By AJ Topps, AmeriCorps Member, Lincoln Financial and TJX Companies Supported Team, 
Serving at Gossler Park Elementary School 

At City Year, one of the pillars that our in-school service is based on is attendance. City Year acknowledges that poor attendance is one of the early warning indicators that can predict which students are at a higher risk of dropping out. In an attempt to promote good attendance, Gossler Park and Parker-Varney schools teamed up to take part in an attendance initiative. The idea was that the school that had a higher attendance percentage over the month of October would watch as the principal, of the other school, took part in the Ice Bucket Challenge. In addition, both principals agreed to donate to the ALS Association no matter the outcome. 

In a closely contested battle, Gossler Park fell just short of the high standard that was set by Parker Varney. The initiative should still be seen as a success however as the overall attendance of Gossler Park rose over the course of this challenge. Students made a noticeable effort to get to school on time and daily reminders from Mrs. Upham kept the school community engaged throughout the initiative. 

It is great to see that both the Gossler Park and Parker Varney communities are committed to find innovative ways to address an issue that is at the core of poor school performance and ultimately the drop out crisis.  

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