Students get parties for doing good
By Linda Petersen
Nov. 30, 2017
MT. PLEASANT—Children know that what we focus on and reward is what they’ll deliver.
And at Mt. Pleasant Elementary, the students are delivering—in a good way.
Students at the school know they’re being watched to see if someone can catch them doing good.
When a faculty or staff member sees a student doing something good, the student is given a Respect card. And, of course, these Respect cards can’t be bought, sold or traded.
It’s all part of a new program implemented at the school by Principal Rena Orton.
The principal’s 200 Club is made up of students who have been recognized for good behavior.
How it works is pretty simple. A faculty or staff member notices a student obeying a school rule or procedure (identified by the staff and student body back at the beginning of the year). That person then gives the student a Respect card with the student’s name and the giver’s name on it and what the student did to earn it.
Each morning, Respect card holders are called to the office where their information is recorded so a postcard can be sent to their parents letting them know they have been recognized.
“It’s a positive vibe coming from the school instead of a call to say they’re in trouble,” Orton said.
Those students are then assigned numbers from one to 200 which are then put in a drawing. As the numbers are drawn, they are put on the principal’s club chart. When there are 10 numbers in a row, those students get a special party with Orton. (The school generally has a party about every other week).
At the end of the week, a drawing is held among that week’s Respect card holders. The winner receives a popcorn party, “ownership” of the club trophy for a week and candy to share with the winner’s class. The teacher or staff member who nominated the student gets a free lunch and a reserved parking place.
The kids especially love the popcorn party since they make it fresh at the school, Orton said.
Behavior at the school has improved as students work to earn the Respect cards.
“Not long ago, we had a special needs student who struggles to get along with his peers receive a Respect card. He was so excited you would have thought we’d given him $1 million,” Orton said.
Orton came up with the idea to help reinforce the districtwide positive behavioral system implemented this year. The program has been very popular.
“I don’t think the students would let us stop if we wanted to—which we don’t,” Orton said.