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Spokane schools put twist on March Madness

Rather than brackets for basketball games, some Spokane schools have set up their own challenges for things like attendance and jokes.

SPOKANE, Wash. — It’s the madness that’s bringing some schools in Spokane together.

“There’s definitely some trash-talking going on between classes," Kelsie Delp, a senior at North Central High School said. "Yeah, and there's some plotting and stuff. But no, kids are definitely getting into this,” she said.

Delp is one of more than 1500 students that are taking part in North Central’s attendance bracket to help students attend class. Delp has already seen a difference.

“I really like when our full family is at school. And you can definitely tell the difference when everyone's here. And you can tell that in March, like, people have been making the effort to show up,” Delp said.

Every week, each teacher is ranked on how well their classes are attended throughout their six periods. The teacher with the highest percentage of attendance for that week is ranked first. Based on where they’re ranked, each teacher is given a seed to compete against another teacher just like the March Madness bracket.

Chris Clay came up with the attendance bracket. He says the bracket brings fun back to the classroom.

“Our students are enduring a lot right now. Whether it's like mental stress, emotion, like trying to take care of their emotional well being, and it allows our staff to like engage with them in a way that they may enjoy,” said Clay, an engagement specialist at North Central.

Another Spokane school is putting their own twist on the month. Salk Middle School features what they like to call, March Dadness.

They have a bracket where students vote on which teacher has the best jokes. The votes are done weekly after teachers tell their jokes during announcements.

“March in middle school can be a trying time,” said Matt McFarland, the principal at the school. “It's kind of a long month, and we just try to have fun and break it up a little bit.”

McFarland says it’s the best time of the year, to show his students that teachers are people too.

Both tournaments will go through the end of the month. And while the prizes have yet to be determined, things are already getting heated.

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