Skyline staff takes a dip


Students delighted at attendance reward assembly

By Hope Lecchi - [email protected]



Skyline Elementary Principal Kelly McFatrich uses her shark goggles to stare down any one who dares hit the target on the dunk tank, plunging her into the cold water, Tuesday afternoon at the school. McFatrich and three members of her staff took several turns being the target for the dunk tank as an attendance reward. Skyline had 97 percent of its students in class 90 percent of the time for 10 consecutive days, which allowed the students to have the assembly.


Hope Lecchi | Democrat

Jacob Slagle and Si-He Barragah have looks of amazement as they watch with their fellow kindergarten classmates prepare to dunk Skyline Elementary Principal Kelly McFatrich on Tuesday afternoon.


Hope Lecchi | Democrat

Tonya Edgar reacts as she realizes she will take another plunge in ice cold water Tuesday afternoon at Skyline Elementary. Edgar, a third grade teacher, volunteered to take the plunge to reward Skyline students for an attendance rate of 97 percent for 10 consecutive days.


Hope Lecchi | Democrat

Jackson Reed, a kindergarten student, waits his turn before throwing a ball at the target on the dunk tank Tuesday afternoon at Skyline Elementary. Students who had perfect attendance this year were given the chance to dunk their principal, Kelly McFatrich, and three volunteer staff members from Skyline.


Hope Lecchi | Democrat

Skyline teacher Hilliary Owens smiles while trying balance herself before taking another plunge in the water Tuesday afternoon at Skyline Elementary. Skyline Principal Kelly McFatrich said her students like to see the teachers and staff participate in events like the dunk tank rather than have rewards such as ice cream when they meet their attendance goal.


Hope Lecchi | Democrat

Skyline music teacher Katie Dake smiles after taking her first dip in the dunk tank water Tuesday afternoon. Dake, Tonya Edgar, Hilliary Owens and Skyline Principal Kelly McFatrich were each dunked multiple times by students who had perfect attendance this year.


Hope Lecchi | Democrat

Near the conclusion of Monday night’s Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Brad Pollitt presented the attendance report.

Currently district-wide the attendance rate is 89.6 percent, slightly below the desired 90/90 level.

The 90/90 policy, enacted three years ago as part of the Missouri State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) School Improvement Plan, changed the way all public school districts are required to report attendance.

To meet the state’s standard, 90 percent of students must be in attendance 90 percent of the time.

It is a number that is difficult to obtain and many schools, including those in the Sedalia 200 district, offer incentive rewards to students and staff for their efforts to attend school daily.

“Effective teaching and learning cannot take place if the student and staff members are not in the classroom, “Pollitt said by phone Tuesday morning. “Every day a student misses school is a day the personal connection between the student and teacher is lost.

“One day always builds upon the next,” Pollitt added. “The content taught is difficult to make up once that time in the classroom is lost.”

Prior to the implementation of the 90/90 policy, if a student had 100 percent attendance and another had 80 percent the district could average the number to 90 percent.

The new reporting requirements do not allow for averaging of students’ attendance.

The district recognizes that there are times when a student simply cannot be in attendance, especially when students are sick and possibly contagious, or there are unavoidable occurrences such as a death in the family or a medical emergency.

One such incentive in several Sedalia elementary schools has been attendance reward assemblies where staff and administrators are put in fun and silly situations chosen by the students. On Tuesday, Skyline Elementary Principal Kelly McFatrich found herself a target in a dunk tank for the students’ most recent reward for Skyline having 97 percent of its students in class 90 percent of the time for 10 consecutive days.

“The No. 1 reason it is so important for students to be at school is because if they are not here, they are not learning,” McFatrich said. “A couple of minutes here and there can create hours because it all does add up and can make a difference.

“Students have to be here consistently to access the learning time,” she added.

Some district patrons have questioned the purpose of having students miss class time to attend an attendance assembly.

District administrators have a response for that comment.

“We want school to be a positive learning experience,” McFatrich said prior to entering the dunk tank. “A big part of that is having the students enjoy being here.

“Things like seeing their principal get dunked in a dunking booth or watching their teachers play a silly game really is an incentive for many of our students,” McFatrich explained. “We don’t spend a lot of money doing these assemblies and the PTOs throughout the district have been very generous if we do need something.

“Honestly, the students would rather see us play a game of human Foosball than they enjoy something like buying ice cream for them,” she added. “It helps them make memories they will always have and helps them want to come to school.”

