3515 Student Incentives

  • The Board of Directors recognizes that providing students with prizes or awards can serve as a meaningful incentive for increasing academic achievement, promoting civility, encouraging physical fitness and for encouraging students to become responsible citizens, productive workers and lifelong learners.

    The board supports awarding incentives to recognize a student’s academic, social, leadership and athletic achievements. 

    All incentives will support individual student achievement and the districts’ curriculum, programs, academic or attendance goals. Therefore, every student recipient will receive an incentive only if the activity relates to the primary mission and goal of the district to increase student academic achievement.

    District funds may be used, within the limits provided in model procedure 3515, to provide student incentives that meet the Board’s objective of increasing academic achievement.

    The superintendent or designee will develop procedures to implement this policy.

    Cross References:   
    Board Policy  3510         Associated Student Bodies
    Board Policy  6114         Gifts
    Washington Constitution, Article VIII, § 5 and § 7

    Management Resources: 
    Policy News, Feb. 2011         Student Incentives

    ADOPTED:  04/28/2011

    Procedure No. 3515P Student Incentives


    1. Prize: something of value conveyed as a result of chance, generally for promotional purposes, to one or more participants in a district-sponsored event. 

    2. Award: Recognition or something of value conveyed as a result of competition, merit or in recognition of service to the district on the part of the recipient. 

    3. De minimis: Minimal value, a small amount, lacking significance or importance, having little or no impact on public funds, so minor as to merit disregard.

    Award / Prize Values

    The district will consider any prize or award amount equal to or less than $20.00 (twenty) dollars to be de minimus. In determining whether an incentive is a de minimis amount, the district will consider whether the amount is insignificant to a recipient for tax purposes and insignificant to the district.

    The value of an individual student prize will not exceed $20.00 (twenty dollars).

    Example: An incentive prize valued at $20.00 (twenty dollars) for perfect attendance or most improved grade point average is an acceptable use of public funds; or a district could provide an item valued at $20.00 (twenty dollars) such as a school uniform shirt or hat to an individual student. However, incentive awards to several students in one class that have a substantial aggregate value could be excessive and an inappropriate use of public funds.


    The district is prohibited from using public funds to provide gifts.

    The following are examples of prohibited gifts: 

    1. The district may provide light lunches or refreshments for volunteers during or near the time the services are provided. The district cannot provide a separate event at district expense.

    2. The district cannot pay the cost for staff to attend an optional training program. If training is required the district may pay with district funds.

    3. Flowers purchased for celebrations or to express sympathy.

    4. Food, clothing or other items purchased for someone in need.

    Associated Student Body Fundraising – Individual Student Incentives

    All property and money acquired by the Associated Student Body (ASB), except private non-associated student body funds, are district funds and will be deposited and disbursed from the district’s ASB program fund. The district may use a portion of ASB funds to award individual students efforts for fundraising that is related to ASB activities, but only if the activity is for a legitimate school purpose and spending is in accordance with the board-approved budget.

    Example: ASB students raise money for student body activities. The student who raises the most money receives a pizza certificate incentive from ASB funds in recognition of their efforts. This is an acceptable incentive.

    Corporate Incentives

    Corporate incentives provided to the district for the benefit of students become district property.

    If the incentive is made to an individual student directly from the corporation, the incentive becomes the personal property of the student and is not calculated as an incentive provided by the district. In order to be considered personal property, the incentive at no time may be presented to the district or be in possession of the district.

    Any vendor, group or organization that offers student incentives to support the district, must communicate with the district, prior to providing the incentive to ensure its efforts are compatible with the district’s educational goals. The district reserves the right to reject any student incentive that would not serve the interests of the district.

    Prizes or awards provided to the ASB by outside vendors must also fall within the individual and district limits.

    Recording Incentives

    Incentives received will be recorded by the school. This will allow parents and teachers to view incentives provided to students and will also allow each school to analyze the distribution of incentives.

    ADOPTED: 04/28/2011


3000 Policies