Jerstad-Agerholm encourages strong attendance, students win free bikes each month

RACINE — Students at Jerstad-Agerholm now have the chance to win a brand new set of wheels for having good attendance.

The administration and staff at the elementary school took it upon themselves to change their student’s mediocre attendance records by providing them with an incentive each month.

Students await results of the bike raffle. – Credit: Jerstad-Agerholm Elementary School

With the chance to win a brand new bike, courtesy of donations from the community, children are showing up for class.

“One of the things that we really wanted to improve on was our building-wide attendance,” said Kristen Vaughn, Assistant Principal at Jerstad-Agerholm Elementary.

During the 2020-2021 school year, attendance was recorded at 79%. The following school year attendance rates hovered between 80% to 81%.

“We’ve been pretty consistently around 80% attendance, which is not great. In our opinion, there was definitely room for improvement. That’s how we identified this and came up with a few different incentives for kids,” said Vaughn.

Administration, including the Directing Principal, Daniel Hernandez, was monumental in identifying the problem and working to get students to school. Principals and staff set a goal to get attendance rates to 86%.

“If they’re present Monday through Friday and they come to school every single day that week, they automatically get a raffle ticket to be put into this big drawing,” Vaughn said.

Notable changes identified

Olivia Erickson, September’s winner, with Assistant Principal Kristen Vaughn. – Credit: Jerstad-Agerholm Elementary School

Students are right on track. Two students have been awarded new bikes thus far this school year.

“We do monthly assemblies in elementary school, and that is where we recognize our elementary students of the month too,” she said.

It’s during these assemblies that they get students fired up about winning a new bike.

October’s winner, Kindergartener Enzo Izaguirre, is pictured with Head Principal Daniel Hernandez. – Credit: Jerstad-Agerholm Elementary School

“The name is drawn in front of the entire school and then the student comes up and picks their bike. They get to ride it around and the kids get all excited about it at the assembly,” said Vaughn.

At the end of September, Olivia Erickson, a 5th grader, won a new hot pink bike. In October, Enzo Izaguirre was awarded a black and red bike.

To accommodate all students of different ages and sizes, bikes are available in a variety of styles and sizes.

New milestones for Jerstad-Agerholm

The Jaguars at Jerstad-Agerholm have reached a new milestone. As attendance numbers rolled in through late October, the school reported that they’ve reached 87% attendance.

The elementary school beats its goal. Therefore, with multiple months left in the school year, the administration is looking to set a new goal for their students.

“We’re super excited to how this impacts our attendance this year, then what our final attendance will be at the end of the year,” Vaughn said.

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