Local school offers incentives for attendance

The cost of cutting class is on the rise at a school in Benton, Illinois. 

All four states in the Local 6 area have laws that require students between the ages of 6 and 18 to attend school. After ten unexcused absences, both the student and their parents could face misdemeanor charges and fines.

With an enrollment of about 600 students, Superintendent Aaron Mattox says about 94 percent of Benton Community High School students come to class every day. 

However, Mattox says his biggest challenge is getting that extra 6 percent, or 40 students, into class.

"Getting kids here is a big thing, especially early in the school year, which is extremely important for us because they get in that routine of being here on time and being involved," said Mattox.

When a student misses class, it also slows down their classmates by forcing their teachers to take time to re-teach old material.

"The curriculum and our academic areas are more rigorous than ever before,” said Mattox. “It just enhances that importance of students being here and being in class, so they don’t fall behind."

That’s why Benton High School is offering an incentive to students.

If a student has perfect attendance for a month, they are eligible to win a brand new iPad.

"If a kid is truly sick or they are under the weather, they need to take care of themselves and get themselves healthy,” said Mattox. “Hopefully this is just a little bit more encouragement to those kids who on a daily basis think ‘I’d rather be at home’ or doing something else."

Thanks to the generous support of some local businesses Superintendent Mattox says the best part about this program is that it’s free for the school.

Benton High school will continue iPad giveaways through the end of the semester in December, but they need more donations to keep the program going this spring.

If you want to help out, you can contact Benton High School at 618-439-3103.

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