From elementary to high school, students at Thomas County schools are showing up every day and filling up classroom seats.
Tammy Wooten, a school counselor at Cross Creek Elementary, says, "We have 140 students right now with perfect attendance out of a total enrollment of 755, so I think we're doing really well this year."
School officials say daily average attendance at each of the schools is at 96 percent or above, and they say attendance and student performance goes hand in hand.
Steven Dupree, Assistant Principal of Thomas County Central says, "If students aren't here they tend to score lower on standardized tests, have lower grades in the classroom, and therefore what they end up doing is repeating the same grades instead of moving on."
Jessica Salter, a senior at Central, agrees. She has had perfect attendance all year.
Jessica says, "I have to go to school every day or I get really caught behind in my subjects, and I have cheerleading after school, so I don't really have time to make up stuff after school."
Thomas County school officials say the less empty seats the have in the classroom, the easier it is for them to make the grade.
Woody Thompson, System Social Worker, says, "It helps us with AYP, but more importantly kids need to be in school because we can instruct them when they're in school. That's where they make some academic gains."
They are gains that will hopefully take these kids beyond high school and into college and a career, a goal that starts by simply showing up to school.
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