Here comes the Beast! Toms River finds fun way to beat post-COVID school absenteeism

in Toms River News

A portable speaker blared Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” as Toms River Intermediate North Assistant Principal Dave Fanslau wheeled a cart topped with a big black and silver trophy through C wing.

Principal Lynn Fronzak opened classroom doors so kids could get a glimpse of “The Beast,” the three-tiered, chain-decorated attendance trophy fashioned this summer by Assistant Principal Brian Blake, who wanted to create a hulking metal reminder of the importance of getting to school each day.

Topped with a menacing, muscle-bound silver figure, “The Beast” is awarded each month to the classroom with the best attendance. It’s part of a district-wide initiative aimed at increasing the number of kids who make it to class every day. On March 1, the trophy went to Sarah Dugan’s cycle 613 class of sixth-graders, the school’s first two-time attendance champions.

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