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BHS Students treated to tasty reward for scores

It used to be that when students got called to come to the principal it probably meant a disciplinary action was about to take place but Friday afternoon a group of Bassfield High School students were called out by the principal to be rewarded for focusing their attention on education.

This group of students who made proficient or above on the SATP2 standardized tests are rewarded for their hard work with a party complete with food, music and fun sponsored by their new principal, Will Russell.

Shirley Burnham / The Prentiss Headlight—New BHS principal Will Russell sponsored this party for the kids who scored proficient or better on the standardized tests and invites organizations or groups to sponsor other positive reward events for students.

Shirley Burnham / The Prentiss Headlight—New BHS principal Will Russell sponsored this party for the kids who scored proficient or better on the standardized tests and invites organizations or groups to sponsor other positive reward events for students.

“I want to let the kids know early in the year that we appreciate their hard work,” stated Russell as he turned savory hot dogs over on a hot grill. “This is a part of the PBIS (Positive Behavior Incentive Support) program I have instituted in every school I have served.”

Russell states his goals are to decrease behavioral problems and increase average daily attendance while working to increase student achievement and similar events had helped raise the standards in other schools.

Russell explained as a part of the plan he has asked Ms. Burkes, BSH librarian to form a committee, including the principal, to develop a literacy plan targeting reading and language arts issues in order to meet the expectations of the Common Core state standards.

“We are really going to work hard to get our kids to a level that will be competitive globally,” says Russell. He gave attention to some hungry students and then continued. “Other countries have been implementing Common Core for years. We welcome it but it will be a challenge our first couple of years. We intend to rise to that challenge as we are getting our teachers trained. This year’s target is Math and English Language Arts. We will also stress ACT, ACT, ACT and encourage every child in high school to take it this year. Every high school junior will have to take it this year. We have incorporated an ACT prep course into our master study courses. Currently the state average is 19 and BHS is 16. Our goal this year is to meet or exceed the state average.”

Russell, raised just across the Marion County line, has been an educator for twenty-one years. He has more goals to be implemented and states he will share them at the appropriate time and has an open-door policy for community members and the parents of BHS students.

“I encourage every parent and community member to visit the school any day and any time,” states Russell and then is intermingled with happy, laughing kids playing volleyball and having a good time with their new principal.

Shirley Burnham / The Prentiss Headlight—Teens rush eagerly to receive their reward for focusing on their studies that paid off in higher test scores.

Shirley Burnham / The Prentiss Headlight—Teens rush eagerly to receive their reward for focusing on their studies that paid off in higher test scores.

Shirley Burnham / The Prentiss Headlight—Food, music and volleyball brought smiles and laughter to hardworking students of BHS.

Shirley Burnham / The Prentiss Headlight—Food, music and volleyball brought smiles and laughter to hardworking students of BHS.