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Posted: January 13, 2009 12:33 p.m.

School Spotlight: NHS Ram Rewards Card

One of Dr. Roderick Sams' first objectives when he took the helms at Newton High School was to
implement a plan to reward students for their academic and behavioral success at school. At the
beginning of the 2008?2009 school year he introduced the Ram Rewards Card to students as a way to do just that.

According to Sams, each card-platinum, gold, and blue-carries with it special privileges or benefits for the
students, depending on their current card level. The cards are based on a combination of factors, including
honor roll status, attendance, and discipline. To earn a card, students must meet the following criteria:

Platinum Card:

???? Student must be on the current Principal's Honor Roll (An "A" for each course taken)
OR
???? Student must be on the current Merit Honor Roll (Semester average of 85 or above with no
grade below 80),
AND
Perfect Attendance with no In?School Suspension or Out of School Suspension assignments
Gold Card:
???? Student must be on the current Merit Honor Roll (Semester average of 85 or above with no
grade below 80)
OR
???? Student must have a semester average of at least an 80 but less than an 85
AND Perfect Attendance with no In?School Suspension or Out of School Suspension assignments

Blue Card:
???? Student must have a semester average of at least an 80 but less than an 85 and
No In?School Suspension or Out of School Suspension assignments.
Cardholders receive many privileges with their Ram Rewards Cards, including discounts on student
parking permits and school events, including athletics, as well as discounts at the school store, the Ram
Station. Use of the card can equal some big savings for students. For instance, Platinum Cardholders
receive free admission to all NHS home athletic events, $20 off student parking permits, and 25% off
merchandise at the Ram Station. Platinum cardholders also receive a 25% discount for any NHS event,
including prom, concerts, and the senior trip. Gold Card members receive a $3 discount on admission to
all home athletic events, $15 off student parking permits, 20% off other NHS events, and 15% off Ram
Station merchandise. Students who have earned a Blue Card receive a $2 discount off admission to
home athletic events, $10 off their student
parking permit, and a 10% discount at the Ram
Station and other NHS events.

"I like the program," said NHS junior, Aerianna Allen, a current Gold Card member. "I think it's a
good reward system for people who deserve it. I'm going to use it to get a discount for games
and proms."


"I use my card a lot at the Ram Store," said sophomore and Platinum Card member, Wesley
Merrell. "I use the discount when I need to buy school supplies, like binders and pencils."

Senior and Blue Card member Robi Davenport said she thought the new program was
"awesome." The only downside she sees to it is that she only has one year to use it.

"I just wish Dr. Sams had come here sooner so I could have used the card before," said Davenport. "I'm
going to use my card to get discounts for our senior trip to Disney World and for Prom and cap and
gown."

NHS senior Caroline Xiong, has a Ram Rewards Gold Card and uses her card for discounts as well, and
other students have noticed.

"There are a lot of discounts that come with the card and they've helped me a lot," said Xiong. "I use it
for discounts on games and the senior trip. When people who don't have a card see it and ask what it's
for, I tell them, ‘I got it for having good grades and discipline.'"


"It's nice to have," said Timarcus Aiken, a senior, member of the football team, and current Gold
Cardholder. "It gives you something to show for your good grades and hard work."

And according to Dr. Sams, that's the point.

"Kids are motivated by rewards," said Sams. "This is a way of rewarding appropriate behavior. We had
over 400 kids, not including freshman and transfer students, who have a "B" average-with no C's. At
the same time, these kids are doing the right things. And when you do the right things, you should be
recognized for that."

Overall, 54 students earned Platinum cards, 324 students received Gold cards, and 35 students earned
Blue cards to start off the school year.

Sams said card status is based on grades and discipline earned in the previous semester-in this case,
grades earned during the last semester of the 2007?2008 school year. Because the card is to reward
grades earned at Newton High School, incoming freshman and transfer students were not included in
the first distribution of cards. Now that they have been at the school for a full semester, they too will be
included in the next distribution of cards.

"To have 411 students qualify for one of these cards shows that we have students at Newton High who
are high achievers, who behave, and are good ambassadors for our school," said Sams. "And that's just
from sophomores, juniors and seniors. The first group of cardholders didn't include freshmen and
transfer students because the grades have to be earned at Newton High. We expect even more students
to be eligible for a card once we finalize our first semester honor roll. We will have students earning
their first Rewards Card and we'll also have students moving from one reward level to another. Because
it's based on grades and discipline, they can move up and down the rewards ladder."

For more information on the NHS Ram Rewards Card program, call (770) 787?2250.

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