“Looking at the system with our behavioral consultant, Steven Forth, it was decided that simplifying it would lower student anxiety and provide clarity for teachers and parents/guardians,” said Director of Counseling Mary Stadler.
Changes include removing the Zones of Regulation color codes from the Star Sheets, adding a school-wide goal upon which all students across divisions focus for a period of time, and adding one or two personalized goals.
“The new star sheet is much better than the one last year,” said a high school senior. “It’s more basic, less complex. Because there are fewer goals, it’s easier to concentrate on them.”
As with the previous system, each student carries Star Sheet each week for tracking his or her goal progress. As goals are met, the students receive points and—for students in kindergarten through 8th grade—those points are converted to Stanbucks. Stanbucks can then be exchanged for prizes at the Stanbuck Store.
“The Stanbridge Store teaches students about everything from math and self-advocacy to delayed-gratification and social skills,” said Counselor—and Stanbuck Store Cashier—James Warren.
Stanbucks are paid out on Friday mornings, just before the opening of the Stanbuck Store. Students may either spend their Stanbucks immediately or save them for more expensive items.
“I actually really like this better than the old system,” said a junior high student. “I like the positive reinforcement instead of having the negative reinforcement hanging over my head.”
Despite the array of prizes available at the Stanbuck Store, high school students will not participate in the Stanbuck system this year.
“The Stanbuck Store prizes weren’t inspiring the high school students, and they didn't care about STAR sheets,” said Head of High School Jay Huston.
To create a more effective incentive plan, high school introduced a new program where each student chooses his or her own reward. It is then determined by the student and his or her advisor how many points it will take to earn that reward. Popular requests include Gatorade sports drinks ( approximately 100 points) and Amazon gift cards, although some students requests are more unique.
“We decided to pool our points and as a reward we get a pizza party for our whole advisory,” said two high school seniors in John Barnett’s advisory. “This system is much better than the old one, because we each get to choose what we want.”