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Pulaski Elementary-Middle School Strives for High Attendance Numbers

The staff at Pulaski Elementary-Middle School, located on Detroit’s east side, has a mission to educate and empower every student in their community every day to build a stronger Detroit. That is why the school has established a model to combat chronic absenteeism issues. 

Echoing DPSCD’s Whole Child Commitment in line with the Blue Print 2023, Pulaski students, like students across DPSCD, are expected to maintain a 100% attendance rate throughout the year. At the beginning of the school year, Pulaski’s staff met to address the attendance challenge the school was facing and then rallied together to implement a process to get students and their families involved in increasing the attendance numbers. This includes holding students and parents accountable and providing incentives to the class with the highest attendance figures from the previous month. 

Pulaski’s Dean of Culture Tamekia Cole said each student and staff member was excited about rolling this out. 

“Each family got involved when we had our open house and we shared the video [outlining the plan],” said Cole. “We also have shared with all the parents if the student is absent, and no one called for an excuse, we will call you and find out why the student did not come to school.” 

This attendance accountability allows the school to see where DPSCD can assist students and their families. As part of the DPSCD’s Whole Child Commitment, the whole family is supported through basic needs, implementing enrichment programs in DPSCD schools, and supporting the holistic health and wellness of our students. 

The phone calls have been so successful, that students who were absent the day before are proactive in letting their teachers know if they did not receive a phone call and are aware of where their class stands in terms of their attendance numbers for the month. 

“One of the methods that we use to encourage daily attendance is giving shutouts, and each POD has bragging rights about who had the highest attendance for that day,” said Cole. “Our attendance agent also gives out weekly awards to the highest class for that week and our classes are very competitive when it comes to giving prizes. The students call each other and hold them accountable for coming to school every day.” 

Whether at Pulaski or at any of our more than 100 DPSCD schools, DPSCD has a school and programming to meet your students' needs. DPSCD, the Future is Rising