OKC Public Schools To Give Students Gifts To Go To Class

Monday, July 22nd 2013, 9:50 pm
By: News 9

Oklahoma City Public Schools is working on a new campaign in an effort to see more kids at school on day one and beyond. The initiative, which rewards students with prizes, has some people calling the new push bribery, while others say it's a good incentive.

The school district says, if nothing changes from previous years, roughly one out of every four students will be absent on the first day of school. But, things are changing with a campaign the district hasn't seen before.

"[Absent students are] meeting people like a week later or two or three days later after school has already started," freshman Santana Randle said.

Randle knows the importance of the first day of school, but school district statistics show many parents and students don't seem to get it.

"We've always had a hard time of getting kids to school on the very first day," Tierney Tinnin with Oklahoma City Public Schools said.

Organizations throughout the metro have sponsored prizes for students who score a solid attendance record. The prizes include free bikes from Schlege's and headphones from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"This [will] make the test scores come up," parent Yvette Weaver said.

Not everyone agrees. Critics say understanding the importance of an education should be good enough for kids and parents. However, supporters say … whatever gets the kids in the door should be given serious consideration.

"We also want to push this into the rest of the school year and have a regular attendance increase as well," Tinnin said.

Back to school campaigns are not unique to Oklahoma City. Districts nationwide have used similar methods to increase attendance.

Leaders with the school district will see if their new plan works very soon. School starts on Monday, August 5, 2013.