'Big Sean' principal for a day at Bates Academy in Detroit


DETROIT – For the Detroit Public Schools district, keeping attendance numbers up is a constant battle. That' why it launched the "On Time. All Day. Every Day" campaign.

DPS partnered with Get Schooled and its founding partner, Viacom, to offer the Detroit Attendance Challenge.

The district put their students to the test, to not only make sure they were attending school, but in the world of social media, to "check in" to school daily on GetSchooled.com.

The district wanted students to go to school and brag about it. The best attendance won the grand prize -- and it's a pretty good one: recording artist and Detroit native Big Sean will act as "Principal for the Day" at the winning school.

"The correlation between success in life and daily attendance in school is inarguable," said Big Sean. "As a former DPS student, I could not be more proud of the district for taking the issue of attendance seriously."

Drum roll please  ... the winner of the attendance challenge is Bates Academy.

Competing against thousands of students from 37 Detroit Public Schools' middle and high schools, Bates won the Get Schooled Detroit Attendance Challenge this spring.

"Detroit students have been working hard all year to boost their attendance," said Marie Groark, executive director of Get Schooled. "We are excited Big Sean is able to recognize their hard work and determination, and even more thrilled that he will be able to join us for the announcement of our first-ever student leadership corps, right here in Detroit."

More than half of all participating schools showed attendance increases during the challenge. Joining the Bates students will be eighth-graders from Durfee Elementary-Middle School, who saw their attendance jump a district high of 11 percent through their participation in the Challenge.

Big Sean, who attended the Detroit Waldorf School and graduated from Cass Technical High School, will be at Bates Academy Thursday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

"I am beyond pleased by the hard work and dedication our students have demonstrated throughout the course of this campaign," said Dr. Cleo M. Moody, principal at Bates Academy.