Motivational Monday seeks to improve attendance


Kylie Butler

Middle School students line up to receive their ice pop reward.

Motivational Monday is a new system used with 7th and 8th graders, and Freshmen, to help with the attendance rates on Mondays.

If the students get all their seven teacher’s signatures on Mondays and go to the front of E building, the multi-purpose room, or B building they receive an otter pop.

Cara Togliatti MTSS Coach said that the counselors and teachers decided on Monday. ”Historically Mondays have been our lowest attendance days so we’re trying to get kids to come to school.”

According to Togliatti, the counselors and teachers did not want to make the system complicated.

”I think we wanted to make it easy for teachers so they didn’t have to do a whole lot of extra. I think that’s working out well, teachers just have to sign planners which 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students are already using m anyways, it’s already incorporated in their day.”

So far, the system seems to have a positive effect on middle school attendance but not 9th grade.

“The hard part is it’s working really really well for 7th and 8th graders, [but] 9th graders trying to find a common location to get them rewards is a little bit harder.  They’re spread out all over campus whereas middle school is in one building,” said Togliatti.

The teachers feel there are no challenges except for students who don’t want the stamps.

Geraldine Moniz Transition to High school teacher said, ”No challenges for me. I’m ready to give those stamps out but the kids don’t want them. I make the announcement, give them the opportunity to get a stamp and they say no thank you.”

Freshman don’t want to do this because they don’t want to write something they won’t look at.

Freshman Alicia Barnett said,”I think ninth graders don’t participate because they don’t want to write everything down in a book that they don’t check when they get home.”

The only challenge students feel is having their planner present and actually wanting the prize.

“Some of the challenges are, actually having your planner, having to remind the teachers and actually caring about it,” said Freshman Lanaia Kahili.

The teachers feel that the benefits are having middle school students come to class.

Kristine Ginoza a middle school English teacher said, “The kids have another reason to come to school, come to class.”

Students feel that the benefit of Motivational Monday is being able to have a snack after school.

Pualehua Ka’aiohelo an 8th grader said,”The benefit of Motivational Monday is for kids, because they’re hungry and tired. After school you get a snack that they can eat.”

One thing some teachers would change are the snacks. ”The prizes, it seems like they’re motivated but have to get better prizes, not prizes but snacks,” said Moniz.

Moniz also added snack suggestions to replace the prizes that they have now, ”Specials, from the truck, everybody likes specials. I mean it’s not the healthiest thing. I suggested ice cakes with the li hing mui inside. You can get a big bag. I mean the ice cake is just water and syrup. you can make a whole bunch with one, I think it’s 6 or 7 dollars for that big gallon.”

Kylie Butler
9th grade English teacher Thomas Erhmann stamps a student’s planner.

Some Freshman feel that one thing they would change is have less classes sign your planner to meet the requirement.

Barnett said, ”One thing I would change is that we could have at least five classes signed. If you have all seven classes signed you get a special snack. If you have at least five you get a small snack.”

Monitoring the success of this program is an ongoing process.

“The admin knows Motivational Monday is working for 7th and 8th graders because the attendance clerks and data coach keeps them up to date,” said Togliatti.

”Every Tuesday we get the data from the attendance clerks and our data coach. We can see what Mondays attendance is. Our Mondays attendance is better for 7th and 8th grade, 9th is about the same then it has been in the past. Mondays so far are better than Fridays.”

Yet there are some in the school who feel that there should not be a system of rewards to get students to come to school.

¨If I could change it, we wouldn’t have to do it, every kid would be at school every Monday. We would have hundred percent attendance. Maybe if they have perfect attendance the whole quarter, perfect attendance the whole semester, or perfect attendance the whole year we could do different incentives and recognize those kids,¨ said Togliatti.