Harry Potter-inspired point system keeps students engaged all year

Harry Potter themed pep rally at Greenwood Elementary

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - When you hear the word “pep rally," the first thing that comes to mind is school spirit and bands, but Henrico’s Greenwood Elementary decided to switch it up this year with the help of Harry Potter.

“Our pep rallies are always crazy. It’s probably my favorite pep rally of the year," third-grader Scottie Tompkins said.

The school implemented a points system as part of year-long effort to boost student achievement.

“We love our pep rallies," Ryan Stein, the school’s principal, said. “It’s just a great time to come together."

The new system is similar to that in the Harry Potter series where students and staff are split into five groups named after their mascot, the Gators.

“Our houses are named after our five Gator values which are grateful, accountable, trustworthy, optimistic and respectful,” Stein said.

Throughout the year, the students were able to earn points for academics, good behavior and school spirit.

“It increased our student engagement, teacher engagement," Stein said. “Our attendance has been incredible, and our students are performing better in the classroom."

The final pep rally is used to give the students a way to gain extra points while at the same time unwinding before summer vacation with confetti blasters, streams, teacher dances and drumline performances.

“Maybe there’s those kids who aren’t super good at sports and are really good, but there’s those kids who aren’t really good in class but are very athletic and are good at the games, which is why there’s different ways to earn points and I like that,” Tompkins said.

The big winner of the finally pep rally was House Gratos.

This was the first year the school implemented the point system and Stein said next year they plan to make it bigger and better.

“What matters the most to me is that kids love coming to school,” Stein said. “That they smile when they come, and they smile when they leave.”

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