Celebrity Robo-Calls Help Increase Attendance

This has been tried in various forms many times before, but students and parents from anywhere in the country can sign up for wake-up calls from their favorite celebrities as part of a Viacom- and Gates-funded initiative called Get Schooled profiled by (Gates-funded) PBS.com (Celebrity Calls Urge Students To Get Up, ‘Get Schooled’).  There was a national challenge that just wrapped up — Las Vegas, Des Moines, and Philly schools won a screening of Mission Impossible.  Looks like Chicago Academy High School, Collins Academy High School, Kenwood Academy, Orr Academy High School, Solorio Academy, and Schurz all participated. Did it work there, does anyone know?  A Las Vegas high school in turnaround raised its attendance rate by 6 percent (see press release below). That’s nothing to laugh at.  Here’s an example – Wiz Khalifa telling you to get up and get going:

Wiz Khalifa_WakeUp.mp3
From Groark, Marie
Download as MP3


Seemingly Impossible Attendance Turn-around at Las Vegas’ Chaparral High School Nets Students a Mission Impossible Movie Screening

McDonald’s to award $6,000 in scholarships in recognition of Chaparral’s achievement

 LAS VEGAS, NV – Chaparral High School, one of the lowest performing high schools in the Clark County School District, posted a dramatic 5.8 percent increase in attendance this fall as it participated in The Get Schooled Foundation’s  Attendance Challenge.  On Friday, the foundation, Paramount Pictures and McDonald’s recognized Chaparral’s stunning accomplishment – a performance that led them to the top of the Challenge’s west region based on  attendance gains and student engagement.

The Attendance Challenge is a friendly competition between schools from around the country.  Nearly 80,000 students from 73 high schools in 17 states participated in the challenge between October 3 and November 18.

“The challenge raised school spirit, made the students accountable to each other and gave them a chance to show their appreciation for the teachers that impact their lives daily,” said David Wilson, Principal of Chaparral High School.  “The improvement in attendance shows Las Vegas and the nation that the students at Chaparral are committed to graduating and to their future. “

Students at Las Vegas’ Chaparral High School attended a special advanced screening Friday of Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol to celebrate.  Paramount provided a real red carpet experience for the students who were able to see the new Tom Cruise film before any other moviegoers in Las Vegas.

At a Mission: Impossible themed school assembly prior to the screening, the local Greater Las Vegas McDonald’s Operator Association announced that it will award four (4) $1,500 scholarships to seniors in April of 2012 in recognition of the school’s accomplishments.  Any senior at Chaparral High School is eligible for the scholarships.

“McDonald’s is committed to helping improve education opportunities for Nevada students,” said Bob Powelson, local McDonald’s owner/operator.  “This is exciting to see young people take an active role in their future.”

In addition, 12 students received awards for improving their personal attendance, and serving as spirit leaders in their schools. Three Chaparral teachers were also recognized by their students for the motivation and inspiration they provide.

“During this challenge, students, teachers and administrators from across the country came together to achieve their own mission impossible:  increasing their attendance rates through a tremendous level of student engagement and commitment,” said Marie Groark, Executive Director of the Get Schooled Foundation. “Chaparral’s improvement means the school is on the right path to improving its graduation rate and creating a brighter future for each student.”

Attendance is the greatest predictor of graduation and a significant driver of student achievement. Research shows that missing just 10 days a year can lead to academic problems.  Students who miss 20 days a year (or about one month) have less than a one in five chance of graduating from high school. Few districts report these chronic truancy numbers despite their correlation to low graduation rates.

 In January 2012, Get Schooled will launch another national challenge – this one focused on a key milestone related to students’ likelihood of success in college:  completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Details are at www.getschooled.com

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About Get Schooled

Get Schooled is a non-profit organization dedicated to using media, technology, and popular culture to improve high school graduation rates and college success rates.  Get Schooled connects with young American through its combination of on-air programming, online content, on-the ground events and school-based initiatives.  Together with hundreds of schools, educators, and students, and boosted by partners like Viacom and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Get Schooled motivates and empowers students to make high school education a priority and college education a possibility.  To learn more go to www.getschooled.com or follow Get Schooled at www.facebook.com/getschooledfoundation, orwww.twitter.com/getschooled.

About McDonald’s of Nevada

Over 155 McDonald’s restaurants significantly contribute to the state of Nevada by spending $128.8 million dollars in Nevada’s communities.  McDonald’s owners and operators of Clark County continue to support programs that focus on education, literacy and the well-being of children, including, but not limited to: Ronald McDonald House Charities, and Commitment for Success, a new McDonald’s part-time work program for high school students.

About Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

This holiday season, two-time Academy Award®-winner Brad Bird directs, with producers Tom Cruise and J.J. Abrams, the action-packed spy adventure Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

Blamed for the terrorist bombing of the Kremlin, IMF operative Ethan Hunt is disavowed along with the rest of the agency when the President initiates “Ghost Protocol.”  Left without any resources or backup, Ethan must find a way to clear his agency’s name and prevent another attack. To complicate matters further, Ethan is forced to embark on this mission with a team of fellow IMF fugitives whose personal motives he does not fully know.

Tom Cruise returns in the starring role as Ethan Hunt and is joined by an international cast that includes Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Josh Holloway, Anil Kapoor and Léa Seydoux. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is directed by Brad Bird, in his live action film debut, and written by Josh Appelbaum & André Nemec. Cruise, who produces the Mission: Impossible films, is joined by producers J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk. The film will be co-financed by Skydance Productions. Jeffrey Chernov, David Ellison, Paul Schwake and Dana Goldberg are the executive producers.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL will be in premium large format screenings and IMAX beginning Friday, December 16th and in theatres everywhere on       December 21st, 2011.   It has been rated has been rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence.

“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” is a Paramount Pictures release.


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