Checking in and checking out is not just for hotels, library books, and airports anymore. At Fletcher Elementary, Check-In Check-Out is an important part of the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) approach to maintaining a successful school climate.
Check-In Check-Out, also called CICO, is a targeted behavior intervention. Students begin their day by meeting with the School Counselor, teacher, or another adult, to review their behavior goals for the day. During this brief conference, the child and adult review strategies for challenging parts of the day and the student receives positive encouragement that sets a positive tone for the school day to come.
Students are supported throughout the school day by checking in with an adult after each academic subject, as well as arrival, lunch, and recess. They receive between zero and two points for each of seven scheduled blocks, based on their success following the school-wide expectations of being respectful, responsible, safe and caring. Each child has a personalized points goal that is adjusted to meet the child’s current needs.
At the end of the day, School Counselor Sandi Simmons “checks out” with students to tally the day’s points and, if they meet their goal, recognize them with stickers that may be cashed in for small prizes or banked for larger rewards. If a student does not reach his or her goal, the conference serves to talk about strategies for the following day and as a supportive reflection on what went wrong.
“Checking out with students at the end of the day is a favorite time for me. When students reach their goal, they realize that they are not a bad kid,” School Counselor Sandi Simmons said. “They feel proud. Sometimes I am surprised at how such a little thing can make such a big difference.”
When students are supported in following school-wide expectations, more time and energy is available for academic learning for all students.
“When children feel acknowledged in a positive way, they are not seeking that attention as much negatively during an academic block,” Literacy Teacher Leader Julie Steves said. “For some students, the frequent reinforcement is what’s needed to help them have an overall good day. That creates a learning environment that is more efficient and positive for every child.”
Rewards for students range from small trinkets to being Principal for 30 minutes.
“I love Check-In Check-Out,” second grader, Rylan, said. “I don’t forget about the rules because a teacher helps me remember them every little while. I feel so happy when I reach my goal that I want to do it again tomorrow.”
Christopher Dodge is the Principal of Fletcher Elementary School and is a regular contributor to THE FWSU STORY. You can follow him on Twitter @FletcherFalcon