MADISON - Scott High Principal Jacob Messer is excited about the progress made at Scott High School.
His enthusiasm goes beyond the aesthetic improvements and the success of the school's athletic programs.
"For Scott High School to be a legitimate school of excellence, we've got to be all in," Messer said. "This includes alumni, students, their parents, community members and local businesses. Everyone has to be on board."
Thanks to the work of Boone County Schools Technology Director Thomas Hanson, desktop computer labs were replaced at the school and a vacant classroom will be converted to a computer lab in the freshman wing.
"Increasing technology-based learning opportunities for our teachers and students is fantastic and something we strive for," Messer said.
Hanson is replacing all of the teacher-used laptops in the county and creating mobile labs to put back in the schools.
"Mr. Hanson does a great job in utilizing our resources," Messer said.
Messer added that, through an initiative at the school, students have been hard at work refurbishing computers and components.
Nick Cabell teaches a computer technician's elective. Through his class, students learn to repair broken keyboards, screens, install batteries and hard drives.
"They are using money donated to us or through our bingo fundraiser to make these repairs and it has been awesome for our school," he said.
Scott High alumni Perry Ballard gave $5,000 to the school for books and technology upgrades. His contribution went toward new books for the English/language arts (ELA) department among computer related needs for the classrooms.
Household hanging shoe holders have been converted to cell phone stations for students while they are in class.
"Each kid assigned one holder in class and this allows them to not be distracted by texts or social media while they are learning," he said. "Teachers don't have to monitor it because the phones are secured. We can focus on teaching and learning."
Students have taken ownership of specific landscaping on school grounds, painting and beautification within the school by Jessica Blankenship's School Beautification class and Brandie Mitchell-Newsome's Yearbook class. A larger landscaping project was completed by SHS graduate Wayne Parsons.
Through donations from various local businesses, groups and individuals, freshly steam-cleaned bleachers by TPR Steam Cleaning will welcome football fans back to the gridiron in 2019.
A much-needed paving project was completed on the main parking lot behind the baseball facility.
Future projects include turning a vacant classroom into new computer lab, buying music chairs for the fine arts department, painting the hallway walls white and painting the exterior handrails black.
The motto for the 2019-2020 school year is "All In, Every Day." It also will be the inspiration for the first-year reward program. Every student and employee at Scott High School will get a T-shirt and a collectible chip, which says "All In, Every Day" on the front and "Fly High Skyhawks" on the back.
According to Messer, the T-shirts and the chips will serve as visual and tangible reminders of the motto and how it should affect the daily approach in everything Scott does academically, athletically, artistically, behaviorally and socially.
Messer said the reward program will be based on excellence in academic achievement, attendance and behavior. Those criteria will be measured every four and a half weeks, coinciding with progress reports and report cards.
Messer made a Facebook post to the Scott High community that stated that students must have an A, a B, or a C in all of their classes; have a 90 percent or higher attendance rate, which includes excused and unexcused absences; and have a set number or fewer of detention assignments and no in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension assignments to qualify.
Those who qualify at the progress report benchmarks will receive a certificate, a reward, and a brief activity period at the end of the day. Those who qualify at the report card benchmarks receive a certificate, a reward, and an extended activity period for half of the day. Those who qualify at the semester benchmarks will receive a certificate, a pin, a reward, and an invitation to a field trip.
The school ordered 5,000 chips, approximately 700 of which will be given to students. They are selling the other 4,300 chips at $5 each. They will be placed in jars to show how many stakeholders are supporting the school.
Then, a banner will be created to hang in the hallways listing all the names of the stakeholders who purchased chips. Businesses that want to support the efforts can buy a chip for $25 and their chips will go in the jars and they will receive a spot on a separate banner honoring business partners.
Messer's goal is to sell 4,200 chips to stakeholders and 100 chips to businesses or organizations which would make $23,500 for the reward program.
To become a part of the "All In" initiative, reach out to Messer at 304-369-3011 and follow Scott High School 2019-20 on Facebook, where Messer communicates daily with followers.