COOPER CITY (CBSMiami) – It’s very uncommon for a student to take their attendance record as seriously as their report card.
It’s also not easy for a student to have a perfect attendance record for the entirety of their scholastic career.
On the rare occasions when a child makes it all the way from kindergarten through twelfth grade with an unblemished record, it’s nice to know that they will be rewarded for their dedication.
One student, according to his family, is not being recognized despite having been to school every one of the 2,340 days that took him from his first day of elementary school to the last day of high school.
Adam Werbin of Cooper City has not been absent from school since he first attended kindergarten at the age of 4.
Whether he was under the weather, had a family event or a teen convention to go to, Adam always made sure to be at school.
Now Adam is 18 and is getting ready to head off to college at the University of Central Florida after he graduates from Cooper City High School.
“He has sacrificed, made the decision to be there when he really wanted to be someplace else. He gave up plenty,” said Esther, Adam’s mom.
Every year, students who have not missed a single day of school, like Adam, are recognized by the county and receive the Best in Class Award.
This award comes with a $1,000 scholarship from the Broward Education Foundation, a new laptop, an iPad and a variety of gifts provided by several community and business partners.
The partners include BrightStar Credit Union, Dunkin’ Donuts, Partners in Education, the Miami Marlins, the Miami Heat, Applebee’s, Sawgrass Lanes and more.
Adam, however, is not being given the Best In Class Award by Broward County Schools because of the eight years he spent going to an accredited private school.
The Broward District Attendance Committee developed a specific criteria for the Best in Class Award, but Adam doesn’t fit that criteria. The rules state a student must attend a Broward public school consecutively.
“This is so unfair,” said Adam. “I feel like I have been robbed of what I worked so hard for. I’m proud of my accomplishment but I am also disgusted with Broward County Schools.”
Adam’s parents have tried speaking to the attendance committee, writing letters to members of the School Board and reaching out to the private school that he attended, David Posnak Jewish Day School, but to no avail.
The Best in Class Award Ceremony takes place on Thursday night at Plantation High School.
Adam will be there, but not to receive the award that he and his parents believe he earned.
“I’ve lost about $4,000 worth of scholarship and gifts,” said Adam. “Tell me, if you were just stripped of $4,000 that you rightfully earned, would you be ok with it?”
Instead, he will be one of 22 high school students to receive a medallion and a gift bag for having perfect attendance in high school.
“We have always taught our kids that everything they will ever have, they will have to earn,” said Esther, Adam’s mom. “Don’t ever believe that anything is owed to you. So, this scholarship, these gifts, this award and recognition, none of that is owed to him. All of this, he has earned.”
Adam’s parents are hoping that the community and business partners step up and give Adam what they feel he deserves, even if the School Board won’t.
“I’m very proud of my son for having the character necessary to achieve perfect attendance,” said Adam’s father, Eddie. “He is among a small group who has achieved this. Stand proud, son!”
In an attempt to supplant the lost scholarship, Adam started a gofundme page to help pay for his education at UCF.
“We don’t want him to second-guess his decision,” said Adam’s mom. “Was it worth it? Absolutely! This is huge, and he should be proud.”