Rewards and Recognition Build a Stronger Hudson Memorial School

December 11, 2015


by Doug Robinson

The educators of Hudson Memorial School celebrated the positive achievements and contributions of the students at a breakfast served in their honor.

Known as the “Horseshoe Breakfast,” students were served a full-course breakfast, complete with juice, bagels and cream cheese, and fruit in recognition for their positive behavior and influences to meeting the school counseling goals and standards expectations.  “We have tied into our merit system of good behavior our school counseling goals and standards expectations,” commented school Principal Keith Bowen.

Throughout the school, signs state that HMS is “Under Construction.”  The construction or “Safe Zone” is a place where all students, faculty, staff feel welcome and a part of the great school community at-large.  Safe Zone members respect the differences in all.  When you are inside of HMS, you are in a Safe Zone.”

During the morning announcements, the qualities of the Safe Zone are explained.  “This construction process will apply to more than just our building’s walls, but to the everyday interaction of the people inside of it.  The expectations of the Safe Zone are for students to respect themselves, respect the differences in others, respect the faculty and staff, respect our school, and keep it drug/alcohol free”

Teachers reward students for good behavior which reinforce the school’s Safe Zone values.  These “horseshoe” rewards can then be turned into the school store for items of the students choosing.  The school store is supervised by members of the PTO, who are also dedicated to the Safe Zone program.

Good behaviors that would receive a horseshoe reward include helping a younger classmate in the school, saying “please’ and “thank you” as well as raising their hands in class to ask a question.

Instead of spending their horseshoe rewards at the school store, students may also save their horseshoe rewards and turn them in to participate in the breakfast.  The breakfast costs each student 30 Horseshoe rewards.  Students who earn the prestigious Student of the Month award receive what is called a “Triple Play” and do not have to submit any horseshoes to participate in the breakfast.

Posted to every classroom, every doorway, and every wall is a horseshoe, reminding the students of the rewards that come with good behavior as learned in the Safe Zone.

Teachers volunteered to not only supply the food for the breakfast; they also cooked, prepared, and set up the meal for the children.

The breakfast is served to the students each school quarter, and 107 students signed up for the December breakfast.

“Our reward and recognition program is really working here at Memorial,” commented Principal Keith Bowen.  “The kids really like the recognition and they enjoy spending their horseshoes at the school store.  This is our seventh breakfast, and it continues to grow in numbers and popularity.”