Hamilton recently held an assembly to try and inspire students to work harder and get prizes, but Students don't necessarily feel the intended cause. In Yearbook/Newswriting class, we held a discussion with our Substitute, Mr. Lowe, and students spoke about how if you did not win anything at all it would not inspire you to work harder but instead put you down.
The Assembly consisted of 4 Awards with any Student only able to claim two. You could Win Honor Roll (3.6 to 3.9 GPA), Principals list (4.0 GPA - Note-This name went down poorly with many students because it sounds like a list of "bad" students, later changed to Principals Award"), Attendance (Perfect Attendance, after all, you can't learn if you miss - or skip - school) and the .5 Club (anyone who increased their GPA by .5 Points from 1st to 2nd quarter).
The Numbers of "winners" were really quite high.
Principals List - 277
Honor Roll - 165
Perfect Attendance - 105
.5 Club - 48
Total - 595 Awards
It is fairly easy to see the train of thought that the Administrators went through to come up i this idea. Not winning any award could be an embarrassing experience and inspire a student to work harder, although I don't think that this the intent. Rather, wanting to receive either the "prestige" or the candy could get someone to work harder.
In 2008, 670 people were enrolled at Hamilton. Out of all ofthe 8th Graders (205 Students), 59.5% Met of exceeded the Reading expectations, 49.3% on the Math, and only 41.7% in the Science Sections. The whole 8th Grade of the Districtwent 66.3%, 53.8%, and 45.8% respectively, putting HIMS slightly below average. For comparison, WMS, where many students came from, was at 83.5% for Reading, 76.7% for Math, and 66.3% on the Science sections. It doesn't mean that Hamilton kids are dumb, on the contrary many are very bright, but it does leave room for improvements.
So what can we take from this? Students might be able to see how much the Administrators want their students to excel, and can reward good work. If you try hard, the odds are that you can get through School and on to something else in life!