ASD Implements Incentive Program

Jeep Patriot Offered for Perfect Attendance

This summer, the Anchorage School District implemented an incentive-based attendance program to increase high school students’ attendance rates.

Juniors and seniors with perfect attendance will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a Jeep Patriot. Out of this drawing, five students will be chosen and each will receive a key. The student whose key starts the Jeep will win the car, otherwise, students whose keys do not work will receive airline tickets.

If for some reason the student who wins the car doesn’t have a license, the student will be unable to drive the car, but will still receive it.

All other prizes, including those for students with 95 percent attendance and 9-12th graders with perfect attendance, are yet to be decided.

Troy Jarvis, the general manager of the Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge of South Anchorage and the man who initiated this program, claims that he did so in order to “motivate students to come to school and instill a good work ethic.”

Jarvis believes that attendance is a “mutual concern” for both schools and businesses alike, saying “95 percent attendance can go a long way to getting a job.”

Jarvis decided to offer a Jeep Patriot to students rather than a Porsche or Hummer because it is an economical vehicle, “well suited to Alaska’s rugged conditions with four wheel drive and good safety features.”

Jarvis hopes that this program will prepare students for their future careers where daily attendance is essential.

Holly Morris, Dimond’s assistant principal for student services, thinks that this program will have a positive impact on the school.

Morris said that although Dimond is better than average, “attendance has always been a bit of a struggle.”

She views the new policy is a “ positive incentive” to balance the negative incentives of the district’s stricter approach to student absences.

This year Morris has seen a decline in unexcused absences. She is unsure whether or not this is because of the incentive plan or the district’s stricter approach to student absences.

Morris believes that the incentive program makes sense because “businesses want to hire people who show up on time.”

Reserving final judgement of the program, Morris said that she is “willing to see how it plays out.”

When asked his opinion on the school’s new program, Michael Hudson, a senior at Dimond and a member of JROTC, was not overly enthusiastic.

Hudson says that the car was a “nice try” but not a good enough incentive to motivate him or others to come to school.

Personally, Hudson feels that he is “doomed,” saying that he is bound to get sick at some point during the school year, thereby ruining his chances of getting the car.

In contrast with the views of Hudson, Walter Hendrickson, a junior at Dimond, is excited about the new program.

Hendrickson thinks that offering a car as a reward for attendance was a “great idea” and will encourage him to come to school.