Alabaster schools rewarding kids for grades, good behavior

Windy McNish, left, guides Warrior the dog as he visits with Meadow View Elementary School students at the school on Sept. 11. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Windy McNish, left, guides Warrior the dog as he visits with Meadow View Elementary School students at the school on Sept. 11. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Hundreds of children gathered in the gym of Alabaster’s Meadow View Elementary School burst into cheers as the school’s principal announced the grand prize for the school’s upcoming Learning Earnings program on Sept. 11.

“The big prize is having your picture taken with Warrior,” MVES Principal Rachea Simms said as Warrior, the Alabaster School System’s Australian shepherd mascot, trotted into the gym with his handler, Windy McNish.

MVES is joining other Alabaster schools in rolling out the Learning Earning program, for which Alabaster was selected as a pilot through the state Department of Education’s Plan 20/20.

Through the program, which comes with no cost to ACS, the state will provide a system through the school system’s existing iNow software allowing teachers to track students’ good deeds. Each time a student is honored for a good deed, they will collect credits through the system, which they can spend on prizes offered at each school.

During the Sept. 11 pep rally for the program at MVES, Simms said kids will be rewarded points for showing up to school on time, for displaying good behavior and minding their teachers and for improving their grades throughout the year.

As kids at MVES rack up points, they will be able to spend them on items such as serving as a front office assistant for 15 minutes, eating lunch with a teacher and making the afternoon announcements over the school intercom.

“We know at Meadow View Elementary School that our kids are the very best,” Simms told the kids. “You will be able to earn points just like that.

“We are going to try to start this within the next week,” Simms said. “We are going to start slow, but we are all going to be able to earn points quickly.”

Elsewhere in the school system, older students will be able to exchange their points for items such as sporting event tickets, pizza parties and preferred parking places at Thompson High School.