New Rewards Program Encourages Excellence at SCHS

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  • Teachers Julie Marshall, Ashley Peoples and Nadine Almasri were the lead organizers of the character recognition event.

    Elizabeth Parret

  • Teachers could nominate up to five students that demonstrated positive behavior in the areas of speech, learning outcomes, consideration of others, attitude or participation.

    Elizabeth Parret

  • Teachers donated a variety of prizes for students including snacks and gift cards to local businesses.

    Elizabeth Parret

  • Students were able to enjoy music, time with friends and snacks during the character rewards meeting.

    Elizabeth Parret

  • Cotton candy and gourmet popcorn were popular snacks for students being recognized.

    Elizabeth Parret

  • The first cardinal character recognition rally was held on February 22 during CARD time. Over 200 students were honored for their positive behavior.

    Elizabeth Parret

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In schools all across the globe, administration and staff strive to encourage the best behavior out of their pupils. Many schools have turned to reward systems to foster excellence, and now Scott County High School is the newest to follow. SCHS has decided to invest more attention in acknowledging students who are being successful in their high school career, and recently rolled out the “Cardinal Character Program.”  

The Positive Behavioral Intentions and Supports council, or PBIS, is a nationwide program in place in many schools nationwide. According to the PBIS website, “The broad purpose of PBIS is to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of schools and other agencies. PBIS improves social, emotional and academic outcomes for all students, including students with disabilities and students from underrepresented groups.” This year, a team of faculty members collaborated to create some new positive behavior incentives. 

The Cardinal Character Cards reward students who are excelling either academically or behaviorally and go above and beyond to set an example of excellence. I hope that the Cardinal Character Card program encourages all students to spread positivity and to make everyone feel loved and welcome at SCHS.”

— Nadine Almasri

Assistant principal Brian McIntyre and Julie Marshall, French and Drama teacher, cultivated the Cardinal Character Program after collaboration about a PBIS-based reward system. Marshall, inspired by her creation of current “Student of the Week” program that has been in place for many years, proposed the concept of teachers being able to reward up to 5 students of their choosing a month that they felt were exemplifying the cardinal characteristics of excellence: speech, learning outcomes, participation, consideration of others, and attitude. Their plan kicked into motion during the start of the second semester, with the assistance of new team members Ashley Peoples and Nadine Almasri.

“The Cardinal Character Cards reward students who are excelling either academically or behaviorally and go above and beyond to set an example of excellence. I hope that the Cardinal Character Card program encourages all students to spread positivity and to make everyone feel loved and welcome at SCHS. I hope that it allows students be kind to one another and their teachers and to have consideration of others while striving for excellence for themselves,” added Nadine Almasri.

When students are recognized in class by their teachers, they are given a card that identifies the area that they were exemplifying excellence in. Cardholders then are invited to a special rewards party at the end of each month, where numerous prizes and events will be found.  The first rewards celebration was held on February 22, 2019. Several community partners donated items to help honor deserving students, including popcorn from Miss Stephanie’s Gourmet, cotton candy donated by the Scott County Rotary Club, and a Chromebook donated by Johnson’s Funeral Home, which was awarded to senior Jordan Souders.  “I was extremely happy,” Souders said about his Chromebook win. “I was totally surprised.” 

Students and teachers were excited about the success of the first celebration.  “I loved that we have amazing kids in our school that come here every day to do word hard and do what they are supposed to do.  This gives us a chance to recognize them and let them know that we do see them and we appreciate them,” said Marshall.

“The rewards will change each month,” said Peoples. “They may include an ice cream social, popcorn party, music, and games. I really hope we can have a dunking booth in May!”

Students will turn the cards back in during the rewards assembly and participate in a raffle featuring donations from SCHS’s numerous community relationships and business partners.

Our goal is to make this an exciting tradition for all the high schools of Scott County. No matter how many schools we split into, we deserve to celebrate the great students that we have.”

— Ashley Peoples

Teachers can hand out the cards at any time, to any student they feel deserves it. “It was kind of a surprise [to receive a card],” said senior Elizabeth Parret, who has received a total of 4 cards this month. “I didn’t expect to get one, but when I did I was like ‘Hey, that’s pretty cool!’”

Programs like this can be seen in numerous schools across the Scott County Schools district. Scott County Middle School has had a CARDS tickets program in place for many years that is extremely similar to the new program that has been launched at SCHS–the only difference is that the teachers administer tickets, not cards at SCMS. Georgetown Middle School operates a “Buffalo Bucks” system where teachers can pay well-behaving students with a money equivalent that can be cashed in for multiple prizes, such as a homework pass, or to purchase food or drink off of the school’s snack cart. These long-established programs are treasured by staff and student alike in the schools, and the hope is for this love to catch onto the population of SCHS.

The next character rewards celebration is tentatively scheduled for March 22nd, and the program organizers are excited to honor more awesome students.  They also hope that this will become a constant at both Scott County High School and Great Crossing High School when it opens in August.  “Our goal is to make this an exciting tradition for all the high schools of Scott County,” Peoples explained. “No matter how many schools we split into, we deserve to celebrate the great students that we have.”