Nimitz Jr. High Institutes New Punch Card System 01/08/14
January 8, 2014
Odessa - Teachers say a new punch card system in an Odessa Jr. High School has significantly helped decrease fighting in the hallways. However some parents are concerned about their student’s health because they are being rewarded for not using the restroom. All students at Nimitz Jr. High now carry punch cards along with their ID’s and things like being out of dress code, having to leave the classroom to get water or use the restroom all merits for a punch on their card.
With a hole punch in hand teachers stand ready in the hallways to catch all students who violate the rules. “It’s a real concrete reminder of, okay, I need to check my behavior,” said Nimitz Jr. High Principal Robin Fawcett.
If a student receives less than three punches for a six-week period, they receive a reward. “It’s extremely positive and extremely effective and the students absolutely love it, they love it,” said Fawcett.
But parents are concerned and have sent letters to the school saying that by giving students an incentive not to leave the room during class can cause some serious health problems.
“I think the punch card system as it exists to monitor to dress code violations, I’m all for that, I just want to see them remove the bathroom access so that there is no implicit or explicit restrictions placed on the bathroom access,” said concerned parent Paul Lucas.
“Students are always allowed to go to the restroom, they can leave the room to go to the restroom but they just have to get their card punched. It’s not a consequence,” said Fawcett.
By giving students an incentive to stay in class, school officials are saying the total amount of students receiving referrals has decreased from 607 students to 341, and fighting from 38 students to seven.
“That decreases is attributed to the lower number of students in the hallways in between and during class,” said Fawcett.
Truancy has also decreased by almost thirty percent and attendance is actually at it’s highest it has seen in five years.