• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Northside kindergartners win ‘Attendance Madness’

KINDERGARTNERS at Northside Elementary School were recognized for winning the inaugural Woodford County Public Schools’ Attendance Madness during an assembly on Monday. Also, pictured are their teachers, with Northside Principal Ryan Asher, Ronald McDonald, district Director of Staff and Student Services Garet Wells, school Board Chair Ambrose Wilson IV and Bob Waitkus, of Graviss McDonald’s Restaurants. (Photo Bob Vlach)

Kindergartners at Northside Elementary School won the inaugural Woodford County Public Schools’ “Attendance Madness,” and were recognized for their achievement at an assembly on Monday, April 24. Garet Wells, director of staff and student services, presented an Attendance Madness banner to the kindergartners and their teachers during Monday’s assembly. Also, every student on the winning team will receive a free meal from Graviss McDonald’s Restaurants. The team of Northside kindergartners recorded a higher attendance percentage than kindergartners at Southside Elementary School – 94.49 to 93.54 – in the finals to win Attendance Madness. Northside Elementary Principal Ryan Asher congratulated his school’s kindergartners for achieving “a major, major accomplishment by winning Attendance Madness,” which generated loud applause from the kindergartners and first-graders in attendance. The first-grade students were strong supporters of the kindergartners during their run to the championship, said Wells. Thirty-two teams representing Safe Harbor Academy, each grade at the middle, high and all four public elementary schools competed in the tournament. Attendance Madness, which took place during the NCAA college basketball tournament, began the week of Feb. 27 and finished with a championship the week of March 27. In addition to its win over Southside’s kindergartners in the finals, kindergartners at Northside Elementary had higher attendance percentages than Huntertown’s first grade, Southside’s fifth grade, Woodford County High School’s 11th grade and Huntertown’s second grade in rounds leading up to the Attendance Madness finals. Wells said another school district did something similar to Attendance Madness, which inspired him to organize a tournament here to boost student attendance. “It’s hard to tie the results with our attendance because we had a lot of illness … So it’s hard to say if it had an impact (on our attendance) or not,” said Wells. “But I do know it did have an impact when I made the announcement here and I heard the cheering and the screaming – all up and down this whole side of the building … So I think in that respect, it did have an impact.” Wells said he does anticipate organizing a second annual Attendance Madness in Woodford County schools next year. “We want to encourage students to be here as much as they can – if not every day,” said Wells. Besides recognizing the Attendance Madness championship team, several hundred students across the school district with perfect attendance in March were eligible to receive free ticket vouchers for the Cincinnati Reds, Lexington Legends, Kings Island, Kentucky Kingdom and Big Splash Adventure.

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