By ROBERT PIERCE
• Daily Leader
Liberal High School students who met higher than average standards in the classroom had the chance for higher than average scores in another venue – the bowling alley.
A total of 625 students were recently treated to some time out from their educational setting to go bowling at Liberal’s Ayr Lanes. The youth met marks of excellence in grades, attendance and behavior during the fall 2009 semester.
LHS Counselor Tera Robinson said the reward was a change of pace from the normal system for such students.
“I had several students who came to me over the course of the first semester and said they wanted to do something different than they had been doing,” she said. “This is the first time the students have ever left campus for the reward program.”
The bowling activity prize was part of an effort made by LHS’ ACHIEVE committee to recognize students who meet expectations to be part of the Leadership Level and Achievement Level of good standing in the school.
“The ACHIEVE committee has been in place for some time,” Robinson said. “In the past, they’ve typically done a movie party in the auditorium. They’ve shown a movie and had snacks for the first semester. In the second semester, they have done a cookout with hamburgers. I think students just wanted to do something a little different this year.”
The qualifications for each level are as follows:
o 96 percent attendance – excluding school activities only
o Passing all classes with a 3.25 GPA and no failing grade
o One referral or less with no Step 4 or Step 5 referral/violation
o Five or fewer unexcused tardies in a semester
o 94 percent attendance, excluding school-related activity absences
o Minimum GPA of 2.5
o Two referrals or fewer with no Step 4 or Step 5 referral violations
o Fewer than 10 unexcused tardies per semester
Robinson said the number of students who qualified for this year’s reward is an average number for LHS.
“The qualifying number is average,” she said. “Of course, we had to split it up over a lot more days because the bowling alley just couldn’t accommodate that large of a number all at one time.”
The students spent a total of eight days – Jan. 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28 and Tuesday and today – bowling at Ayr Lanes.
Robinson said the ACHIEVE committee consists of LHS administrators, counselors, staff members and teachers.
“It consists of those members who try to get together every semester and put together some sort of reward program for the students,” she said. “At the end of the semester, it takes a great deal of help, especially with the hamburger cookout, to get all of that put together, to have the volunteers to cook the hamburgers. It takes a lot of manpower to pull those types of activities off.”
Robinson said the 625 students were required to meet the two levels before being rewarded.
“We have four levels of standing at Liberal High School, and only the leadership level and achievement level qualify to participate in this activity,” she said. “The other two levels don’t qualify.”
Robert Burkey, general manager of Ayr Lanes, donated the lane time for all 625 students who qualified for the reward.
“Kudos to Mr. Burkey because we couldn’t have made this possible without his help,” Robinson said. “It takes a great deal of collaboration for one thing, funding for another to make something like this possible.”
Robinson said not everyone would be willing to step up to help with something like this, and she said Burkey was more than willing to work with the school to make it possible.
“To see community involvement with a school program like this, we’re very grateful, and we would like to see more community involvement to reward the students because these are the students who stepped up to the plate, who met the highest standards that we set at LHS,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to reward them and congratulate them in a way that we hope will be an incentive for them to continue to meet those standards.”