"Level Up!"

The term “level up” has been popularized in recent years as a term that means to increase or improve something.  During the Winter MAP assessment, Principal Eve Slaughter of Cornerstone Prep Lester posed a challenge to her students: “level up!” She asked students to “level up” by meeting at least 75% of their MAP Goals in all subject areas.  

The MAP assessments are administered 3 times per year to measure the amount of growth students have exhibited in Reading, Math, Science, and Language. 

Principal Slaughter knew that in order to get buy–in from students, she had to create excitement. For weeks leading up to testing, she made announcements in the cafeteria, library, hallways, and classrooms about the Level Up Awards Luncheon. Principal Slaughter went to students across every grade level to tell them about all of the delicious food, fun, and ambiance they would experience if they met most of their MAP Goals. 

When speaking about how she built momentum, Principal Slaughter said, “Daily, I would talk about the importance of growth and encouraging students to ‘show off’ how much they’ve learned this year. I would ask students the same questions: What goal are you working towards? What are you going to do to reach it? What are you going to get if you reach it? Each student would have that glued in their mind, and looked forward to the ‘fancy lunch’ with the principal.”

The hard work from Principal Slaughter and staff paid off because by the end of testing, a record number of 120 students had met 75% or more of their goals! 

During the day of the luncheon, students were decked out in their “Sunday Best" and welcomed into the library-turned-banquet hall complete with a balloon arch tower, table cloths with elegant centerpieces, silver dining sets, and a meal prepared by a top local chef.  After trying freshly baked croissants, grilled chicken alfredo, vegetable medleys, and strawberry brownies with white chocolate drizzle, and a special punch, students were thrilled! One student even said, “I feel like I’m in Heaven.”

These types of incentives provide our students with a chance to celebrate themselves and others, and to see that hard work pays off!

Due to the popularity of the first Level Up Luncheon, Principal Slaughter said, “I have students asking me when the next luncheon is and how they are going to meet their goals so they can attend. This is definitely something we’ll have to continue at CPL.”