As promised, when Lincoln Elementary School students' state test scores were through the roof, Principal Doug Hartenstein went on the roof.
Hartenstein offered to sleep on the school's roof overnight if last year's third-, fourth- and fifth-graders collectively achieved an 80-percent passage rate on state achievement tests. Their scores were better than 90 percent, he said.
"They blew it out of the water. ... (The scores) were definitely through the roof," he said.
Hartenstein's plan was to be on the roof when students left school at 2:45 p.m. Thursday and stay up there until they arrived at school this morning.
"(I'm) only coming down for restroom breaks," he said.
Hartenstein's campsite was equipped with his cell phone, a tent, lights, pinwheels, chairs, a cooler, snacks, water, diet Pepsi, skillet, umbrella, fire extinguisher and laptop so he could get work done.
PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE
Doug Hartenstein, principal of Lincoln Elementary School, spends time on the roof during his campout Thursday afternoon.
"I don't know what I was thinking. ... Have a little fun with it," he said.
Hartenstein offers an incentive every year. The first year, he took a pie to the face, and last year, he spent time in a dunk tank. This year, he opted to camp on the roof after seeing a news program about another principal who had done something similar.
"He does anything for the kids. ... The kids are very excited about this," said secretary Patty Kauffman.
Hartenstein also decided to offer a lunch of traditional camping food, such as hot dogs, s'mores, chips, soda and water, after he climbs down this morning.
The principal said he chose Thursday, which was one of the hottest days of the school year so far, because he has a three-day weekend to catch up on the sleep he probably was not going to get.
"I just hope it cools down," he said.