SHS gives campus report at school board meeting

A campus report was given by Sweetwater High School principal Stacy Jones at Monday night's meeting of the Sweetwater ISD (Independent School District) board of trustees.In continuing with an initiative started last school year by the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program, high school seniors can purchase a ceiling tile at any spot in the hallway for $5 and decorate it following their acceptance to college. The students are then given their tiles at the senior dinner held at the end of the school year.AVID has also started a tutorial program this year, which is held after school and taught by students. The hour-long session on Mondays and Wednesdays helped prepare students for retakes on the standardized test for writing, which recently took place.Outside of the campus, a new digital sign has been placed. Two students, Corynn Martin and Jasmine Reddic, program the information to the sign each week to keep it updated.The band also created a victory flag, which is hung up the day after any team attains a win. Success is also celebrated with the Mustang Stampede, where students or groups who advance past the district round of competition are escorted to their next contest with a drum line down the hallway and crowds of cheering students.The Stampede has already been used this year for volleyball, the ag department, choir and robotics, in which the latter program has seen some growth.This year, the robotics team will be adding a Lego competition. They also competed in the BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) contest in the fall, earning top honors in various categories.Overall, the team placed second, while the took the top spot in the robot category. They placed third in two categories--notebook and web design, second in marketing, and senior Alex Vanderpool obtained the MVP award.As a result of their success, the robotics team advanced to the regional competition of BEST, where they placed 23rd out of 63 teams from Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. This year, 42 students are involved in the robotics program.Furthermore, the high school continues their PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) initiative, in which incentives are awarded to students who display positive behavior, courtesy and simply go above and beyond in their actions.Students obtain Mustang Bucks, which can be entered into a weekly drawing or redeemed for a movie incentive. Its inception came from the principal's student advisory group, which is made up of two boys and two girls from the senior class, while the other three grades are represented by one male and one female.Looking ahead, they hope to implement a food cart for students as another means to redeem the Mustang Bucks. And under the direction of student Chase Scott, a second video on PBIS is currently being made. The first video dealt with positive behavior in the hallway, classroom and cafeteria.