Pollitt agreed that the reward assemblies do provide positive experiences for the district’s students.

“We have high expectations for all of our students, but those expectations extend beyond the lessons taught from textbooks,” he said. “We want to teach our students the importance of responsibility and becoming productive members of society.

“A large part of that is learning how to interact with others and how to make education fun each day,” he added. “These assemblies are a part of those learning opportunities.”

Skyline Elementary Principal Kelly McFatrich uses her shark goggles to stare down any one who dares hit the target on the dunk tank, plunging her into the cold water, Tuesday afternoon at the school. McFatrich and three members of her staff took several turns being the target for the dunk tank as an attendance reward. Skyline had 97 percent of its students in class 90 percent of the time for 10 consecutive days, which allowed the students to have the assembly.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_tsd101216attendance1-1.jpgSkyline Elementary Principal Kelly McFatrich uses her shark goggles to stare down any one who dares hit the target on the dunk tank, plunging her into the cold water, Tuesday afternoon at the school. McFatrich and three members of her staff took several turns being the target for the dunk tank as an attendance reward. Skyline had 97 percent of its students in class 90 percent of the time for 10 consecutive days, which allowed the students to have the assembly. Hope Lecchi | Democrat

Jacob Slagle and Si-He Barragah have looks of amazement as they watch with their fellow kindergarten classmates prepare to dunk Skyline Elementary Principal Kelly McFatrich on Tuesday afternoon.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_tsd101216attendance2-1.jpgJacob Slagle and Si-He Barragah have looks of amazement as they watch with their fellow kindergarten classmates prepare to dunk Skyline Elementary Principal Kelly McFatrich on Tuesday afternoon. Hope Lecchi | Democrat

Tonya Edgar reacts as she realizes she will take another plunge in ice cold water Tuesday afternoon at Skyline Elementary. Edgar, a third grade teacher, volunteered to take the plunge to reward Skyline students for an attendance rate of 97 percent for 10 consecutive days.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_tsd101216attendance3-1.jpgTonya Edgar reacts as she realizes she will take another plunge in ice cold water Tuesday afternoon at Skyline Elementary. Edgar, a third grade teacher, volunteered to take the plunge to reward Skyline students for an attendance rate of 97 percent for 10 consecutive days. Hope Lecchi | Democrat

Jackson Reed, a kindergarten student, waits his turn before throwing a ball at the target on the dunk tank Tuesday afternoon at Skyline Elementary. Students who had perfect attendance this year were given the chance to dunk their principal, Kelly McFatrich, and three volunteer staff members from Skyline.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_tsd101216attendance4-1.jpgJackson Reed, a kindergarten student, waits his turn before throwing a ball at the target on the dunk tank Tuesday afternoon at Skyline Elementary. Students who had perfect attendance this year were given the chance to dunk their principal, Kelly McFatrich, and three volunteer staff members from Skyline. Hope Lecchi | Democrat

Skyline teacher Hilliary Owens smiles while trying balance herself before taking another plunge in the water Tuesday afternoon at Skyline Elementary. Skyline Principal Kelly McFatrich said her students like to see the teachers and staff participate in events like the dunk tank rather than have rewards such as ice cream when they meet their attendance goal.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_tsd101216attendance5-1.jpgSkyline teacher Hilliary Owens smiles while trying balance herself before taking another plunge in the water Tuesday afternoon at Skyline Elementary. Skyline Principal Kelly McFatrich said her students like to see the teachers and staff participate in events like the dunk tank rather than have rewards such as ice cream when they meet their attendance goal. Hope Lecchi | Democrat

Skyline music teacher Katie Dake smiles after taking her first dip in the dunk tank water Tuesday afternoon. Dake, Tonya Edgar, Hilliary Owens and Skyline Principal Kelly McFatrich were each dunked multiple times by students who had perfect attendance this year.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_tsd101216attendance6-1.jpgSkyline music teacher Katie Dake smiles after taking her first dip in the dunk tank water Tuesday afternoon. Dake, Tonya Edgar, Hilliary Owens and Skyline Principal Kelly McFatrich were each dunked multiple times by students who had perfect attendance this year. Hope Lecchi | Democrat
Students delighted at attendance reward assembly

By Hope Lecchi

[email protected]

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.

Sedalia Democrat

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.

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