In the wake of Portland Public Schools' October decision to close Marshall High School at the end of this school year, student attendance at the Southeast Portland high school has fallen to the point that school officials have decided to offer "incentives" to students to improve the schools' attendance rate.

The "incentives" include tickets to Harlem Globetrotter games, pizza parties and Netbooks for students who maintain attendance rates of 95 percent or higher. According to the Portland School Board agenda for today, Monday, Feb. 28:

Operating with the belief that rewarding good attendance is as important if not more important than punishing poor attendance, Marshall and District staff have developed a process to reward good or improved attendance. Specifically, District staff has secured items from donors to reward students for good or improved attendance, including Harlem Globetrotter tickets, coupons, and merchandise. Similarly, the District will use grant money to pay for monthly pizza parties for students with 95% or above attendance. The board generously donated five Netbooks, which will also be used to reward good or improved attendance. (The small school administrators will buy one additional Netbook so that each school can distribute two Netbooks to their schools).