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Southeast Middle School rewards perfect attendance students.

The Lauderdale County School District recently issued a district-wide attendance challenge titled “Challenge 39.”

AT Southeast Middle School faculty and staff are doing their part to motivate kids to stay up to the challenge.

“The PTO saw this money machine on a yard sale site, and they are like hey, we think this would be an awesome thing that would get kids, you know just rewards for kids, we use it all year long, we use it for different things, but it is one of our huge things we use for attendance, and the PTO bought it for a very small amount of money.”

The money machine is an incentive to have perfect attendance, but it’s not the only way staff are working to get kids in the door.


“If a student is out, we call the parent, and if the parent says hey look I left for work early this morning, and my kid missed the bus I don’t have a way for them to get to school; we’re like oh that’s fine, we have a school resource officer he has a car, and so we use the school vehicle, and we go, and we pick up the kids with the parent permission of course, but we want them here, and the parents want them here.”

Southeast Middle School 8th grade student Jaden Vaughn says perfect attendance isn’t just about a reward.

“If you’re not here then you’re missing out on important stuff like for example; a lecture that your teacher needs to teach you, or just to prove what you need to know.”

Kimber Wilson says students should want to come to school and learn anyway, but this challenge will help motivate them.

“It encourages us to be at school because we compete with other schools and they try to keep us at schools where we can get a good education to where we can have a future.”

And with continued support of parents and teachers keeping a perfect attendance record won’t be a problem.

“We are proud that our kids come to school most of the year anyway, our goal is 98% during the challenge, but we see a 96% range normally all the other months of the year.”

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