May 23, 2008
More than 85,000 Chicago public school students had perfect attendance for the period March 1 through April 30, which is more than four times the number of students who attended school every day during the same months last year.
In recognition of their achievement, these students received family passes to The Field Museum which, along with Clear Channel Radio, sponsors the CPS Spring Attendance Giveaway Incentive Program. Courtesy of Clear Channel, six students – selected at random in a computerized drawing from the pool of perfect attendance achievers – also received family vacations to one of two Wisconsin resorts.
“We’re here today to recognize and honor a key component in learning – attendance,” said Board of Education President Rufus Williams at James Shields Elementary School, 4250 S. Rockwell. Shields was the Chicago public school with the highest number of perfect attendance students, 825, during the contest period.
“To grow as a student – to learn and excel – you must be in school. The students we honor today as part of this program have more than met that challenge,” Williams said.
“The shear number of students who achieved perfect attendance this spring, compared to only one year ago, is astounding,” CPS Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan. “We regularly impress upon the students and their families the importance of being in school every day, and it is encouraging to see this effort succeed in such a dramatic way,” Duncan said.
Williams and Duncan were joined by Tony Sculfield, WGCI/Clear Channel Radio personality, and Field Museum CEO John McCarter in awarding the passes to a group of students at Shields.
This is the third year that CPS has offered the perfect attendance incentive program. A total of 85,393 students throughout the system met the challenge between March 1 and April 30, compared to 20,700 students during a similar period last year.
This is also the third year of Clear Channel’s participation in the program. It is the first year of sponsorship for The Field Museum. All participating CPS students with perfect attendance from March 1 to April 30 were eligible to win the prizes. Perfect attendance means no absences, no unauthorized early dismissals, no cuts, no tardies and no suspensions.
The vacation winners include Diego Angulo, a fourth-grader at Richard J. Daley Elementary Academy; Alex Chen, an eighth-grader at Robert Healy Elementary School; JaJuan Porter, a sixth-grader at Richard J. Oglesby Elementary School; Noah Williams, a seventh-grader at John D. Shoop Academy of Math/Science/Tech; Alicea Glorimary, a third-grader at Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School; and Andrew Zavalza, a first-grader at James Monroe Elementary School.
The vacations include a weekend stay for a family of four at a Wisconsin resort, including passes for an indoor water park. Winners can choose between The Great Wolf Lodge in the Wisconsin Dells, Wis., or Blue Harbor in Sheboygan, Wis.
Through April, year-to-date attendance at Shields was 97.1 percent, up from 96.8 percent for the same period last year. After Shields, the CPS schools with the most students having perfect attendance during the March 1-April 30 period were:
- Sidney Sawyer Elementary School, 5248 S. Sawyer Ave., with 799.
- Rachel Carson Elementary School, 5516 S. Maplewood Ave., with 729.
- John F. Eberhart Elementary School, 3400 W. 65th Place, with 696.
- Frank W. Reilly Elementary School, 3650 W. School St., with 683.
The Chicago Public Schools is the nation’s third-largest school system. It includes more than 600 schools and serves about 409,000 students.