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Academic Achievement and Positive Behavior Equal Great Rewards

By Anna Jennings, LEAP Teacher

As the school year at Grenada Middle School (GMS) starts off on a positive note, former and current students have begun to reap some unexpected benefits. Academic achievement from students’ performance on last year’s Mississippi Curriculum Test 2 (MCT2) and positive behavior are the catalyst for student rewards designed to foster individual excellence.

Academic excellence is a standard to which schools nationwide strive to achieve. According to the 2010-2011 scores from the MCT2, Grenada Middle School ranked High-Performing for the second year in a row.

In order to receive any of the academic rewards, students were required to meet one of the following standards based on the 2010-2011 MCT2: (1) scored advanced, (2) had a ten-point scale score increase or (3) moved up a level. Any student meeting one of the conditions was given an academic T-shirt from the school to wear on special days instead of a uniform shirt. In October, achieving students were invited to a special recognition breakfast with their parents.

Also on Friday, October 14, those students who met at least 85% of their Accelerated Reader goal for the first nine weeks earned the right to a CRAZY HAT DAY!!! Only those students were able to wear a hat on that day. The math and language scores from the MCT2 will be added together and in November, the 190 students with the highest scores will attend a ladies basketball game at Ole Miss.

Another system put in place to encourage students is Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports also known as PBIS, a system that promotes positive behaviors in students. Strategies are developed that manage student behavior inside and outside of the classroom settings. The PBIS method makes students accountable to behave in ways that positively affect them personally, academically, socially, and from a health perspective. PBIS is designed to positively affect not only the student behavior, but student quality of life.

The three systems of support that are part of PBIS are school-wide, classroom, and individual. Students are expected to demonstrate behaviors that are respectful, responsible, and safe. This is demonstrated in various ways throughout the classrooms, hallways, cafeteria, assemblies, etc.

Rewards are offered often and consistently for motivation. The rewards for PBIS are divided into five major categories: daily, weekly, bi-monthly, 9-weeks, and yearly. On a daily basis, at the principals’ and teachers’ discretion, students are given a ten minute break to buy refreshments and chat with friends.

As a weekly reward for a lower percentage of discipline referrals, Mr. Williams announces a school-wide T-shirt day in which students are allowed to wear a school spirited T-shirt on Fridays. For the GHS Homecoming, students at GMS were allowed to join in the spirit with “Crazy Hair” day.

The bi-weekly reward is similar to the weekly reward with the exception of the reward being grade specific. The reward may be a T-shirt day or hat day. Sixth and eighth-graders won the bi-weekly reward with a tie for the least percentage of discipline referrals.

The 9-week incentive offers students with no more than one discipline referral and no referrals over Level One a chance to have their names placed in a drawing for a prize such as a Wal-Mart gift card, sports pass, movie pass, or concession stand gift certificate.

The yearly reward, in which the criteria will be announced later, allows student to participate in field day. Administrator and teachers are encouraging students to make every effort in all subjects areas and to exhibit their best behavior. Academic success and appropriate behavior are essential to becoming productive citizens.
GMS Crazy Hat Day