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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Standing matters

Incentives added for students in Good Standing
Ariana Griffin
A look at the new front entrance and waiting area.

At the start of the 2023-2024 school year Millard West announced the Good Standing Policy. This policy stated that a student would have to pass half of the classes you are in, absent less than 10% of school days and have less than 12 tardies to all classes in order to be able to attend school dances or be recommended for other schools dances. 

The goal of this new policy was to encourage students to attend school and get good grades, but the program has had mixed results in the first semester. The program initially had a positive effect on attendance numbers but soon after the Homecoming dance attendance numbers reached new all-time highs.

“We were actually the last of the three Millard high schools to implement good standing,” assistant principal Casey Lundgrin said. “Both Millard South and Millard North had a Good Standing Policy for a couple years. Essentially the goal is just to provide an incentive to show up, show up on time, and pass your classes, and to reward those students who have been doing it anyways. I think that teachers get very frustrated with attendance issues, and when students have chronic attendance issues, it’s a hard thing to address. And so one thing this does is it gives us a tool to address that. But it also lets teachers know that you know, hey, we’re holding students accountable. We’re doing our best to try to motivate students to be to school and be to class on time. So yeah, I think it’s been successful.”

This new policy gave the school a unique issue to try to resolve. Finding a way to continue to motivate students to attend and try in school well also having to work on a limited budget. The solutions the school will be implementing is trying to add extra incentives. For example, at select sporting events throughout the semester students proving they are in good standing would receive a free popcorn. Other incentives include a random drawing for different prizes and gift cards donated by local businesses and the community. For example, a $20 gift card to Javi’s Tacos. 

“It truly has a lasting effect on my academics,” senior Connor Michalski said. “For me, the good standing policy allows me to excel in a school environment and rewards me by granting me access to school functions such as sporting events and dances, etc.”

The teachers have seen the Good Standing Policy as a positive effort to address this problem but believe more still needs to come. Despite all the efforts of the administration to motivate students to attend classes, the school continues to struggle with attendance numbers and absences.

“I think the beginning of this semester was a little worse,” math teacher Amy Delehant said. “I think students kind of felt the urgency to get here, to get work done, to get grades finalized. So I saw that before winter break. January so far has been kind of on trend for the whole year with double absences and double tardies. I hope we’ll see the benefit. Like I noticed with Homecoming, I worry about the drop after that motivation is gone. Hopefully, students will be motivated to attend Prom.”

The school plans to create more incentives for students to be in good standing as the school year progresses. Students should strive to continue and stay in good standing as the school year continues, to be able to benefit from these new incentives and rewards.

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About the Contributors
Nathan Delaney, Staff Reporter
Nathan is a senior at Millard West and this is his second year on the CATalyst staff. He is taking Advanced Journalism, Broadcast Journalism and Yearbook this year. This summer he went to multiple journalism camps and went on a family vacation to Alaska. He also worked with the President of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, Jim Timm, on the High School Radio Project. He is looking forward to expanding to new parts of journalism and furthering his skills this year.
Ariana Griffin, Staff Reporter
As a senior, this is Ana's second year on the CATalyst staff. She was previously the Online Editor-in-Chief for the CATalyst website and worked with the radio as part of the High School Radio Project. Ana looks forward to writing compelling stories and interviewing new people. Outside of journalism, Ana enjoys drawing, writing, reading and video games. She looks forward to getting to know the rest of the staff and working together with them to produce new and interesting content.

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