After juggling multiple technology tools and paper-based systems, HOPE Christian High School turned to the Kickboard school culture system to help collect and manage student behavior data. Since launching Kickboard school-wide in fall 2016, the high school has saved countless hours on data collection and made it easier for teachers and administrators to analyze, share, and act on that data with students and their families.
HOPE Christian High School is a college-preparatory school that focuses on developing students’ knowledge and cultivating their character. As part of HOPE Christian Schools and the Schools That Can network, HOPE participates in both the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program and the Racine Parental Choice Program, which provide a tuition-free education for qualifying families in the City of Milwaukee and the Racine Unified School District.
At HOPE High, educators believe that character formation is critical to academic excellence because it forms the internal motivation for good decision making and a fulfilling, purposeful life beyond the classroom. As such, tracking and analyzing student behavior data is a vital part of educators’ daily routines.
“We were using a number of different systems to collect data on student behavior,” said Dean of Students Molly Dixon. “Teachers were collecting the data in online gradebooks, Google Docs, and their own written records. As a result, it was time-consuming to gather and difficult to share.”
HOPE High began using the Kickboard school culture system in August 2016. Kickboard includes a highly configurable, web-based platform and collaborative, research-based professional development. With Kickboard, educational leaders can set school- and district-wide behavior expectations to help teachers keep students on task. With just a tap, teachers can easily record and reinforce the behaviors that make up the school’s ideal culture — without adding extra work to their day.
“With Kickboard, we can collect consistent information about student behavior school-wide and it’s all in one place, which is a huge help,” said Principal Tom Schalmo. “We can also roll up that data into individual student reports, class reports, or school reports, which saves time and makes it much easier to analyze and act on that data.”
“We use Kickboard to track the positive behaviors that are leading our students to be successful, as well as the behaviors that aren’t,” said Dixon. “Students earn ‘Hawk Points’ for positive behaviors, which they can use for incentives such as food or field trips. Negative behaviors earn demerits, which subtract points from students’ totals.”
According to Dixon, having real-time access to behavior data is particularly helpful for high school teachers, who see different students in every class. “Kickboard allows us to track each student’s behavior as they move from class to class,” said Dixon. “Teachers use the Daily Activity dashboard pretty frequently so they can see where each student is and offer recognition or support during the course of the day. One of the things that’s great about Kickboard is that it allows us to generate data much more quickly than we could in the past. This allows teachers to have meaningful conversations with students about their behavior every day, as opposed to just once a week or at quarterly conferences.”
“Kickboard also helps teachers with classroom management,” said Schalmo. “The teachers who use Kickboard the most consistently are the ones have the best managed classrooms.”
At HOPE High, each student is assigned to an advisory, a group of about 15 students who remain together throughout the school year. The advisory teacher is the primary owner of each student’s Kickboard data, and they often use this data when they meet with students daily during study hall and at the end of the school day.
“Each advisor generates a Kickboard report to share with students in their meeting at the end of the day. They use the data to show students where they are for the day and the week — what’s going well, what’s not. It allows each advisory teacher to provide objective feedback so that students can make a game plan for the rest of the week,” said Dixon.
In addition to daily reports, Dixon generates weekly Character Reports for each student, so students and their parents can see their behavior over the previous week. Dixon also runs quarterly Character Reports that are shared with families at conferences.
“Kickboard makes it so easy to provide parents with this data. Before, we weren’t able to send reports like this home. Now, we can bring parents into the conversation on a regular basis,” said Dixon.
Dixon also creates weekly Culture Reports and distributes them to staff school-wide. “We take the Kickboard data and break it down in a bunch of different ways. We analyze it by grade level and by teacher so we can see what kind of growth students are showing from week to week and share best practices,” she said.
“We also use Kickboard to track attendance and tardies, so we can be more proactive in making sure students are in class and learning,” said Schalmo.
“Having all of our behavior data in Kickboard allows us to be very clear with students about our expectations and where they stand each day. Kickboard also makes it much easier to share that data with each other and with students’ families to keep them informed and involved. Those are huge advantages for us,” said Schalmo.
“Kickboard is a must-have for any high school,” he continued. “We are preparing students to be model citizens, so character must be an integral part of what we do. If the character piece is missing in our schools, we’re not doing our students justice. They must have a strong character to ensure they’re ready for college and careers. Kickboard helps us pinpoint exactly where students are in their character development. With that data, we can talk and reflect with students about what they need to do to cultivate their character to become inspirations to their families, leaders in the community, and successes in the workplace.”
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