The H. Grady Spruce High School staff kicked off the new semester by visiting homes of 116 students who had at least 99-percent attendance for the first semester. More than 100 teachers, counselors, administrators, coaches, and City Year Corps members split into teams and spent the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 6 surprising students with “All-Star Attendance“ certificates and getting to know them and their families.
Students shared with staff why they made it a point to be at school each day and their thoughts on how the school could encourage others to do the same. Family members welcomed staff into their homes and even posed for pictures with their students.
The visits were one way the school is working toward creating a student culture focused on inspiring behaviors. The Spruce staff hopes that the attention continues to motivate those students and push others to reach higher.
“A lot of the times, we focus our attention on the kids in trouble and neglect the good ones,” ROTC teacher Sgt. Edgardo Ramos said. “If we take care of the good ones, the others will come around eventually.”
For some staff, the visits allowed them to see their students’ neighborhoods and community resources for the first time.
“Part of our focus this year is to engage the community, and we can’t do that if we don’t get out into the community,” Spruce Principal Danielle Petters said.
This was the second home visit outreach the Spruce staff has initiated this year, and multiple teachers said they are already looking forward to the next one.