SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Several schools in Seminole County recently rolled out a new program designed to track students’ behavior.
Lyman High School, for example, is using it to reduce tardiness, while Rock Lake Middle School is using the program to combat bad behavior in the classroom.
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"It is a middle school. We do have issues that are overwhelmingly out of immaturity,” principal Dr. Jordan Rodriguez said to Channel 9’s Jeff Levkulich.
Rodriguez said the biggest issue his teachers face on a daily basis is just trying to teach.
“Classroom disruption accounted for 40 percent of our referrals in the first semester,” Rodriguez said.
And he wants to reduce that number. Classroom disruption not only affects the teachers, but distracts students who want to learn.
"Often times parents get phone calls from school officials and teachers because their students have done something that wasn't quite up to the expectation. This flips that idea and really allows us to reward kids for positive behaviors,” Rodriguez said.
Eventually students will earn points for good behavior as part of the program. The points can then be cashed in for rewards, like a homework pass.
"We also can do stuff, like the reduced cost of a yearbook. We might do free entry into a dance or into a sporting event, so we have all sort of things we can do,” Rodriguez said.
Teacher Ryan O'Donnell is already distributing points to students. The class with the most points will get a pizza party. He said he’s already seen a change.
“It's immediate so far, and a lot of times the students police themselves, so if there is a student getting out of line, they usually correct the student to make sure everyone gets their pluses,” O’Donnell said.
The “Hero” app will send out push notifications to parents so they can keep track of their kids' positive points.
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