School day wake-up calls recorded by celebrities. Weekend makeup classes. Contests with laptop computers, private concerts and cars as prizes. Educators across the nation are using creative strategies as another school year gets under way to convince students and parents that regular attendance matters — and not just for grades and achievement, the Associated Press reports. New research suggests missing as little as two weeks of school can put young children behind their peers, burden overworked teachers, cost districts state dollars and undermine mandates to raise standardized test scores. So many public school districts have launched campaigns to reduce all...

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