As Assistant Principal at R.J. Murray Middle School, Melissa Lime was the first person in Saint Johns, FL to implement LiveSchool. They set the bar high by becoming a PBIS model school.
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Melissa brought that motivation with her to her new school, Freedom Crossing Academy (FCA). Melissa and the head principal at Freedom Crossing both knew they wanted to establish a school-wide framework for positive classroom behaviors and thanks to Melissa’s previous success with LiveSchool, she knew just how to create a solution!
Students at Freedom Crossing strive for a specific set of characteristics: Focus, Leadership, Imagination, Grit, Heart, and Team (FLIGHT). Teachers and staff incorporate FLIGHT into the school’s culture, and even the curriculum.
When we’re reading our short stories and our novels, we’re reminding students... how does that character show the FCA way or the FLIGHT expectations?
Everyone in the building has embraced FLIGHT values, and the adults look for ways to demonstrate and acknowledge them.
When planning their behavior rubric, FCA made sure to include input from all stakeholders. Guidance counselors, team leaders, and teachers all had a voice in deciding what sorts of positive behaviors they wanted to encourage from their students.
Next, they embedded LiveSchool into every aspect of the student’s day: from the first bell to the ride home. Bus drivers and parents can give out “bucks” that are exchanged for LiveSchool points, supporting positive behavior choices instantly - even outside the classroom.
But Melissa knew they were on the right track when she noticed that students started to shout-out other students. When a teacher identifies a specific FLIGHT characteristic that they want students to exhibit during the class,
Students will share out, ‘I think so-and-so needs LiveSchool points because they demonstrated ‘being focused’ by --,’ and they will share the example.
LiveSchool also gave FCA a framework for hosting events that include all grade levels.
The school recently implemented LiveSchool’s House Point tool, and their first house event (for all grades) was a viewing of The Polar Express. Melissa was thrilled to see that the different house “personalities” naturally started to shine:
Our sixth graders were all mentors to the younger kids, walking them up and down the stairs, taking that leadership role.
And she wasn’t the only one who noticed. “I had one parent say, I’ve never seen anything like this before ever.” FLIGHT was already well-established, but those values really took off when the grades came together for a shared activity cultivated by the House Points tool.
Because parents and teachers were on board, Melissa had plenty of helping hands for the Polar Express movie night. Parents chipped in to build the “train,” and some of them even enhanced the theme by dressing up.
It’s no surprise that when a schoolwide incentive or event is coming up, LiveSchool engagement increases even more than usual. Students are excited for the next opportunity, and friendly competition between grades boosts the anticipation. After all, classroom incentives take on a whole new meaning when Dad agrees to get decked out as a train conductor!
Melissa likes to stock a range of prizes at various “price points.” For 100 points or so, students can win a small item from the school store, or a seat in the teacher’s chair.
But for those who have stored up their points, the school has organized a variety of more “expensive” options. The Jacksonville Jaguars even donated 180 tickets to serve as incentives: students can purchase raffle tickets for a chance to see those passes and touchdowns in-person on game day.
While Melissa knew that one inspired individual could get the school started with a behavior app, she also understood that everyone needed to be on board in order for it to work long-term. And now, her efforts to involve everyone (from parents to the local football team) have paid off.
Today, FCA is still going strong - and they even have big plans to increase their LiveSchool engagement. Now that they’ve implemented House Points, they’re going to keep energies high with house symbols, mantras, handshakes, and songs. Melissa will also make monthly school-wide announcements, celebrating the winning houses and the teachers who gave out the most points.
We’d like to extend our congratulations to Melissa and the rest of the team for developing such a strong school spirit! FCA is a beautiful example of how a behavior rubric can truly enhance a school’s core values.
Think you could do more with LiveSchool? Check out all of the features Melissa used with our House Points app, and let us know when you’re ready to get started in your own school!
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