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News Story
Updated: 10/12/2017 08:30:04AM

Tackling truancy — an early warning sign of dropping out

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SUN PHOTO BY SOMMER BROKAW

Stephanie Reel, 15, won a big stuffed animal at The Academy rally where awards were given for students positive behavior and attendance. The monthly rally was held in the Charlotte Technical College Auditorium. Reel said the alternative high school gave her "a second chance." She has straight A's and good attendance.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY CCPS

Charlotte County Public Schools has a three-tier pyramid system of intervention to avoid excessive absences with the third tier being the most intense. Interventions range from preventative steps for all students, to targeting groups with lower attendance, to specific interventions for individual students, which may include placement in alternative school.

SUN PHOTO BY SOMMER BROKAW

Port Charlotte High School's Assistant Principal Allison Portwood points out these signs with five different slogans to promote attendance. The 50 signs in the school yard earlier in the day each had one of these slogans on them. The marching band played in the morning to draw attention to the signs, and they were displayed outside through parent-pickup that afternoon.

SUN PHOTO BY SOMMER BROKAW

Port Charlotte High School Assistant Principal Allison Portwood holds up one of the 50 attendance signs that were out in the school yard earlier in the day. "Back in the day people used to put the pink flamingos all over people's yards," Portwood said. "You'd do it for a friend's birthday when I was a tiny kid. We decided we're going to attendance flock."

PHOTO PROVIDED BY CCPS

Signs posted in Port Charlotte High School's yard on Wednesday promoted the importance of attendence. The signs will also be available to other schools in the district to use them, according to Chantal Phillips, the school district's director of intervention and dropout prevention services.

SUN PHOTO BY SOMMER BROKAW

Port Charlotte High School Assistant Principal Allison Portwood holds up one of the 50 attendance signs that were out in the school yard earlier in the day. "Back in the day people used to put the pink flamingos all over people's yards," Portwood said. "You'd do it for a friend's birthday when I was a tiny kid. We decided we're going to attendance flock."

By SOMMER BROKAW

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CHARLOTTE COUNTY — Stephanie Reel, 15, won a big stuffed animal at a pep rally at The Academy, an alternative high school at Charlotte Technical College in Port Charlotte. At the rally, awards were given to students for positive behavior and attendance.

Reel said she struggled with school before, but The Academy has given her support and “a second chance,” and now she has better attendance and straight A’s. The Academy Principal Jack Ham said many of his students had problems with attendance at traditional schools. And, unfortunately, that pattern remains a challenge.

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