"Don't Skip Class" Takes on a New Meaning

By: Lauren Zakalik
By: Lauren Zakalik

Everett High School in Lansing isn't taking any chances on Count Day. They want students in class, no matter what.

"My job is to physically go out and find these students and walk them back to class," said former teacher Ron Pohlonski.

The school hired Pohlonski to troll the school for truants. Each truant and each student back in class means big bucks for the high school on Count Day.

"Each student is worth thousands of dollars," he said, around $8,000 to be exact. Everett principal Susan Land hopes other incentives might keep students in school as well.

"We will be promoting Count Day and holding some drawings and things for students who are in all six classes all day on Wednesday," she said.

Why the big to-do? If students are absent for any amount of time on Count Day, the state won't consider them when awarding individual schools their yearly funds.

"If we lose funding and we have to adjust budgets, we start having to cut services to students and parents, we have to start cutting teachers in the classroom, and that does indeed have an effect on the students and what they learn in the classroom," Land said.

At Lansing's Attwood Elementary, the PTA will be giving away free popcorn to students present on Count Day. Usually they have to buy it. But Principal Patricia Fitzpatrick sees the bigger picture.

"If we just value education in general, our children are gonna show up on Count Day, if we as parents value them being here."

Going against the adage, on this one day, you can put a price on education.


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