Target – Flexible Learning Environments. FWSU will maximize flexible learning environments by redefining the school day, promoting learning experiences that extend beyond the school classroom, and fostering creativity, innovation, and differentiated learning opportunities for all.
Action Steps – (1) Provide students with access to content, resources, and methods for learning beyond the school day and beyond the school walls. (2) Develop opportunities for students to collaborate, innovate, create and conceptualize in all learning settings. (3) Make relevant and authentic problems become the focus of connected learning.
Indicators of Success – (1) The school calendar and definition of school day changes to become flexible and responsive to the needs of students. (2) Students are engaged in answering authentic questions and solving problems in collaborative settings.
Check-In Check-Out Supports Positive Behavior In Fletcher
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, or PBIS, is the backbone of the Fletcher Elementary School’s behavior support system for all students. It includes the creation of proactive school-wide systems that teach and reinforce specific expectations for behavior, thereby creating a positive climate and highly productive learning environment.
This year, the staff in Fletcher implemented PBIS at the universal level, creating, teaching, modeling and reinforcing positive behavior expectations for all students, across all environments. After celebrating an extremely successful universal implementation of PBIS, Fletcher’s dedicated PBIS team recently attended an intensive two-day training focusing on the targeted level of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, and specifically, the Check-In Check-Out system.
The foundation of Fletcher’s success with PBIS remains the consistent teaching and reinforcement of universal, school-wide expectations for everyone. Sometimes, however, students find additional support in a program that is a bit more frequent and individualized, in addition to the universal strategies. In Fletcher, and throughout Vermont, this program, part of PBIS, is often called Check-In Check-Out.
With PBIS, supporting student behaviors relies heavily on the collection and analysis of data to identify both behavior challenges and successes. When the Fletcher staff looked at the school’s data, they noticed that student misbehavior was often motivated by a desire for peer or adult attention. In an effort to begin to meet that need for students in a positive way, following the intensive training, the Fletcher School has implemented a trial program of Check-In Check-Out.
Participating students check-in with an adult, such as a teacher or the school counselor, first thing in the morning. They begin a Check-In Check-Out tally paper for that day that reflects the school-wide expectations and the various activities in which the students will participate throughout their time at school. The student and adult set a goal for the day and the student works with a variety of adults as he or she progresses through the schedule to self-assess and receive feedback on his or her behavior. They receive specific feedback on their behavior as it relates to school-wide expectations. At the end of the day, the student returns to their primary Check-In Check-Out adult for their end-of-day follow-up. Students tally points earned throughout the day and can earn incentives for their success. (My favorite right now is the student who is working to earn the opportunity to be principal for 30 minutes!) For Fletcher students, the school-wide expectations of being respectful, responsible, safe and caring are the measures of success each day.
The check-ins and check-outs are brief, but highly motivational for students who enjoy individual attention, and previously tended to get that attention through negative behavior. It transforms their sometimes previously negative strategies for getting attention into a positive opportunity to review and learn expectations and celebrate successes. The brief meetings act as both debriefings and goal-setting opportunities. Either daily or weekly, the student’s tally sheet is brought home and shared with their family. At home, the specific information on the tally form allows parents to see precisely which expectations were successfully met or were challenging, and during which time periods. Over time, identifying trends of challenging behaviors can be helpful in planning for student supports.
Check-In Check-Out is intended to be a short-term intervention, usually six to eight weeks. However, just as every child’s needs are different, the length of time with the program will vary.
Fletcher’s trial of the Check-In Check-Out program began immediately after April vacation and the response as already shown a decrease in negative behaviors, improved self-esteem and increased work production for several students.
Watch this brief video to learn more and see examples of the Check-In Check-Out program in action both in school and at home.