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Program to boost student attendance

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March 03, 2017

Scary: Georgia Fitzpatrick was the winner of the friendly monster competition at Cobram Primary School.

Cobram Primary School’s new program — Every Minute Matters At Cobram — is a bid to boost attendance and learning.

Classes will compete for the highest weekly attendance percentage.

Cobram Primary School principal Matt Knight said it was important for everyone at school to embrace the EMMAC idea.

‘‘The message that EMMAC brings into our school and our community is imperative — attendance is vital,’’ Mr Knight said.

‘‘We know this because there is so much evidence and research that tells us that attendance relates directly to academic achievement and outcomes.

‘‘On top of this, low attendance rates are linked to early school leaving, fewer qualifications, increased alcohol, tobacco and substance use in adolescents.

‘‘From my point of view one of the most important elements in regards to attendance is the importance of work ethic.

‘‘As parents and educators, we must ensure that children understand the importance of a solid work ethic so that they become valuable members of the workforce later in life.’’

Mr Knight said the early indicators in the 2017 school year were good.

‘‘The good news is it’s already having a positive impact. When I looked at the absence data for the same time last year, it showed that we have 75 per cent less unexplained absences this year, which is fantastic,’’ he said.

‘‘As a school community we need to work together to ensure that this trend continues.’’

A mascot for EMMAC was unveiled at school assembly on Monday.

The winner of the friendly monster mascot competition was Year 6 student Georgia Fitzpatrick who, along with her classmates, will enjoy a trip to the movies with Mr Knight later in the year.

Georgia said she enjoyed making the drawing, and that art was one of her favourite subjects.

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