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DPS offers Monster Jam tickets on count day

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Michigan educators encourage all 1.6 million students to attend school Monday through Friday, but especially Wednesday. It’s count day, when attendance is used to calculate state per-pupil funding.

Last year, the day before student count day Detroit Public Schools was hit with a power outage that closed 29 buildings. But power was restored overnight to all but nine.

For the 91 schools open, pep rallies, gift card drawings and basketball games were offered to encourage attendance.

Detroit Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski said the district stresses the importance of attendance throughout the school year, and strives to “offer exciting initiatives to encourage attendance rates by partnering with organizations that not only help encourage the importance of being on time, all day, every day, but also contribute to the district's goal to provide a quality education to its students.”

Through a partnership with Feld Motor Sports, all DPS students who attend school Wednesday will receive two free tickets to attend Monster Jam at Ford Field on Feb. 28.

But the Education Achievement Authority is not offering special incentives.

“We encourage our students and motivate them every day, not just on count day,” said spokesman Mario Morrow. “We consider all days important, and reward students for attendance on a regular basis, with activities like dress-down days and we offer books and other reading materials.”

Enrollment levels are a blend of two student count days — the first Wednesday of October, which accounts for 90 percent of funding, and the second Wednesday in February, which counts for 10 percent.

Percy Bates, University of Michigan professor of educational psychology, said the day is important not just for students and educators, but for the greater good of the districts.

“This day is becoming increasingly important to school in light of dwindling enrollment of many districts,” he said. “So let's hope they all show up.”


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