Over the last year, teacher retention and attendance have been high priority items for Superintendent Eddie Lawrence and the Northampton County School Board. The school system has made great progress in both areas. The following article was originally published in The Shore Daily News. It is a great article with very good information. The Mirror is running it with the generous permission of Shore Daily News.
Attendance improved for the 11th month in a row at Northampton High School. Overall attendance numbers improved from 91% to 94% during the 2017-2018 school year. Attendance improved each month as compared to the same month from the previous school year. Finally, students missing 18 or more days (10% of the school year) reduced from 30% during the 2016-2017 school year to 13% in 2017-2018.
Attendance improved during the first month of school this year (18-19) as compared to September last school year. (17-18).
According to Mike Myers, Principal, Northampton High School, “one of the multiple reasons attendance improved was the use of the K-12 SWIPE Program.” K-12 SWIPE in an Attendance Record Management System that requires students to use an ID card to swipe in and out of school. Principal Mike Myers utilized this system at two previous administrative assignments including Pulaski County High School that served 1800 students. In both situations attendance improved.
Myers stated, “I like SWIPE as an administrator because it makes it impossible to skip. At Pulaski County High School we had 93 doors. It was nearly impossible to monitor all doors every period and as a result we had students who attempted to skip. SWIPE eliminated our skipping problem.”
Myers continued, “I also like the alert feature. You can quickly assign an alert to a student’s account. When the student SWIPE’s in he/she will get a message such as pay your overdue library fine or see the principal. You can also post a positive message. This feature saves a great deal of time. SWIPE is aligned to Power School (Student Management System) which is vital but I prefer SWIPE’s ability to mark attendance including tardies in real time each period.”
School SWIPE Coordinator Phillip Sweet manages the program on a daily basis. He assigns student alerts and works closely with teachers to make sure all teachers are properly trained in K-12 SWIPE. Mr. Sweet was instrumental in the success of both SWIPE and overall attendance at Northampton High School. He is an attendance MVP!
In addition to SWIPE Northampton Administration attempts to incentivize good attendance at Northampton High School. As part of the school’s “Be Perfect” Campaign a random number of students with perfect attendance for the week and month are selected randomly for prizes. Myers said, “For students to learn and have a great school students must be present.”