John Gregg Elementary is taking time to recognize students who strive for excellence in classwork and behavior to attendance.
Principal Tammy Burchfield said the school has always placed its focus on supporting students’ needs but is now touting those who go the extra mile. This year, pupils who stand out are touted during their lunchtimes and receive “Burchfield Bucks” to save or purchase popcorn and items from the Spirit Corner store operated by the school PTO, plus they receive a few extra free treats from a “treasure chest.” Honors are given several times a month in seven categories including attendance, behavior, grades, foundational reading skills, STAR reading, STAR math and state test results. Recipients are those who rarely need support, are self-motivated and self-regulated, and officials say they deserve recognition.
Burchfield said the attendance, behavior and honor roll awards are given every nine weeks. Meanwhile, foundational reading skills focuses on students being at or above the benchmark and STAR reading and math assessments, which are taken at the beginning, middle and end of the year, must yield results either at grade level or above one year greater than grade level. Finally, state testing recipients must be proficient or at an advanced or accelerated level. Recipients are announced during their lunch time in the gym and they receive the “Burchfield Bucks” to purchase small bags of popcorn and an array of fun school supplies and Edison-based goods from the Spirit Corner, while they may also choose a free trinket or toy from a nearby chest. Burchfield said it gives the students an incentive to stay on course and make achievements in school.
“In the last few years, the programs we’ve provided have been for the needs and supports of students. Following some conversation with the staff, they said it seemed the students who worked really hard were never recognized,” she explained. “They were not being recognized for excellence, so we created a section of support with the seven categories from attendance to grades and have a recognition day for students in excellent standing in each of those categories.”
The honorees also have their picture taken for the school’s Facebook page, then they receive their money to acquire items from the PTO store and choose a freebie from the treasure chest.
“This is our first year, and we want them to strive for excellence and continue to better themselves,” she added. “They should do what’s expected while supporting others to do what’s expected and strive for excellence while encouraging others to strive for excellence.”
Several recipients noted their enthusiasm for being spotlighted.
“I like being recognized for working hard,” said fourth-grader Ronan Blake.
“It makes me happy and want to work hard,” added fourth-grader Olivia Davis.