Chance at a new car provides incentive for OKC students to get to school on time every day

January 27, 2020

A carrot is almost always better than a stick.

The second half of the school year is underway, which means that Oklahoma City Public Schools high school students have two more chances to win a new car.

Driving Attendance gives students this chance by tracking students with perfect, on-time attendance per nine weeks. Each student earning this designation is eligible for a drawing at the end of the school year.

At that time, a finalist from each high school in OKCPS (total of 10) will have the chance to win a new car, courtesy of Hudiburg Chevrolet and The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools. Every finalist receives a prize package valued at more than $1,000, filled with gifts from community partners like Cox, OKC Thunder, Sonic and a variety of retailers.

More than 3% of the high school student population is represented with perfect attendance this year and there was an increase of 67 students from the first nine week period to the second, and 101 more students achieving perfect attendance than second quarter last year.

Good attendance carries great rewards for students.

Their chance of graduating successfully depends on it. Graduating from high school ready to pursue additional education and training is a game-changer for both students and their future employers.

In addition, learning the importance of being where you’re supposed to be and on time is a skill that provides benefits throughout life.

Getting to school on time every day isn’t always easy for our students and providing incentives can be a huge motivator. Even making it to first hour is quite difficult for many students, who often work after school until late at night.

Many are also responsible for getting younger siblings to school, which can affect their ability to be on time.

There is still work to do to increase the number of students with perfect attendance, but Driving Attendance provides a positive incentive with huge benefits for all.

As always, the data will continue to tell the story. The mom who shared with us that her son made a goal to have perfect attendance for a chance to win a car proves that a carrot works.

Read Mary Mélon's original Oklahoman editorial.