Winfield High School teachers Lynn Gerber and Peggy Craig and principal Eric Flaton presented the basics of an incentive proposal to encourage WHS students to invest more in their courses to get better grades and as a reward, get time off from school.

The board of education heard the proposal at their Monday night meeting. A group of WHS teachers and administrators has been working on the proposal since the summer.

The board agreed to let the WHS personnel proceed with the proposal as a pilot program for this semester. The time will enable those developing the program to find its strengths and weaknesses before the board votes on it before the start of school in the fall.

Gerber said the school is already rewarding students for good work and for improving themselves. Some of those rewards include Faculty Choice Awards, Vikings of Character, Renaissance and honors assemblies. 

With the new program, the students can have four absences per class per semester with no grades less than B and get time off near the end of the semester.

As Gerber said, students are always wanting time off from school no matter how much they like it.

Finals can be given earlier so students get their time off. Students still in class would be working on end-of-semester projects or reviews.

Some board members asked whether this program met the goals of education. Flaton said 89.2 percent of the WHS faculty approved of the program because it encourages students to use their time in class well.

Board member Brent Wolf asked if the policy were weighted in favor of students with top marks. He gave an example of a student who made all F’s first semester and all D’s second semester. That would be a huge improvement, Wolf said, but it would still not make the student eligible for the time off. 

“I can guarantee that student would get a Teacher’s Choice Award,” Gerber said. She also said teachers will be looking at modifying the program as it goes along, so they would be taking such performances into account to make sure students with lower grades still have the possibility of awards.

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