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Laura Baker’s combined fourth- and
fifth-grade class at George Washington Carver School 87 has been in celebration
mode for a couple of weeks.

 

Students and staff are riding the wave of
their perfect attendance record.

 

To continue the celebration, they
recently received a special gift. On Thursday, custom-made “Perfect Attendance”
T-shirts were delivered to their classroom. They were created by students from
the Career Technology Center at Arsenal Tech High School.

 

Students were definitely surprised.

 

“I thought you only got them if you
achieved 35 weeks or more,” said Jesus T., who’s happy their efforts are being
acknowledged.

 

“(Achieving) perfect attendance is
important to me because I want to be in school every day, so I can learn and
not miss out. And I can get a really good education,” he said.

 

The class has achieved 21 weeks — going on 22 — of perfect
attendance.

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Baker said achieving perfect attendance is held high at
George Washington.

 

“It’s mentioned a lot and we try to make
sure that kids come to school every day,” she said. “It’s a challenge posed to
them, but it’s also part of what they do. And their parents are important in
that, too, to make sure they go to school. But I’m telling you, they would do
this without the celebrations.”

 

Cami Hallgarth, graduation coach at IPS
West, said school attendance has a high correlation to student success. 

 

“Students with excellent attendance are
better readers, writers, mathematicians and leaders,” she said. “They are
building a foundation to graduating high school and being successful in college
and the work place.” 

 

Hallgarth said they wanted to celebrate
the student’s achievement, “because they have been able to work together and
positively support each other to be in school every day.” 

 

Jesus is ready for next year’s challenge.
“I
want to achieve it again next year because I don’t want to discourage my
teacher and I want to try to beat this score,” he said.