"Wake Up Waco!" initiative helps improve student attendance at Waco ISD

POSTED: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 8:50am
UPDATED: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 9:34pm

Dozens of students at Waco ISD are participating in a new attendance initiative, called "Wake Up Waco!".

School officials say so far, they are seeing improvement. At University High School, nearly 1,400 of the around 1,500 students had perfect attendance for the first two weeks.

"It's pretty simple. If kids are not in attendance, they can't learn," said David Ellis, Waco ISD Supervisor of Attendance, Truancy, Dropout Recovery and Prevention.

"Wake Up Waco!" is available for all secondary students within the district.

"It's a year-long attendance initiative. The wake-up part, we want to get as many kids off to a good start as we possibly could that very first month," said Ellis.

For the first four weeks of school, students can sign up to receive a wake up call from a celebrity of their choice.

"Good morning everybody, this is Jesse McCartney, calling from Get Schooled to tell you to get moving and to get to school," said a recording of Jesse McCartney on Waco ISD's website.

Students, like 9th grader Christian Comacho have taken advantage of the unique opportunity.

"I was late one day and just decided to get one," said Comacho.

Since signing up, Christian has received a call everyday, and in turn he's had perfect attendance.
"It makes me feel great that I been here everyday," said Comacho.

Ellis says currently, there are about 70 students signed up to receive the wake up calls. And, everyday, that number grows.

"Our most important emphasis is the results. Is it causing more kids to be in school than what we had in before," said Ellis.

Waco ISD has also used their continued partnership with the Waco Transit System this year to get more students to school.


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