"When middle school students are happy to be at school, feel safe at school and truly believe that they are part of the school environment, then they will be successful in this difficult growing period," says Sarah Lucero, principal of Monte Vista Middle School in Monte Vista. In an effort to raise the academic achievements of sixth graders, Miss Lucero has overseen the implementation of the Earned Options Program. This program is designed to involve the community in a reward system that recognizes improved student performance with a variety of special outings, awards and festivities. The local ice cream parlor, the movie theater and the bowling alley, for example, have all contributed to the celebration of academic improvement. Students who perform well within the program are invited to join an end-of-the-year two-week interdisciplinary enrichment program.