Quilcene Elementary School Principal Gary Stebbins awards students with perfect attendance with plastic gold coins that allow them to go to the front of any lunch line. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Quilcene Elementary School Principal Gary Stebbins awards students with perfect attendance with plastic gold coins that allow them to go to the front of any lunch line. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Quilcene honors students for perfect attendance records

QUILCENE — Quilcene Elementary School has honored 23 students for perfect attendance so far this year.

“We’ve really been working on attendance,” said Principal Gary Stebbins during the gathering Friday.

“Habits are set in elementary school that last a lifetime.”

Stebbins gathered students outside to unveil a banner emblazoned with the words “Attendance Matters.”

He then called up each of the students who have showed up on time every day since school started Sept. 7.

So far, 23 out of the 93 students have perfect attendance. According to Stebbins, last year, only one student achieved perfect attendance all year.

The students who’ve made it this far were honored with plastic gold coins that allow them to the front of any lunch line.

“Only if you have it with you,” Stebbins said. “If you lose it, too bad.”

Stebbins said these incentives and stressing the importance of attendance to students and parents have made a difference.

“Our attendance has shot up,” Stebbins said. “We’re just trying to create a culture where attendance is important. It’s not OK for parents to take kids out of school because school is important.”

Attendance has been a priority for Jefferson County since school started this year. Stebbins said that not much can be done on the elementary school level other than dealing with truancy.

“That really only applies to older kids,” Stebbins said. “We’re trying to reach younger kids so it’s not an issue when they’re older.”

Stebbins said he plans to continue having similar attendance celebrations to reward students who continue their perfect attendance later into the year.

________

Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.

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