SPRINGFIELD TWP.  Springfield Junior/Senior High School has incorporated new programs into the school day to motivate students to improve their grades and model good citizenship.

The programs, Academic Assist (AA) and Academic Privilege (AP), have been monitored by Principal Shawn Morgan and have proved to make a difference in the performance of students.

The Academic Assist program provides an opportunity for students to improve their academic standing and/or citizenship in school. The program works in conjunction with the Academic Privilege program which grants students who exhibit academic responsibility and good school citizenship with earned privileges.

"Academic Privilege has motivated our students to be actively responsible by having a continued awareness of their performance in class. This program has opened up opportunities for students to have conversations with teachers and administrators that in the past had never happened," Assistant Principal Danielle Starkey said. 

She said the students truly enjoy the freedoms that come along with AP.

Students can attend an Academic Assist classroom Monday through Thursday. The classroom is cell phone free, quiet and provides an individual learning environment with no technology or groups permitted. Then on Fridays, students can access their ProgressBook on their phone. If a student can show that they have all C+’s (77 percent) or better and has received 11 or more academic reward points (citizenship), they can use the Friday class period for themselves, including technology. Students are expected to access a ProgressBook and monitor their own grades prior to arriving at academic assist.

Academic Privilege is a program that grants privileges to those students who have exhibited academic responsibility of having a C+ (77 percent) or higher in all classes and good school citizenship. The privileges can be earned at midterms and at the end of every grading period.

The privilege for grades 7 and 8 includes open gym time during lunch. Students have to have an AP pass to attend. For grades 9 through 12, the privileges are during lunch time and include spending time in the cafeteria, media center, time in the extended learning areas, the weight room or gym and open high school gym during fifth period.

Students in grades 11 and 12, juniors and seniors, can eat outside of the cafeteria door at tables and benches. They can also apply for early release and early dismissal.

Students can enjoy the privileges as long as they continue to maintain the 77 percent average and good citizenship. However, privileges can be lost if a student has a discipline issue during AP that could result in loss of privilege at the principal‘s discretion. Students must travel through the halls quietly and carry their AP pass at all times.

The school averages more than 350 students in AP each four-week grading period. Students have proven to work harder in their academics to obtain the privileges.

Morgan said that the program has been successful since its start at the beginning of the 2016-17 year.

"Academic Privilege is becoming a valuable part of the school culture at Springfield," he said. "Students are caring more about their academics on an ongoing basis due to the recalculation of grades every 4.5 weeks."

Starkey explained that the program has been very successful and involves community business support. The school continues to seek support of local businesses to help show the students that the community supports stellar academic behavior as well as the school. Reward prizes are also offered for students on Academic Privilege such as food items, coupons for pizza, smoothies, gift cards and other prizes. Monetary donations are also needed. Wayside Cafe, Lembo’s, T’s and Things, Auto Zone and GetGo have been actively involved in supporting the program.

If your business would like to help support a good program that encourages students academically, contact Starkey at 330-798-1002, ext. 545202.