Attendance and graduation rates jump in Fulton
FULTON - Fulton's Annual Performance Report showed a jump in attendance and graduation rates this past year. A new policy that started last year may be the cause.
The "90 percent policy" started last year and requires all students to attend classes at least 90 percent of the time.
Fulton High School Principal Jason Whitt said attendance rates go hand in hand with graduation rates.
"What we see in students who fall behind, especially in attendance, usually do not do well in grades, " he said. "They do not get the credit they need and if they do not get the credits they need, they do not graduate on time."
Out of the ten points on the Annual Performance Report scale for attendance, Fulton went from six points in last year to 9.5 points in 2014. This increase comes mainly from the high school students.
Fulton schools have also implemented an award system for their students. One of the rewards is a free lunch period out of school.
Superintendent Jacque Cowherd said he is excited to see if the 90 percent policy keeps on improving attendance rates. He said the high success rate was made possible by staff connecting with the students.
"The graduation component of it has been really focused on getting teachers to communicate to kids that they value those students," Cowherd said.
From an academic standpoint, such as test scores, the Fulton district kept its numbers steady. But, Cowherd said there are plans to make improvements.