Updated: Managing School Culture in Distance & Remote Learning Settings


We’ve updated our Distance Learning Guide with promising practices from schools who led successful virtual learning programs in the spring as well as plans for physical or blended programs this fall from effective school and district leaders.

Through Consistency

In order to create a new normal, it’s vital to maintain some semblance of the old normal. Like a security blanket, Kickboard can help you offer some consistency from past school life to the current present. Using your school’s common language of behaviors and continuing the schoolwide culture work you did before gives students, staff and families something familiar to cling to.

Positivity, Now More Than Ever

As leaders, it’s important to keep your chin up along with everyone else’s. Remember in everyday life, a person needs to feel at least 3 positive emotions for every one negative feeling in order to thrive. This pandemic is creating so much fear, anxiety, stress, and boredom that it’s imperative that we counter these feelings with loads of positivity. Using Kickboard gives you a systemic way to ensure positivity is generated. And as adults dole out positive feedback by entering Kickboard behaviors and specific comments, they in turn get to experience a positive feeling in that moment. Win-win!

Social-Emotional Skills Will Carry Us Through 

While stressful and incredibly hard, our social and emotional skill sets will be what help us thrive in the end. It is a vital time to help children recognize when they self-regulate, when they are aware of and communicate needs, and when they make a responsible choice. Every child and adult in America is finding new ways to persevere, empathize, and be kind so let’s turn these into teachable celebrations!

Home-School Partnerships—Seize the Moment!

Educators have never had a more captive audience since many caregivers are isolated at home with their school-aged children. Research shows that the more involved a parent or caregiver is in their child’s education, the more likely the child will succeed. Now is a rare opportunity to strengthen those partnerships and Kickboard is an easy way to keep families informed, communicating with you, and excited to help their child. Just think of the family momentum you’ll have once students return to school!

Get Creative with Resources and Expectations

While it is important for students to show up to class ready to learn, there will be parts of their home environment that affect their virtual classroom. Make sure to think through your behavior expectations in an equitable way. Instead of “In Uniform” use a behavior like “Dressed for school, not pajamas.” Instead of “Be sitting at a table or desk” use “Find a quiet space at home with minimal distractions.” We have even heard of some Kickboard schools loaning their extra desks to students at home so that they have a home classroom!

Idea Guide

Repurposing Kickboard During School Closures

Download the guide to read some simple ideas for rethinking your PBIS, SEL, and school culture programs while buildings are closed. Reimagining your school culture and climate will increase positivity, build security with consistency, bolster critical SEL skills, and engage adults in their child’s learning throughout your school. 

Note: Some ideas are for schools that are digitally connected to all students. However, given the digital divide and in the interest of equity, we also tried to include ideas that don’t assume devices and internet access are readily available. 

  • Create new behavior expectations to support at-home learning
  • Set expectations for a community-wide positive school culture effort
  • Set up Distance-Friendly Celebrations and Incentives
  • Maximize Messaging

Keeping School Culture Positive and Consistent in Remote & Distance Learning Settings