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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

The power of positive reinforcement

Millard West staff introduce incentives for students in Good Standing
Before+incentives+were+introduced%2C+there+were+only+punishments+put+in+place+for+students+who+were+not+in+Good+Standing.+Incentives+will+begin+to+be+given+out+after+Prom.+%E2%80%9CWe+wanted+to+brainstorm+some+fun+things+that+we+can+offer+to+students+in+Good+Standing%2C%E2%80%9D+Assistant+Principal+Casey+Lundgren+said.+%E2%80%9CFor+example%2C+at+a+basketball+game%2C+we+said+that+if+a+student+was+in+Good+Standing+then+they+got+free+popcorn+and+we+had+a+really+big+student+section+that+night.%E2%80%9D%0A
Ariana Griffin
Before incentives were introduced, there were only punishments put in place for students who were not in Good Standing. Incentives will begin to be given out after Prom. “We wanted to brainstorm some fun things that we can offer to students in Good Standing,” Assistant Principal Casey Lundgren said. “For example, at a basketball game, we said that if a student was in Good Standing then they got free popcorn and we had a really big student section that night.”

Over the past few months, the staff of Millard West have put together some incentives for students in Good Standing.

At first, there were only punishments for students who weren’t in Good Standing. For example, students who weren’t in Good Standing wouldn’t be able to participate in Prom or Homecoming. Eventually, new incentives for students in Good Standing were announced. The goal is to give students who aren’t in Good Standing the motivation to try a bit harder with their grades and attendance.

“So, some schools have tried tying everything to Good Standing like sports participation, you know, being in the student section at a basketball game,” Assistant Principal Casey Lundgren said, “Those are things that we’ve talked about, but those are more like punishments or taking things away. We wanted to think of some incentives with which we can reward our students that are in Good Standing.” 

The school is offering many different incentives such as a variety of coupons including a coupon for two hours of free bowling, a free car wash, $15 for Javi’s Tacos, as well as a permanent parking spot for the semester next year. They are planning on doing raffles for students who are in Good Standing. 

“Sounds like a good idea, (incentives) but the nature of the people not in Good Standing isn’t going to help much,” senior Daniel Rigdon said. “Those that don’t care enough to fit the very relaxed criteria of Good Standing probably don’t care about the incentives.”

A lot of the Good Standing issues can be fixed between now and Prom. Grades can be fixed, if a student has been absent for more than 10% of days then as the calendar moves forward, it is possible to drop under that 10% again, as long as the student is here. But, for tardies, it’s different because if a student is already over 12 tardies, then they can’t just remove the tardies from their record.

“I feel like it’s not all that motivating for me,” senior Tonya Enke said. “It’s unfair for seniors because a lot of us don’t have a first block, and you know, the policy doesn’t cover tardies for a second block. I don’t think free food is going to help with that much.”

If a student has over 12 tardies then they can talk to a grade-level administrator about the options that they have. Alternatives may be available for students who would like to attend Prom and receive the benefits and rewards for being in Good Standing.

“My advice would be to just know where you are,” Lundgren said. “If you’re at ten tardies then you probably want to know that you’re at ten tardies and that you can’t be tardy anymore.”

The incentives and the Good Standing policy have been effective for a lot of students. They’ve changed their attendance and study habits to fit into the Good Standing criteria. As we approach prom, there is still plenty of time to bring up Good Standing and benefit from the incentives that the school is offering.

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About the Contributor
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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