Tuscaloosa County High celebrates students with perfect attendance

Students at Tuscaloosa County High School spent some time Thursday morning learning all about the importance of showing up. To school, that is.

“Kids don’t realize if you miss two days a month over the nine-month period, that’s 18 days and the state sees that as being chronically absent,” said Tuscaloosa County High School Principal Darrell Williams.

The school’s newest campaign, focused on attendance, has a simple slogan: Every Kid, Every Day. That’s the Wildcat way.

Williams said around 1,600 students attend TCHS. Of those, 38 had perfect attendance in the fall. Chronic absences hurt the student and the school, he said.

“When the last report card came out, we had the highest achievement score in the whole county,” Williams said. “But we had the lowest attendance score. That is why we had a C on our report card. We are not a C school, and our students don’t believe that they are C students. We are A and B students. So we are trying to get that where it needs to be.”

The school brought in a motivational speaker to help the students understand the importance of showing up to school every day.

“When you stay in school, your possibilities are endless,” said guest speaker Rachel Joy Baribeau. “When you stay in school, you can go places you’ve never been. When you stay in school and stay in a book, you can travel to places that you have not traveled to. When you stay in school, you can break generational curses. When you stay in school, you can find your passion”

Some students said that message was heard loud and clear.

“I love coming to school,” said TCHS junior Mackenzie Barringer, who was recognized for perfect attendance over the fall semester. “I feel like it benefits me and prepares me for my future. I think everyone should come to school. You should want to come to school. it’s a great environment to be in to prepare you for your future and set you up for a successful life.”

Williams said school leaders are hoping they can recognize even more students for perfect attendance at the end of this spring semester.

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