March 9, 2017

On the Road in Fort Smith

We experienced Fort Smith hospitality first-hand while meeting with amazing educators who use LiveSchool to support their students.
LiveSchool 101: Happy Teachers, Engaged Students, and Better Data

Past the site of a 19th century frontier fort (think John Wayne!), we got to visit with dedicated Fort Smith educators.

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Our first stop was Darby Junior High, named after William O. Darby, an American war hero who helped lead during the final days of WWII. After five years of working together, we had the opportunity to meet Guidance Counselor Cherri Byford in person!

If your school enjoys our “print group” feature, which automatically organizes student reports by class, you have Cherri Byford to thank. Her suggestion early on led us to create the feature that has saved countless hours for other schools!

Darby Junior High’s rewards store is a shining example of tuning your incentives to fit students’ interests and needs. Their store is open almost every day and includes items from school supplies to clothes. Best of all, the store is staffed with students who have to complete a rigorous interview process to get the job!

Next was Ramsey Junior High, an impressive school led by Principal Amy Manley’s. Principal Manley has implemented an innovative system for homework accountability called "Homework Hall" - the system ensures students who miss homework assignments complete them promptly in one of their regularly held Homework Hall sessions.

Through this innovative practice, the school has made significant improvements to homework completion and thereby boosted academic success of their students. We are excited to incorporate the components of Principal Manley’s Homework Hall system into upcoming features in the LiveSchool product!

At Orr Elementary, we met with Principal Pat Cagle and Guidance Counselor Michele Daly. This school has developed some of the most creative rewards for their elementary students we’ve ever seen! Here are just a few of the ideas developed by their administrators and teachers - using their LiveSchool points, students can:

  • Buy dances from GoNoodle for the class
  • Wear a baseball cap in class
  • Switch homerooms for a day
  • Teacher’s chair for a day
  • No shoes
  • Rent a pencil
  • Headphones for instruction (“They take better care of it if they buy it!”)

We look forward to seeing both of you in Nashville this summer for our LiveSchool Summit!

At Morrison Elementary, we had an opportunity to share some of our newest data and reports features with Principal Britney Balin, including real-time alerts for negative behavior and dashboards on student progress and teacher usage. One of the great pieces of feedback we received was the opportunity to create a shorter format of our student reports that use less paper. Stay tuned Britney, we have some exciting things in the works!

At Kimmons Junior High, we met with Principal Keri Rathbun to review trends in LiveSchool usage and talk about goals for next school year. We were excited to learn about the research and planning that Principal Rathbun is leading into the “Homework ICU” concept, another approach to supporting student accountability for homework completion. This got our wheels turning, and we look forward to sharing upcoming homework accountability features in LiveSchool!

Last but not least, we visited Tilles Elementary School. One of the highlights of our trip was being read to by a Tilles student who had just tested into the next reading level! She was an amazing young reader! Additionally, we had the opportunity to share the latest Insights features with the Tilles administrative team and discuss ways to use the new tools at an upcoming professional development. Before we left, the Tilles team was nice enough to invite our CEO Matt to talk to their 6th grade coders. It was a great experience, and you can see a clip in the video above!

Thank you to all the folks at Fort Smith schools for hosting us during our visit! 

Interested in LiveSchool?

Let's chat about how LiveSchool supports your positive school culture.

Take a Tour!
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