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LEW goes live

Office referrals down amidst debut of new support system

A new “house point” program has L.E. Willson Elementary School  (LEW) third- through sixth-grade students competing for excellence in their behavior.

Rolled out at the start of this school year, LEW School Counselor Melanie Culp and the LEW staff have introduced LiveSchool, a positive behavior support system which allows teachers to track student behavior in real-time off a smart device.

Through the program, LEW students are competing on a classroom level and schoolwide against different “house” groups for chances to earn fun activities and eat pizza.

Pool LiveSchool compliments another support service introduced this year, ICU, which keeps track of student assignments.

“We used to have to call parents,” Culp said. “Every time a child got in trouble, we would have to get on the phone. This way, the parents know exactly what’s going on and are aware of what’s going on at school.”

The school counselor said she has been interested in behavior support for some time and even began a Bulldog Bucks system at LEW when she joined the faculty last October.

Culp wanted to take the Bulldog Bucks idea further and recommended the school look at LiveSchool, which was introduced to Culp by a former principal.

Culp said while at another school, she was using a paper-based positive behavioral support system in a class and her principal approached her and asked what she was using with her students.

The principal took the idea and researched digital programs to avoid having to use physical paper vouchers. Culp said he discovered the LiveSchool program and they began implementing it schoolwide.

LiveSchool allows teachers to add or subtract points from a student’s score on a tablet, laptop or phone. The results are instantly available to parents and other faculty.

Culp said teachers can award points to students for many reasons, including doing homework, timeliness, and participation. They can also take away points for poor behavior.

Teachers have the option of adding comments to sets of points which is instantly visible to the students and their parents.

At the end of the week, students receive a weekly report, or “paycheck,” to detail their earnings and losses over the last several days.

“As educators, we don’t need to be focusing exclusively on the negatives,” Culp said. “I’ve asked the teachers to make the positive-negative ratio very high. There should be many, many positives before there is a negative.”

Culp said the goal is to develop a desire in the students for the positive feedback and awards.

“A lot of times, kids want attention, and if we can give it to them in a positive way, that’s how we want to do it,” Culp said.

Every two weeks, Culp pulls results of 16 classrooms and 368 students’ LiveSchool database and selects the top three students from each class to spend a full hour in the Bulldog Cafe, where they can enjoy popcorn, video games, a race track, ping pong, and other activities.

Remote It is common for students to tie for the top three scores, Culp said, and she has been seen four to five from each class get to attend the cafe.

Additionally, at the beginning of each nine weeks, all students are added to one of four “houses” that are made up of all participating students.

The four houses have Latin names and respective colors—Obsequium (red) for discipline, Integritas (green) for integrity, Eximius (blue) for excellence and Habitus (yellow) for attitude.

The leading house at the end of nine weeks earns a pizza party.

She said, currently, the blue team is winning.

“The kids love it,” Culp said. “The teachers say that it is easy to do.”

Culp said she believes overall behavior at the school is improving. She said results will help administrators see where the student body needs improvement and even provide a fuller picture of a student if they are experiencing problems.

“Behavior usually has a lot to do with whether a student is doing well in class,” Culp said.

LEW Principal Heather Collum said since implementing the system, office referrals are down.

Culp said LEW currently has a 40% participation rate among parents who have logged in to the LiveSchool app and are using the program.

The counselor said students were given login details to bring home to their parents at the beginning of the year. She said she plans on contacting parents soon to make another push.

If parents need help logging into the LiveSchool account, Culp said they may contact her by calling LEW at 256-386-5730.