive a prize.



Cherokee Elementary students held weekly drawings for students with perfect attendance for the week and distributed prizes from vendors who donated.  Those included: Captain D’s, Pal’s, Quantum Leap, White Duck Taco Shop, Krystal, East TN Skate, Daylight Doughnuts and Price for Less Foods.

Indian Trail

This year instead of just doing a one-month attendance celebration, Indian Trail opted to do a year-long “Excelling Future Toppers” program.  Each week they ask teachers to nominate five students from every team to be represented on the Excelling Future Toppers Hall of Fame.  To be nominated to be on the Hall of Fame, the students can be an up-stander, have good grades and/or attendance, improved grades and/or attendance, a good friend, anything positive that can be recognized in our students. Administration has asked that the teachers make sure every student is nominated at least once during the nine weeks.  Each Friday the teachers submit the names and they are put in a “pot”.  All of the students’ names from the nine weeks so far are in the drawing for their lunch period.  During each lunch we use a random name picker to draw five names and those students get to do the claw machine.  We have adjusted the tension to where almost all of our students are able to win a prize out of the machine. 

“We did this to recognize the students doing the right thing and to encourage students that might be on the fence to step up and make positive decisions,” Lauren McGrew said.

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