St. Louis Public Schools Significantly Reduce Disruptive Discipline

Five pilot schools in the St. Louis Public Schools district have reported extensive reductions in suspensions, detentions and office referrals after implementing Kickboard, a new school culture system. After seeing the tremendous improvements in disruptive behavior and an increase in positive behavior, the district is expanding Kickboard to 25 schools.

Farragut Elementary, Lyon Academy at Blow Elementary, Carver Elementary, Sigel Elementary and Patrick Henry Downtown Academy were the Kickboard test schools. The system helped educators and administrators collect behavior data, therefore allowing them to address issues related to that data, conduct responsive interventions and create a positive learning environment.

“We all know that when children are acting out, there is an underlying cause. Kickboard helps us track those behaviors,” said Patricia Cox, principal of Farragut Elementary and member of Administrators Association of the St. Louis Public Schools, AFSA Local 44.

“Teachers are required to input student behavior data every day into the system. Then we come to the table as a team at our daily morning meetings and discuss students’ behaviors. We then bring in resources such as a social worker, counselor, trauma coach or the parent to have a bigger conversation about what’s going on with individual students.”

Throughout the 2015–2016 school year, the five pilot schools saw major changes.

“At Carver Elementary, the number of office referrals dropped from 250 per week to only 35 per week—an 86 percent decrease. Farragut Elementary recorded an 84 percent decline in recess detentions and a 64 percent drop in suspensions. Lyon Academy saw a 79 percent decrease in referrals to the school’s reflection room. At Patrick Henry Downtown Academy, the number of suspensions fell from 48 in 2015 to only seven in 2016,” said Kickboard in a statement.

“Instead of looking only at suspension rates and attendance, we’re now looking at data such as the ratio of positive to negative behaviors in the classroom or in a school,” said David Hardy, deputy superintendent of academics for St. Louis Public Schools.

“Having that data available helps us align our thinking around the culture and the behaviors we want to see in our classrooms. It allows us to look at each child holistically, so we can provide targeted support to meet the needs of our students, teachers, leaders and schools.”

The Kickboard system’s positive behavior management feature proved beneficial to the pilot school, Farragut Elementary. Cox described how her students were kept motivated by using a points reward system where they would earn scholar dollars for positive behaviors. Kickboard allows educators to easily keep track of behavior points for each student.

“Kickboard has helped us find that our students who were in transition by nature had some concerns that needed to be addressed to be successful. We are now able to better understand these behaviors and put the right resources in place. Kickboard has had a positive impact on our students’ behaviors and students internalizing what those behaviors demonstrate, and in helping us to show that we value them,” said Cox.

This article was featured in the Volume 88, Winter/Spring 2017 issue of AFSA’s newsletter, The Leader. To read the newsletter in its entirety visit: http://bit.ly/2nJdsIN