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School 'hero system' encourages good behavior

Wolfson High School students Davarius Hackley, Ida Barnes and Tyree Macon pose in the VIP lounge on superhero day at school..
Wolfson High School students Davarius Hackley, Ida Barnes and Tyree Macon pose in the VIP lounge on superhero day at school.. (Lindsey Kilbride/WJCT News)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County students now have more reasons to behave better at school, thanks to a new system that allows them to trade points for rewards.

Wolfson High School is one of the 54 high, middle and elementary schools in Duval County using what's called the "Hero system." When a student does something good, like getting to class first or participating more, a teacher can scan the student's ID with a smartphone and award the student points.

Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti said parents can check their child's behavior status in real-time.

"You're seeing students make the right decision more often and more frequently because they're incentivized to do that," Vitti said. "We want to create cultures and environments where students are making the right decision and being recognized for doing this in a positive way."

Students can trade in Hero points for prizes that range from prom tickets to admission to the school's VIP lounge.

That's where Taylor Staton spent his lunch period. After a game of Ping-Pong, he had the choice to grab a slushie, there are two choices, cherry or blue-raspberry, or fresh popcorn from a popcorn machine.

Staton traded in 25 points to hang out in the lounge every day for a month.

"Wear my ID in the hallways, have a nice, clean binder, coming prepared to class," Staton said of the things he did for points. "It takes a lot, but it's worth it."

Wolfson principal Terry Connor says fewer students are getting into fights and fewer have been arrested compared with last school year. He said out of the 1,120 students at Wolfson, nine students haven't received any of the 31,581 points awarded this year.

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