Rochester schools stopping attendance incentives due to coronavirus concerns

Posted at 7:23 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 20:46:28-05

ROCHESTER, Mich. (WXYZ) — It’s tempting for students to not miss a day of school to get perfect attendance awards. But one school district is stopping attendance incentives because of coronavirus concerns.

“We love our students and we are doing everything we possibly can to keep them safe,” said Rochester School District Superintendent Dr. Robert Shane.

That means no more perfect attendance awards for elementary, middle and high school students until further notice. That’s the new move being made by Rochester schools after they followed guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

The CDC released suggestions of how schools should be ready to prevent an outbreak. By taking away attendance incentives, sick students who haven’t missed school can stay home and not spread any germs.

“These are unprecedented times and it remains to be seen what happens as we continue to navigate this situation,” Shane said.

Like many of the districts in our area, Rochester schools say they are working with county and state health officials to better navigate this situation.

They have sent the following letter to parents:

Dear RCS Families,

The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority, and we recognize the seriousness of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. We will continue to work in cooperation with the Oakland County Health Division, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Department of Education, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as we navigate this volatile and unprecedented situation.

The CDC recently provided updated guidance for school administrators to help stop or slow the spread of respiratory infectious diseases. This afternoon, I met with the district’s attendance committee who convened to discuss the recommendations.

In accordance with guidance from the CDC, and with input from our attendance committee, Rochester Community Schools will be pausing all attendance incentives at the K-12 level until further notice. This will include elementary and middle-school perfect attendance awards and high-school attendance incentives. As always, all high-school students should be prepared to take their exams. We will continue to monitor this evolving situation and provide updates as they become available.

We continue to strongly encourage all students and staff to stay home when they are sick. The CDC recommends that individuals with flu-like illness stay home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever.

During this fluid and unprecedented time, we appreciate your support, flexibility, and patience as we work to ensure the safety of our students and staff. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your building principal or use the Talk to Us feature on our website at [].


Robert Shaner, Ph.D.