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Take Five for...

Recognizing and Celebrating
Student Achievement, Behavior


"One of the things that we emphasize in our school is respect. And one thing we do to celebrate that is to give out two PRO (People Respecting Others) Awards each week. We send home a letter to the parents of all nominated students to inform them that their child was nominated. The PRO Award has really raised awareness and the frequency of respectful and kind behavior in our school." (Cathy Finn-Pike)

Assistant principal Belinda Miller told of her school's Good Kid Cards program. "When a sixth grader is 'caught being good,' he or she is given a card. The student signs the card and drops it in the designated container. At the end of the week, teachers draw a few cards and award prizes to those students. Our school counselors do an excellent job of soliciting prizes from local businesses."

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What special ways -- events, awards, or celebrations -- do you have in your school to celebrate the kindnesses and accomplishments of students? Those recognitions might be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly... Click to join the conversation. Share your thoughts and ideas so others might learn from your experiences.

"We were having a huge problem with tardiness so we looked at ways we might improve that situation. Each month, students who have perfect attendance or attitude -- no discipline issues -- are entered into a drawing for $25 awards presented at both our junior and senior high levels. The incentives we put in place have really helped us improve attendance and tardiness." (Phil Shaman)

"Our Students of the Month are awarded a lunch with the principal and assistant principal. We do a very special lunch with tablecloths, fancy china, crystal, silverware" (Betty Peltier)

Chad Sutton is assistant principal at an alternative school in Kansas City. There the "High Five" program has been working for the past three years. Students receive paper dollars each time they do something caring, respectful, or responsible. They also receive "dollars" for doing an outstanding job on an assignment or project. Teachers sign each dollar and add a note about what the student did to earn it. Students can earn as many dollars in a month as they want. "When a student collects five dollars, they staple them together and drop them into a High Five bucket in my office. At the end of each month, we hold a drawing. The student who wins the drawing takes our school resource officer and a staff member of their choice out to lunch at a local restaurant. This program has been extremely successful with our students, many of whom benefit from the continuous feedback and incentives. The program also means students make positive visits to the principals and that I get to pat more students on the back."

Take Five more to read this entire article from Education World's "Principal Files" series:
"Celebrating Students: Schools Recognize Achievement in Many Ways"
(Education World -- February 17, 2004)