Make the Most of Text Message Notifications

Apr 22 1PM
Make the Most of Text Message Notifications

Imagine this scenario:

Mr. Washington is walking around his 3rd grade classroom narrating behaviors and awarding Kickboard dollars as his students work. State testing is coming so he is on the lookout for students exhibiting academic behaviors such as grit, curiosity, and engagement. Mr. Washington hears Marcus use science vocabulary and gives him a dollar for academic language. A flag is triggered next to Marcus’ name indicating that he has earned $30 this week for academic behaviors and is now in the Amazing Learner Club.

Bzzz! As soon as Mr. Washington assigns the 20th academic behavior, the principal, Ms. Martinez, feels her phone vibrate. She just got a text message notifying her that Marcus has made it into this week’s “Amazing Learner” club!

Ms. Martinez immediately dashes over to Marcus’ classroom to give him a public congratulation and hand him a certificate to take home. Marcus will also get his picture on the wall of honor outside the main office. His smile is a mile wide—and it’s contagious as other students make academic choices, striving to get into the club too!

 

This scenario, and many versions of it, can now be a reality at your school by simply activating Kickboard’s new text messaging feature. Leaders can now add in their cell phone numbers and opt in to receive text notifications for any consequence roster on their Kickboard site. Once a student is added to a consequence roster, any staff member who has been signed up for those notifications will get a text message in real-time indicating the student, grade level, and roster title.

 

Innovative Uses for Text Notifications

Here are a few great ways Kickboard leaders are using the new text messaging feature in their schools:

Respond to Unsafe Situations Immediately

We’ve all faced those unfortunate, extreme situations when student misbehavior escalates to a safety issue. For example, a student is upset over a test score. He starts crying, then yelling. The teacher tries using her de-escalation strategies to no avail. Instead of calling the office and having them track down an administrator, the teacher selects a behavior on Daily Activity called “Admin Needed”. It’s a norm at the school to only use this behavior in serious emergencies when assistance is required.  Within seconds, the Dean gets a text telling him which student needs assistance so he can immediately take action. No need to communicate urgencies over the radio anymore!

Improve Internal Communication

When you have several administrators on a campus, they are often in ten different places at any given time. Text messaging can alleviate the pain point of remembering to communicate behavior situations to the appropriate leader after the situation has been de-escalated. With the right staff opting in to the appropriate consequence rosters, you have instant communication and documentation about behaviors that arise.

Fine-Tune Behavior RTI Processes

Perhaps your school has a Tier I Reflection Room process in place for all students if they earn a certain number of negative behaviors in a given time frame. The instant a child earns that consequence, the adult responsible for monitoring the reflection room gets a text about who’s coming.

Or suppose there is a child on a Tier III intensive behavior plan. You can reserve a special behavior, normed only for use with students on a behavior intervention plan, which can trigger a consequence such as “Immediate Check-in Needed”.  The case manager can then opt in for that text alert and go directly to that child to offer immediate behavioral or emotional support.

Show Teachers You Have Their Backs

Teachers sometimes feel, whether it’s warranted or not, that they aren’t supported enough when it comes to behavior. Often it’s a case of a leader just not knowing when the issue, good or bad, arises. If leaders make the commitment to respond immediately to the most important consequences then teachers, and likely their students, will begin to realize their leaders are there for them when it counts!

 

 

Quick tips

Check out these suggestions to make the most out of text message notifications and avoid common pitfalls

 

  • Decide which consequence rosters are absolutely critical for immediate notification and action by you. Don’t opt into rosters in which real-time notification isn’t important. Otherwise, you’ll be inundated with texts and likely miss the urgent ones.
  • Guide your leadership team and staff to decide which notifications would be most helpful for their roles.
  • Make a plan for who will be responsible for responding to which consequence notifications.
  • At the end of a day, delete the chain of texts that have come across your phone so you can start fresh the next day.  Don’t worry--the behaviors, notes, and consequence rosters on Kickboard aren’t going anywhere!
  • Don’t be surprised if there’s a short trial-and-error period.  Subscribing to text messaging will likely cause you to reflect on your behaviors and consequences and might make your realize which are important and what’s possibly missing.

 

Get Started Now!

You can get started with text messaging immediately!  Click here for a simple setup guide for Kickboard Text Message Notifications.  And as always, if you’d like help or want to reconfigure your consequence triggers, please email us at support@kickboardforschools.com.

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