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School winners attend to business

IsabellLittle 6 Round Lake holds certificate achievement received for Big Hollow Primary for 2012 Fall Attendance Award.
| Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times

Isabella Little, 6, of Round Lake holds the certificate of achievement received for Big Hollow Primary for the 2012 Fall Attendance Award. | Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 19, 2013 1:00PM

The reason students at Adler Park elementary in Libertyville won Attendance Week 2012 is because they just plain love school.

Adler Principal John Bogie said he offered no pizza party, dangled no prospect of a shaved teacher head nor other enticement to score a 99 percent attendance rate during the third week of October last year. The school, which has a typical attendance rate of between 97 and 99 percent, simply announced the contest over the intercom.

“Our kids don’t want to miss school because they don’t want to miss what’s going to happen,” Bogie said. “They’re excited to see their teachers. They’re excited to see what the day will bring.”

Sponsored by the Attendance and Truancy Division of the Lake County Regional Office of Education, the 24th annual competition netted another 99 percent winner, Zion Central Middle School. Top spots in two other categories included Highland Middle School in Libertyville, with 98.32 percent and Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire with 97.49 percent.

The top 10 finishers in each category — small, medium and large elementary, and high school — were invited to an awards ceremony Jan. 11 at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, where they were treated to lunch before the honors were disbursed.

“We’re trying to do good things to keep kids stimulated and interested,” said Regional Superintendent of Schools Roycealee Wood.

Wood said the competition also gives Lake County students the opportunity to work toward and achieve a goal.

“Good attendance is something all schools are striving for,” Wood said. “Children can’t learn if they’re not in school.”

At Adler, 1740 N. Milwaukee Ave., where students in grades kindergarten through fifth learn on laptops, iPads and Promethean Boards, another type of competition is underway. If a staff person spots a student doing a good deed or exhibiting good character, called “filling the bucket,” they give them a ticket that the student can redeem for a small prize.

Adler school secretary Kim Beadle, accepted the top attendance prize along with Adler fifth graders Cole Hauser and Cassidy Jones, president and vice president, respectively, of the Student Council.

“There’s enormous energy in this building,” Bogie said. “Parent support is outstanding. It’s not just a school, it’s a hub of the community.”

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