Show up to school, win an iPod 

Go to school for one month straight and receive a free iPod Touch.

That is the incentive the Redwood City Elementary School District is offering in return for better attendance. Children will get a chance to win an iPod if they attend school every day for the next month.

The campaign, known as “Go To School and Win,” is a way to increase student attendance and ensure the district receives additional state funding.

“It’s not only a good source of revenue, but also being at school students are not missing any education courses,” district Chief Business Official Raul Parungao said. “We thought this would be a good way to provide incentive.”

One way school districts receive funding is based on the average daily attendance of students. The more days students are in school, the more funding a district will receive at the end of the year.

Redwood City has made it a priority to increase attendance in recent years.

Parungao said the district went from 93 percent attendance to 97 percent attendance last school year, giving the district an additional $1 million in state funds. Even one more percentage point could give the district an additional $440,000.

“That’s five positions,” Parungao said. “It would make a difference.”

Redwood City is facing a budget deficit of up to $10.6 million next school year. The district operates on a budget of nearly $80 million.

In a time period that began Monday and runs through Feb. 22, students must attend classes every day in order to be eligible.

Students with excused absences or those enrolled in independent study will not be eligible.

Any student in the Redwood City School District’s 17 schools can be a part of the drawing if they are eligible. If more than one student has perfect attendance, they will be entered into a drawing and chosen during the March or April school board meeting.

Parungao, however, warns students must also be in good health when at school.

“We don’t want kids who should be staying home, coming in just to be a part of the drawing,” he said.

If participation causes attendance to increase, Parungao said the district could continue the contest next month.

School board President Dennis McBride said the idea is very creative.

“The more time kids spend in the classroom the better,” he said. “This is a good way to get them there. Why not try it?”

Parungao said the district received the iPods free of charge when 10 laptops were replaced earlier this school year.


Extra incentive

1. Student must attend school every day in good health in a time period which began Monday and lasts through March 19.*
2. Students who are at school for at least part of every day will be entered automatically.
3. Two winners will be drawn at a school board meeting in March or April.
4. Prizes will be presented at the winning student’s school.

* Students with excused absences and those completing independent study do not qualify.
Source: Redwood City Elementary School District

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