Ridgeview Elementary revamps citizenship rewards

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Every student is a star at Ridgeview Elementary School.

At least this year they will be.

School officials have changed their program that rewards citizenship into something that students don't have to earn, but do risk losing.

In the past, students who consistently demonstrated respectful, responsible and honest behavior became Ridgeview "stars" and had the privilege of participating in monthly activities.

"That kind of tended to leave out some of our kiddos," Principal Julie Baker said.

The process also was prohibitive.

Students who wanted to earn their Ridgeview star had to get a signature from their teacher, instructional aide, the school counselor and Baker.

Now, students only have to collect those signatures if they lose their star and want to earn it back.

The criteria has become a little stiffer, too.

In addition to those signatures, students also have to get confirmation from the physical education teacher, their bus driver (if applicable), the lunch supervisor and a staff member of their choice.

"In the past, if you lost your star, you had the chance to earn it back, but how was inconsistent," Baker said. "They're going to have to work twice as hard to get their star back if they lose it."

Students' behavior is ranked as partially proficient or proficient on a checklist that includes 17 areas of conduct. Some of those include, "I treat myself and others with respect," "I take care of my property," "I respect the property of others," "I am helpful to and cooperate with others," "I am honest" and "I follow the rules."

Students can't earn back their stars until the start of a new trimester and must have a star at the end of the trimester to participate in activities that also are being revamped.

Last year, stars stayed in Craig -- even in the school -- for a special monthly event, such as bingo.

This year, Baker is working to limit the reward activities to three and make them very successful -- something that encourages students to monitor their behavior and that gives more value to the stars.

"I want to get this back to being a real privilege," Baker said.

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