Hoffman Estates High School Students Can Receive Wake Up Reminders through App to Combat Truancy

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Jeff Davis, the Title 1 attendance interventionist at HEHS, has been using the app Remind101 to help students get out of bed and to school on time.

Jeff Davis, the Title 1 attendance interventionist at HEHS, has been using the app Remind101 to help students get out of bed and to school on time.

Any Hoffman Estates High School students that have a tough time waking up in the morning for school now have a little help with making sure they are on time.

Jeff Davis, the Title 1 attendance interventionist at HEHS, has been using the app Remind101 to help students get out of bed and to school on time. Students can sign up to receive alerts, or wake up messages, that Davis sets through the app.

“Mr. Davis’ morning text is better than an alarm clock,” said HEHS senior Empriss Mitchell-Young. “It gets me up and moving and I look forward to his new message every morning.”

Students have an option to receive one, two, or three text message reminders in the morning through the free, downloadable app. All of the messages take place within the app, so neither Davis nor the students have access to actual cell phone numbers.

Davis said he makes sure the messages are fun and lively to get students excited for the day because getting to school sometimes is half of the battle. For instance, he can set a Wednesday message to say something about how the students have made it halfway through the week, or a Friday message to remind them to finish strong before the weekend.

“I know that I have a tough time getting up in the morning sometimes,” Davis laughed. “I send messages every school day, and this year I have reminder times of 5:45 a.m., 6:15 a.m., and 6:30 a.m., and I try to add a little humor and motivation to the messages, as well.”

Roughly 60 students are enrolled in Davis’ Remind101 program. Once students feel as if they have met their goals of getting to school on time, they can opt out of the app program. In some occasions, parents have asked for Davis’ help to allow their students to receive wake up calls outside of the app to help their children with truancy issues.

Although the app has only been in place since last year, Davis said HEHS has seen a 20 percent decrease in truancy and that the app is just another way to keep increasing that number.

“I monitor students’ attendance, and if someone has been meeting their attendance goals or hasn’t been late for a couple of months, I can delete the students from the list if they want,” Davis said. “For students who have attendance issues, it has helped them stay on task, and also meet goals we have set for them to reach.”