JCPS classroom generic (01/10/19)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Since public school came into existence in the early 1800s, keeping kids in class has been an obstacle.

"This is an issue I think every school district faces," JCPS Spokeswoman Renee Murphy said.

JCPS takes its attendance numbers seriously. The attendance rate for elementary schools district wide is 96 percent. Middle schools sit at 95 percent, and high schools have a 92 percent rate.

"Overall, our attendance rates are fairly good, but we know that we can improve on that, and we want to make sure all of our kids are in school," Murphy said.

So much like a lot of its students, the district is setting a goal.

"We're encouraging all of our students to have a 96.5 percent or above attendance rate," Murphy said.

That standard would limit absences for each student to no more than six a year, and there's a plan on how to get there.

"We want to have a full district-wide campaign, where we're encouraging all our schools to find ways to make sure they have all their kids in class," Murphy said.

The district is kicking it off Friday with a launch party at a location that it's keeping under wraps. It will include a surprise dance party, local celebrity visits and incentives for students.

It won't be the only surprise. There are several more planned throughout the year that no one will see coming.

"The kids will like this," Murphy said. "This will be something that they will enjoy, and this is truly something unlike anything we've ever done here."

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