3/25/2014 6:02:00 AM Perfect attendance could mean a free car at Kingman High Contest goes through the end of the school year
Kingman High School cheerleaders pose in front of 66 Auto Sales, which donated a car for a student with perfect attendance from Jan. 13 to May 20. The cheerleaders are, from left, Ashlie Wilson-Norton (top), Jessica Layna (bottom), ReAna Perez, (center), Hanna Meadville (top), and Lydia Kiriakidis (bottom). (Courtesy)
KINGMAN - Kingman High School staff members hope the enticement of a free, used car will encourage students to attend all their classes through the end of this school year.
The car, which was donated by 66 Auto Sales in Kingman but has not yet been picked out, is what school officials are calling an "attendance incentive" for students.
To qualify for the drawing, slated for May 20, they cannot have any excused or unexcused absences, no doctor appointments and no tardies. The only exceptions are sports or other school-sponsored approved absences. The contest began Jan. 13, when the new semester started.
"Anything we can do to get the kids here makes it more likely they will pass their classes," said Clint Keller, dean of students at KHS. "We've heard that 80 percent of students who attend classes every day will pass them just from being there regularly and hearing the teacher. For those who aren't here every day, their chances of passing drop dramatically."
Keller is part of an attendance committee at the high school that came up with the idea last year to lure students into sitting in their classes. The other committee members are KHS teachers Shirley Henderson and Calvin Kupser.
Keller said attendance is a big problem at the high school, which is evaluated by the Kingman Unified School District and the state on, among other things, the number of students attending each day.
The absentee rate at KHS has been steadily climbing this year, said Keller, which isn't a good thing.
As of March 14, there were 1,247 students in school at KHS. The absentee rate from Jan. 1 to March 7 averaged 7.9 percent, while the school's goal was to lower it to 6.6 percent during that same time period.
Currently, 177 KHS students are eligible to be entered into the drawing for the vehicle.
A total of nine students have had perfect attendance since the beginning of the school year, said Keller, and two students haven't missed a day of school since kindergarten.
Keller said more than one student will be eligible for the prize, which is why the school has scheduled the drawing. It will take place at the end of the last full day of school.
Keller said the high school appreciated the willingness of 66 Auto Sales to donate a car to the cause.
The business is owned by Lavonne Hill, Mike Hill, Kari Jo Hill and Renai Hill. Participating in one of the high school's educational goals has been exciting, said Kari Jo Hill, adding the car will be nice enough that the winning student can show it off and feel safe driving it around.
"We've donated a lot of things over the years, but never a car," said Kari Jo Hill. "We just feel that today's youth have more challenges than ever, and anything we can do to encourage them to attend their classes is a good thing.
"We are happy to do this. Our customers have been good to us and in return, we want to be good to the community."