3 Ingredients for Tier I Success


It’s February! Do you know where your students are? Who’s succeeding? Who’s struggling? Who’s not growing and may need something different? While these questions are always top of mind for Response to Intervention (RTI) in academics, they’re critical for behavior too!

It’s February! Do you know where your students are? Who’s succeeding? Who’s struggling? Who’s not growing and may need something different?

While these questions are always top of mind for Response to Intervention (RTI) in academics, they’re critical for behavior too! The good news is, with Kickboard, you already have the tools you need for a successful behavior RTI model for ALL tiers!

For this post, a little refresher on Tier I Behavior RTI – it’s a model you put in place to support ALL students behaviorally at ALL times.  Here’s a simple set of ingredients for a successful Tier I system:

Consistent Kickboard Culture Implementation + Early Warning System + Differentiated Supports

Ingredient #1: Consistent Kickboard Culture Implementation

Consider the age-old triangle representation of RTI. Your Kickboard implementation supports every student in your school–i.e. the entire triangle. You and your team, with the help of your Kickboard partners, have determined a school-wide plan for:

  • Tracking and reinforcing consistent behavior expectations
  • Consistent rewards in dollars or points for positive behaviors
  • Automatically triggered positive and negative consequences
  • School-wide incentives, celebrations, and recognitions.

Of course, should your school be off-track with consistency, whether it’s a matter of not all teachers tracking behaviors, a variance in usage between departments,  or significant differences in positivity,  please consider addressing these issues first!  You, the leader, must lead the charge! Your leadership of consistent, campus-wide Kickboard culture routines make up your Tier I system of support helping most, if not all, students behave successfully.

Ingredient # 2: Early Warning Systems

Do you feel like you spend all your time responding to those “squeaky wheels” or their frustrated squeaky teachers?   This reactive approach can really eat up your time! It doesn’t necessarily identify all kids with behavior needs, nor is it consistent.

With Kickboard, you can easily set up early warning systems to serve as your universal screener for behavior.  Here are a few examples of how some of our successful school leaders proactivel use Kickboard to decide which students to monitor more closely:

  • Dean’s Watch List: This automated consequence trigger is set to flag any student who earns three negative behaviors in a day. The dean uses this consequence roster throughout the day to guide daily student check-ins and proactively address the student before his behavior becomes a larger issue.
  • Administrator Intervention: This trigger is set to flag any student who earns -$20 or below in a week so that administrators know which students to pull for a behavior conference and keep an eye on.
  • Counselor Action: This trigger is set to catch students tracked for three or more incidents of bullying, defiance, or disrespect. It generates a list guiding counselors to decide who needs reteaching in social skills.
  • Leaderboard in Reverse: The Culture Leaderboard, sorted from lowest to highest, instantly shows school leaders which students are neediest regarding behavior.

The bullying behavior Kevin just earned automatically puts him on the Counselor’s Watch List in real time, letting both the teacher and counselor know of his needs immediately.

Ingredient #3:  Differentiated Support

One size doesn’t always fit all!  Just like excellent core academic instruction requires differentiation, it’s equally critical to differentiate as children learn behavior. The trick is to differentiate, yet still remain consistent. Paradox? Kickboard thinks not!

Here are some common practices from some of our expert Kickboard customers:

  • Reflection Room:  A consequence trigger in Kickboard initiates this flag for any student who has earned a defined number of negative behaviors within a specific time range, for example 3 in a day. Right away, the teacher knows to immediately initiate the school’s reflection protocol. The goal of the reflection room is to do just that–reflect. Once the student has had a chance to reflect on the choices she’s made and has a plan for improving those choices, she heads back to class. And bonus – since she shows up on the consequence roster in real time, there is no need for her to bring a note.
  • Positive or Negative Calls Home: Setting up triggers for earning or losing a defined number of points or dollars in Kickboard within a day or a week automatically generates a flag next to the student’s name.  Teachers then make the call to involve the parents in the celebration or concern. Some savvy teachers keep their phones handy and make the call right on the spot–talk about immediate reinforcement!
  • Differentiation for Teachers:  Sometimes, it’s the teachers who need to make changes, not the students. Leaders can use Culture Analysis, filtered by teacher, as data to guide coaching efforts with teachers. Our most exceptional Kickboard leaders hold regularly-recurring data meetings with teachers to analyze their culture data, plan for adjustments to their classroom practices, and loop back to see if changes paid off with evidence of a more positive climate.

This leader filters Culture Analysis for all positive behaviors tracked during the first quarter to guide a discussion with 6th Grade teacher, Mr. Hathaway, about his classroom culture.

In Conclusion

So there you have it –  Kickboard’s 3-part recipe for building a successful Tier I foundation for Behavior RTI!  Early detection and correction will keep behaviors from escalating in severity or frequency. If your office is currently a revolving door of behavior issues or you have large numbers of students on intensive intervention plans (Tier 2 or 3), you should most certainly re-evaluate your Tier I framework.  Only when a hearty helping of Kickboard consistency is mixed in with a handful of early warning systems and a dash of differentiation should leaders spend their time and energy on planning Tier 2 and Tier 3 systems.  And don’t worry, best practices for that are coming later in our series!

Want to implement these Tier 1 best practices? Just contact our Support team at support@kickboardforschools.com and we’ll help you add triggers and or make some easy tweaks to your site.