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Celebrating Students: Schools Recognize Achievement in Many Ways


At Southdown Elementary in Houma, Louisiana, students get recognized on a quarterly basis too. "Each quarter we plan a special activity for all students with a conduct grade of A or B on their report cards," said principal Betty Peltier. "The activities are always fun -- things like bowling, swimming, or skating -- and they are always free."

Honor Roll Breakfasts are another quarterly treat at Southdown. "Parents are invited and they walk up with their son or daughter to receive a certificate and prize," Peltier explained. "We try to celebrate everything -- big and small. It is great fun to recognize the students."

At Mickelson Middle School, eighth graders are nominated by their teachers for having "displayed exemplary social or academic behavior" during a nine-week marking period, said assistant principal Belinda Miller. "They attend a special Lions Club luncheon where they have a free meal and receive a citizenship award. We honor about 24 students each quarter."

Another award -- the PRO (People Respecting Others) Award -- is extra special to Miller. "As the assistant principal, my job deals mainly with students who have behavioral issues, which are often accompanied by academic struggles," she told Education World. "So I started this award so I could get to know and honor those students who have clean intervention logs each quarter. [Intervention logs are teacher records of students' behavioral infractions and missing/late homework assignments.] I give out these awards at the end of each quarter. The students who receive the PRO certificates get their names included in a drawing at the end of the year, so each student could have their name entered four times. I draw names for nice prizes such as books, CD players, games, and T-shirts."

How Do You Celebrate
Students in Your School?

What special ways -- events, awards, or celebrations -- do you have in your school to celebrate the accomplishments of students? Those recognitions might be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly...

Please share your thoughts on a special message board. By sharing, your principal colleagues who visit the message board will learn from your experiences -- and you will learn from theirs.

At Central Fairmount School in Cincinnati, Ohio, an Honors Day each quarter celebrates student academics, good citizenship, attendance, and other superlative categories. "The unique thing is that sometimes our tech support specialist and a teacher or two will tape individual students singing, reciting poetry, and just being creative," said assistant principal Bonita Henderson. "That video, which honors those creative achievements, is shown to the student body at the Honors Day celebration."

At Simmons Elementary in Jasper, Alabama, principal Jim Clark uses a computer program to track student behavior. "The program enables me to do an analysis and comparison of school-wide discipline by student, date, grade, time of day, location in school, type of problem behavior, reporting teacher or staff member, action decision, and several other factors," said Clark. "The program allows me to customize a report that I cover briefly in our biweekly faculty meetings. Best of all, the program allows us to recognize all students who accomplish perfect attendance and no discipline referrals at our quarterly Positive Behavioral Support (PBS) assembly."

At the PBS assembly, Clark and the staff at Simmons also present awards to students who do good deeds by helping others -- each class votes on those awards. And the librarian presents awards to students who reach milestone points in the school's Accelerated Reader reading program.

Positive behavior is also the focus of a special Behavior Bash held each quarter at Holbrook Elementary School in Houston. "That Behavior Bash party recognizes students who have no office referrals, no bus reports, and Satisfactory in conduct on their report cards," explained principal Deborah Harbin.

At Silver Sands Middle School in Port Orange, Florida, principal Les Potter and his staff recognize straight-A students, honor roll students, and students with perfect attendance each quarter. "We do this with breakfasts, pizza, ice cream, and other rewards," said Potter.

Click a link below to read more of this article:
Weekly Celebrations Spotlight Students
Others Emphasize Monthly Recognitions
Honoring Academic Accomplishments All Year Long
More Special Celebrations

Thanks a Million!

To the School Leaders Who Contributed to This Article
  • Laurance E. Anderson, principal, Gunther School, North Bellmore, New York
  • Diana L. Atkins, principal, Marist Academy-Waterford, Waterford, Michigan
  • Beth Burt, principal, Scott Johnson Elementary School, Huntsville, Texas
  • Jim Clark, principal, T.R. Simmons Elementary School , Jasper, Alabama
  • Larry Davis, principal, Doctors Inlet Elementary School, Middleburg, Florida
  • Cathy Finn-Pike, principal, Rennie's River Elementary School, St. John's, Newfoundland (Canada)
  • Dr. Patricia Green, principal, Cedar Heights Junior High School, Port Orchard, Washington
  • Deborah Harbin, principal, Holbrook Elementary School, Houston, Texas
  • Bonita Henderson, assistant principal, Central Fairmount School, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Marguerite McNeely, principal, Alexandria Magnet Middle School for Math and Science, Alexandria, Louisiana
  • Belinda L. Miller, assistant principal, George S. Mickelson Middle School, Brookings, South Dakota
  • Tony Pallija, principal, North Canton Hoover High School, North Canton, Ohio
  • Betty Peltier, principal, Southdown Elementary School, Houma, Louisiana
  • Dr. Les Potter, principal, Silver Sands Middle School, Port Orange, Florida
  • Dr. Deborah P'Pool, principal, Cumberland Road Elementary School, Fishers, Indiana
  • Phil Shaman, principal, Neepawa Area Collegiate Institute, Neepawa, Manitoba (Canada)
  • Teri Stokes, principal, Weatherly Heights Elementary, Huntsville, Alabama
  • Chad Christopher Sutton, assistant principal, Golden Oaks Educational Center (alternative school), Kansas City, Missouri