A friendly competition - with the potential for cool rewards - is the latest way the Tucker County school system is encouraging students to get their "Feet Under Seats."
Average attendance rates are being posted for each grade level at each of the county's three schools: Davis-Thomas Elementary Middle, Tucker Valley Elementary Middle and Tucker County High School. It's part of the yearlong FUSS initiative, funded through a grant secured by the Tucker Community Foundation and several partners.
All students in the grade level at each school who finish with the highest average attendance will receive a reward.
So far, Davis-Thomas Elementary School fifth-graders lead the county with 97.75 percent average attendance. At Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School, the seventh-grade classes top the list with 96.83 percent attendance. Sophomore students are on top at Tucker County High School, with 94.88 percent, just barely ahead of freshmen students at 94.27 percent.
First-graders and seventh-graders also are above the 96-percent mark at Davis-Thomas Elementary Middle School, while the fifth-graders and second-graders beat that mark at Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School.
With the second semester under way, there's plenty of time for all grade levels to get into the mix.
"Students can be susceptible to peer pressure, and in this case we hope that's a positive thing," Attendance Director Larry McCune said. "We want students to help reinforce to each other - and to their parents and other members of the community - that being in school every day is the best way to ensure a bright future."
In addition to the class awards, three students will win iPads at the end of the 2011-2012 school year for making school a priority.
Tucker County is taking significant action against students who do not meet attendance requirements. Those who miss too many days are subject to discipline not only from the school, but from Circuit Court.
"We want our young people to succeed, and a key to having that happen is making sure they attend class regularly," Superintendent Eddie R. Campbell Jr. said. "We appreciate the support of businesses and community members in conveying this message to our students."
More information is available at the Tucker County Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/Tucker-247/204543066243734.