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Principal Ideas
Volume #44


Just think of Principal Ideas as a virtual show-and-tell for principals. Each week in the coming school year we'll present four or five new principal-tested ideas. Send in your idea today! See the sidebar to learn how to be part of Principal Ideas.

Join the Fun --
Share an Idea!

The ideas presented in this article come from the Education World archive and from principals just like you. Since these principals have been kind enough to "show and tell" an idea, now it's your turn! Share an idea you've used to
- Celebrate Students
- Plan a Special Event
- Welcome Students Back to School
- Make Graduation Day Special
- Liven Up Your A.M. Announcements
- Motivate Teachers
- Involve Parents
- Raise Money
- Plan an Effective Staff Meeting
- Get Some Good PR for Your School
or any other topic of interest to principals.

Send your idea today to principalideas@
Be sure to include your name, your school name, and your school address because if we post your idea in Principal Ideas, we'll send you an Education World mug!

The Starfish Award

Our Starfish Award is based on The Starfish Story. Adapted from the book The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley, this story can be found on the Web in many forms, including this one. The moral of the story is that anyone can make a difference in someones life; making a difference is important even if it only affects one other person. Staff members are nominated for this award by their colleagues, parents, and students based on above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty behaviors that promote our school and its vision. Two staff members are presented with Starfish Awards three times each year. The recipients are announced at Awards Assemblies. They receive dinner certificates from one of our business partners and a nameplate on a perpetual plaque. At the start of the year, all staff members received starfish lapel pins. In addition, every staff member has a copy of The Starfish Story and it also appears on our big screen TV in the main hallway of our school.
Thanks for this idea go to Joy Dorsey-Whiting, 5ive 6ix School, Hackensack, New Jersey

Nail Techs Make the Day

For Teacher Appreciation Week, we contacted our local technical college. Tech students learning to be nail technicians came to school free for the entire day. They gave mini-pedicures to staff members. (Guys did it too!) We provided fruit trays and sparkling grape juice, low lighting, and light jazz in the waiting area. It was a tremendous hit!
Thanks for this idea go to Suzanne Tanner, Hahira Elementary School, Hahira, Georgia

Principals Buck Store

We use the Principals Buck Store as a way to boost test scores and celebrate student achievement. When district level assessments are administered, students who achieve 70% or higher earn play money (bucks) with the principals face on it. The students earn money in the following increments:

  • Students with mastery levels of 70-79% earn 3 bucks
  • Students with mastery levels of 80-89% earn 5 bucks
  • Students with mastery levels of 90-100% earn 7 bucks
Students use their money to shop for items at the Principals Buck Store.
Thanks for this idea go to Alana Balthazar, P.B. Young, Sr. Elementary School, Norfolk, Virginia

Private Pool Party

In these times of lack of funds, our sports booster club rented a local swimming pool on the night before we posted class lists. Families were asked to bring a sweet or salty treat and a 2-liter drink. We charged $5 per family for this opportunity to swim and meet classmates. Class lists were posted at the pool -- a day earlier than they are normally posted. Ninety-five percent of our families attended our PPP (private pool party).
Thanks for this idea go to Charlotte Bennett, St. John School, Newburgh, Indiana

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