Stony Point High School in Round Rock, Texas set out to improve school attendance and ended up transforming the entire school community, boosting student engagement, posting huge attendance gains and won a National Title in the Get Schooled 2012 Fall Attendance Challenge. Leander High School also finished in a tie for first place in the nationwide competition.
The honors were announced on Dec. 13th. Stony Point High School, part of a regional Get Schooled Challenge in Central Texas, posted a 5.06% boost in attendance – the highest increase in the country and the tiebreaker that earned the school the national Title. E3 Alliance, together with Emmis Austin Radio and Incite Social Impact Marketing organized the regional effort with 31 Central Texas schools participating.
The challenge is part of the Missing School Matters Initiative that was launched in September, 2012 by E3 Alliance and the Austin Area Research Organization.
A total of 225 middle and high schools signed up nationwide to participate in the Get Schooled 2012 Fall Attendance Challenge across the country. More than three quarters of schools active in the Challenge boosted their school attendance.
“We’re extremely proud of Stony Point’s year-to-year improvement in attendance, and their creative efforts to win the national Challenge,” said Susan Dawson, E3 Alliance President & Executive Director. “We congratulate all the schools in Central Texas who participated in the Challenge as part of our regional campaign to improve attendance.”
Stony Point principal Albert Hernandez announced the victory to students during a lunchtime pep rally
“It comes with great pride and honor to have earned number one in the nation for the Get Schooled Attendance Campaign,” said Hernandez. “Stony Point has such a deep admiration of our students, faculty and staff. This has been a wonderful team effort lead by our Assistant Principal, Toby Bermudez . Way to go Stony Point Tigers, national champion!”
“Stony Point strives for excellence in everything they do, we are proud to celebrate this victory and national award with them,” said Round Rock ISD superintendent Jesus Chavez.
Leander High School along with Stony Point was among four schools tied for first place place across the country. Central Texas boasts five schools in the top 25 finishers in the country. In addition to Stony Point and Leander high schools, finishers in the region include Garcia Middle School in Austin, Simon Middle School in Kyle (Hays CISD), and Covington Middle School in Austin. See the regional leader board for the complete list of schools participating in the region.
The winning schools in the national competition earn a stop on the Get Schooled Victory Tour launching in early 2013. As part of the Victory Tour, celebrities or local radio personalities will connect with students in their classrooms and host a school-wide assembly as part of the celebration of the students’ achievements. Past Get Schooled Celebrity Principals for the Day have included Nicki Minaj, Ne-Yo and Big Sean. As the National Title winner, Stony Point will also receive a campus visit from the Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow which will arrive on campus to play a movie for kids – after school, of course. Emmis radio personalities from 101X and 107.1 La Zeta will be on hand to emcee a special recognition ceremony.
Get Schooled has focused on attendance as a critical metric in school and student performance because it is one of the best predictors of high school graduation rates and college readiness rates. Despite its importance, a Johns Hopkins student released earlier this year estimates that 7.5 million students in the United States miss a month or more of school, putting them at risk for failing to learn key skills and potentially dropping out of high school.
The Get Schooled Challenge is a part of the overall Missing School Matters public awareness campaign that aims to increase school attendance by two percentage points across the region. Central Texas schools have more student absences than the state average at every grade. The campaign, launched by the Austin Area Research Organization (AARO) and E3 Alliance, in September, has a goal is to increase attendance by a minimum of two percentage points, or an average of three school days per student. When Central Texas Schools receive the state funding for these three previously lost school days, E3 estimates the region will receive an additional $34 million in annual funding.
About E3 Alliance
E3 Alliance, is a regional, data-driven, education collaborative based in Austin, Texas. We are leading the effort to build the strongest educational pipeline in the country to drive economic prosperity for Central Texas. We do this by using objective data and focused community collaboration to align our education systems so that all students can succeed. Together with the Central Texas community, we have created The Blueprint for Educational Change, our region’s strategic plan to build the strongest educational pipeline in the country.
About Get Schooled
Get Schooled is a non-profit organization that directly engages and motivates students to graduate from high school and succeed in college. Get Schooled is the premiere education brand for young people – linking students with high quality, cutting edge resources and tools they need to succeed. Get Schooled has developed a track record of success because it engages with young Americans using the media, technology and popular culture that is an integral part of their lives. Get Schooled’s work is boosted by partners like Viacom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In its first two years, Get Schooled has engaged more than 2.5 million young Americans and has built a network of more than 325 middle and high schools.
About Incite Social Marketing
Incite is a full-service marketing and communications firm comprised of social entrepreneurs dedicated to changing our world. Incite specializes in creating and implementing strategic marketing campaigns tailored to reach mainstream audiences as well as those who are rural, hard-to-reach, underserved and ethnically diverse.