Every year, students and parents are instructed to read the student handbook, as students are responsible for knowing the schools’ expectations and building policies and procedures.
Regardless, the handbook is oftentimes ignored until such a time as a student violates something within it, and it is brought to their attention.
This year, Parsons Middle School principal Tyler Gordon decided to ensure every student knows what is in the handbook, while making it fun for students at the same time. To do that Mr. Gordon created the Viking Way Quiz. Mr. Gordon said it is important for students to know the handbook, as safety and engagement looks different depending on students’ locations in the building and what activity is going on.
“With our Viking Way, we created a matrix of what ‘safe, engaged and responsible’ looks like on the field, in the classroom and in our hallways,” Gordon said. “We used that to create our Viking Way quiz competition.”
There are roughly 300 students inside the building. Every student was required to take the quiz repeatedly until they received a 100%.
“It was practice and memorization. Kill and drill. So students would know, ‘I can have two tardies, but the third could lead to an after school suspension,” Mr. Gordon said. “They know the cell phone policy, ‘See it. Hear it. Take it.’ They know what time they can come in the building in the morning, 7:50 a.m.,” unless they are eating breakfast or there is inclement weather.
Once they get a 100%, they screenshot it and send it to their Viking Time teacher. Once completed, then those students are eligible for a reward and get to choose from fun grade level activities during a Viking Time. Students could take the quiz as many times as they wanted, even after they received 100% for a chance at another prize. It was the same 25 questions every time, just in a different order. Each time the quiz was taken, students would accumulate points for every question answered right, and the faster they answered a question, the more points they would get. The quiz stayed open at all times, so when students went home, they could attempt it as many times as they wanted. Down time in classrooms was being used by many students to up their score, too.
“So they are committing the building policies to memory,” Gordon said.
The winners would be given a Sonic lunch order of their choosing.
Every morning, Gordon gave updates on who the top scoring person was in each grade. Several students were jockeying for the first-place position within their groups.
Then on Wednesday, middle school staff jumped in on the competition to see who of them could score the most points. “I’m going to give staff the same deal,” Mr. Gordon said. “I didn’t expect them to jump in on it, but I will honor that.”
By Wednesday at 1 p.m., Mr. Lowe, the sixth-grade social studies teacher was leading the staff.
Kyle Chen was leading the eighth grade, having taken the quiz 54 times already. The winners were announced Friday. For sixth grade the winner was Dalton Stringer, for seventh grade, Elly Wilis and for eighth grade Kyle Chen. The staff winner was Mr. Willey.