Jocelyn Nichols, a fifth-grade student at Lizemore School was perfect last year. Jocelyn is also perfect this year. Perfect – as in perfect attendance.
Jocelyn is also one reason why Lizemore School won the coveted Clay County Schools attendance trophy last school year with an overall attendance rate exceeding 94%. The trophy, given annually, is presented at opening ceremonies in August of each new school year.
Principal Britni Ramsey explained that students like Jocelyn are the reason Lizemore prevailed in the attendance race. “It’s been a tough year so far with the flu and other respiratory illnesses, but Jocelyn and dozens of other students with perfect or near-perfect attendance are keeping us in the running for a repeat first-place performance.”
Like all Clay County schools, Lizemore uses a variety of incentives to encourage students to pursue faithful attendance. Each teacher plans for weekly and monthly incentives that might include ‘treasure box’ prizes, popsicles or lunch with the teacher. Students with perfect attendance for the week are eligible to be randomly chosen to win a Hot Wheels car. Winners are announced every Monday. At the end of each grading period the 45 winners race their cars in heats on a six-lane racetrack. The final heats are run before the entire student body, where the winner walks away with a trophy.
As for Jocelyn, she credits her grandparents for her accomplishments. “My grandparents want me to come to school every day to learn, so I’m here every day.”