Tech Boston

Tech Boston

Special Education

Crossroads Program Saves Time And Improves Student Motivation With Kickboard

Crossroads is a special education program serving students who have a primary disability that is social or emotional. Situated in the TechBoston Academy, part of Boston Public Schools, it provides students with a small group setting and a therapeutic component. Since launching Kickboard in fall 2013, Crossroads teachers have saved countless hours managing behavioral data and planning behavioral interventions, while improving student motivation and communication with families.


“We used Excel spreadsheets to monitor students’ behavior and share that information with parents,” said teacher Joseph Theriault.

“This resulted in a huge build-up of paper that was difficult to keep track of. Sometimes data wouldn’t get recorded, or papers would get lost or thrown away before they reached parents. There were many issues.”


Following TechBoston Academy’s successful implementation of Kickboard in grades 6-9, the Crossroads program decided to give it a try.

“Kickboard had been used for a while in our mainstream classes,” said Theriault. “When they showed it to us, we thought it could be a great fit for our program, too. Now we use Kickboard daily to monitor students’ behavior and progress.”

With Kickboard, educators can easily collect, analyze and share student progress information to improve academic and behavioral outcomes in general education, Response to Intervention (RTI) and special education programs.

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.

“Kickboard makes it easy to log positive and negative behaviors in real time, assign consequences and rewards, and create visual reports for students and families,” said Anna Klafter, chief academic officer.

“With the character reports, we can show students how many points they’ve earned for positive behaviors,” said Theriault. “They can then use their points toward free time in the gym, club activities on Friday afternoons, or field trips. It helps them become really invested in their data.”

In addition, Kickboard can be used to develop a data-driven foundation for implementing school-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS).
With Kickboard, teachers can closely monitor student responses to interventions and determine even small changes in behavior. Dashboard-to-detail reporting provides real-time visibility into student performance, so teachers can proactively identify areas of need and provide timely interventions.

“Teachers can log in to see if a student has had a rough time in earlier classes and the reasons why,” said Klafter. “It helps them to be proactive with their strategies. It gives them so much data, they no longer feel like they’re working in isolation.”

Kickboard also helps teachers more easily identify students who may need more intensive intervention. “Some students who are struggling are not in an appropriate setting for their needs. With a paper-based system it was hard to show that. But, with Kickboard, we have everything in one place. We no longer have to shovel through piles of paper to get the information we need,” said Theriault.


“With Kickboard, it’s much easier to keep track of student progress toward our benchmarks and we’re saving a significant amount of time,” said Theriault.

For example, to track students’ points each week, Theriault used to collect paper charts from six different classrooms and then tally each student’s points.

“Now I just click on the Leaderboard in Kickboard and I can see who has enough points for club activities that week. That one action saves me at least 45 minutes a week,” he said.

“Plus, the fact that we can now pull up students’ data from earlier in the day or from several months ago is really helpful. It gives us a great picture of their progress or lack of progress, so we can determine what’s working, what’s not, and what we need to change.”

Students, too, appreciate Kickboard. “Students love seeing their reports and how many points they’ve earned,” said Theriault. “When students aren’t having a good day, it’s also an amazing tool for redirection. We can show them exactly where they need to improve to get back on track. It’s really motivating.”

With Kickboard, it’s much easier to keep track of student progress toward our benchmarks and we’re saving a significant amount of time.

1 click on Kickboard saves at least 45 MINUTES EVERY WEEK.

Instant feedback SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASES student motivation.

Together, the Kickboard software and leadership coaching are pushing our schools to think differently about what makes students and teachers successful, how they can create stronger cultures, and how they can sustain this improvement over time.


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