Central Elementary in Dallas ISD uses the Kickboard instructional management solution as a data-driven foundation for its schoolwide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). In its first semester tracking and rewarding positive student behaviors in Kickboard, the Title I school reduced discipline infractions by 44 percent, increased student attendance, reduced tardies, increased students’ time on task, and improved student performance.
I wanted to find way to track what our students were doing right and to help teachers to look for those positive behaviors,” said Kasie Longoria, assistant principal of Central Elementary.
“When I was researching systems, I visited a school that had Kickboard. As soon as I saw teachers using Kickboard to reward students for positive behaviors, I got super-excited,” she continued. “I taught for five years before going into administration and I always had a system where students could earn ‘money’ each week for positive behaviors. It worked amazingly well. I never once had classroom management issues or discipline problems, and I never sent students to the office because they were so excited about earning rewards.”
Kickboard helps build safe and happy schools where students and staff thrive. Educators, school leaders, and district administrators use Kickboard to improve school culture through positive behavior reinforcement, intervention management, classroom management, and district-wide school culture analysis. This unique combination of features allows districts to address problems such as absenteeism, disciplines & referrals, suspensions, teacher turnover, and low student achievement due to ineffective school culture.
Central Elementary implements a paycheck-based PBIS reward system by assigning a dollar value to each positive behavior in Kickboard.
On Fridays, students can use their Kickboard dollars to shop in the school store for supplies or treats such as free dress days or the opportunity to have lunch with Longoria.
“When students are rewarded for positive behaviors they’re more motivated. They want to be on task. They want to do the right thing. These rewards also motivate teachers to use Kickboard because they don’t want their students to miss out on the opportunities other students have,” said Longoria.
To further motivate teachers and students, Longoria created a schoolwide Kickboard data wall and posts data there every week. “I print out the culture analysis for each teacher and organize it by grade level. I also print out the leaderboard, which shows the paychecks earned by each class and grade level,” said Longoria. “We probably have over 3,000 or 4,000 positive behaviors represented on our wall, compared to only 10 negative behaviors.”
According to Longoria, Kickboard is helping teachers create more positive interactions with their students and environments that are more conducive to learning.
“Kickboard has made a huge difference in our Classroom Culture, which is domain 3 on Dallas ISD’s Teacher Performance Rubric.”
“It’s also helped our teachers maximize their instructional time, which is Domain 3.1 on the rubric,” said Longoria. “It’s changed the way our teachers talk to their students. If I go to another campus and come back to ours, I can see and hear the difference. It’s so positive here. Teachers reward students for what they’re doing right versus constantly giving them negative cues. It’s really changed teachers’ mindset. When you look for the good, you find the good—and that’s changing the culture of each classroom and our school.”
Teachers are also using Kickboard to encourage students to attend school and to be on time.
“Last year, we had an attendance problem,” said Longoria. “So, this year, students get $10 in Kickboard every Friday if they’re here all week and $10 more if they have no tardies. That’s increased our attendance a lot — and if we start to see an issue we can now intervene faster.”
Central Elementary uses Kickboard in conjunction with a PBIS program based on the book, “CHAMPS: A Proactive and Positive Approach to Classroom Management” by Randy Sprick.
“PBIS is a way for educators to change behaviors by focusing on the positive,” said Longoria. “Our teachers use CHAMPS to clearly communicate their expectations on every classroom activity and transition, such as moving from recess back to the classroom. If students meet those expectations, the teacher will reward each child with Kickboard dollars. We created a quick button in Kickboard to make it really easy for teachers to do this, so Kickboard and CHAMPS blend really nicely together.”
“With PBIS and Kickboard, our teachers are focused on the positive. As a result, attendance is up, tardies are down, and our school culture is better,” said Longoria. “When we compared the first three six-week periods of school from this year to last year, we saw a 44 percent drop in discipline infractions.”
According to Longoria, the improvement in school culture is having an impact on student learning and achievement as well. “Because behavior has improved, there’s no loss of instructional time,” she said. “And because our culture has improved, students are able to focus more on academics.”
In fall 2014, students demonstrated gains in reading on the Istation Reading curriculum, which is used districtwide.
“In Istation, the goal is for all students to be at Tier 1 and, from September to December 2014, the number of our students at Tier 1 increased,” said Longoria. “PBIS and Kickboard are helping students spend more time on task and, because of that, they’re performing at higher levels.”
Students are also showing more growth in reading. “Our goal is for students to grow at least 4 points a month in Istation to ensure they’re on grade level by the end of the year,” said Longoria. “This fall, students have shown a gain of 93.1 points from where we were last fall.”
Students have also increased their time on task in the Reasoning Mind math curriculum, which is used in grades 2-4. “Our time online this year has doubled, which is amazing,” said Longoria. “Students are focused and ready to learn.”
“With Kickboard, our teachers look for the good instead of focusing on the negative and that’s changed the way they see our students. I’m a firm believer that positive reinforcement increases academic achievement, and the Kickboard data is showing me that’s true,” said Longoria. “We’re a low-income school. When parents send us their kids, they send us the best kids they have. Our job is to develop them the best we can. When we praise them for what they’re doing right, they feel better about themselves and that motivates them emotionally and academically. I know what Kickboard can do to transform a school’s culture. I’ve seen the benefits it’s had on our campus and I’m very appreciative. I’d recommend it to anyone.
Every school that uses Kickboard is an important part of our family. Our software, our coaching, and our support are merely conduits for the innovative school culture models that our customers employ. I'm proud to share their stories and celebrate their successes.Jen Medbery, Kickboard's CEO