Austin ISD, in partnership with the E3 Alliance and the Get Schooled Foundation, announced that Lyndon B. Johnson Early College High School won the high school fall attendance challenge for Central Texas. The school placed 13th in the nation.

LBJ celebrated on Jan. 22 with a school-wide pep rally and lunch. Houston Astros players Marwin Gonzalez, Chad Qualls and Alan Ashby celebrated with the students. The school also accepted a prize of $5,000.

The challenge was a friendly, 10-week competition to rally students to improve attendance and stay focused on education. More than 55,000 students participated nationally in the 2014 Fall Attendance Challenge.

“We are so excited and honored by this award,” LBJ Principal Sheila Henry said. “Our team has worked very hard to promote a culture of attendance at our school, and we are so proud of how our students have responded. They committed to winning this challenge, and they accomplished their goal.”

Get Schooled Foundation sponsored the challenge in districts throughout the country during fall 2014. Partnering with local school districts and organizations such as E3 Alliance, the challenge provided incentives and fun, educational activities that engaged students. The challenge also provided college-planning information and promoted a peer culture that supports attendance improvement and academic success.

In a press release, AISD stated that each year, Central Texas students are absent 2.4 million school days. Each day a student is absent from class costs the district about $38 in lost state revenue. Across Central Texas, schools have been losing more than $91 million a year. To combat this challenge, E3 Alliance spearheaded a regional campaign to improve attendance starting in 2011. Since the start of the campaign, Central Texas schools have saved more than $20 million because of improved attendance.

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