March 12, 2021

Student Buy-In: It's Key! 🔑

Student buy-in helps your PBIS system succeed. Use these 3 techniques to incorporate your students early and often!
LiveSchool 101: Happy Teachers, Engaged Students, and Better Data
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Student buy-in requires open communication. In this post, we'll show you 3 techniques that you can use to start a conversation with students. It might look like extra work, but you'll be amazed by the impact of student buy-in on meeting your school-wide goals.

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Students automatically have buy-in when they're part of the process. We treat our PBIS and LiveSchool as if it's a living program – just because we did something in September does not mean we're doing the same thing later in March. We make the students part of that arc.

-Paul Kennedy, Global Leadership Academy

Survey Students on Rewards

A survey is a great way to get broad-based feedback and ideas from students. Here are some outside-the-box questions to inspire your survey:

  • What's your favorite snack or treat?
  • Is there a special school job you'd pay points to have?
  • Is there something funny you'd spend points to see a teacher do?
  • If you could pick one reward, which would you pick: Homework Pass, a Snack, Time with a Teacher, or Time with Friends?
  • What is the most fun reward you could possibly imagine?
  • Would you like to be a Student Advisor and help brainstorm fun rewards?

Want to survey students digitally? Get our Student Survey Google Form and customize it (requires a google account)!

Hold a Student Focus Group

A focus group is a one-time meeting to provide your team with a boost of student input. A student focus group is fun, easy to organize, and will help you find the hidden opportunities to improve your school-wide culture system!

To get started, recruit a group of 4-6 students who you feel represent the diversity in your school. A trusted adult will lead the group through a series of open-ended questions and discussion. Take notes on the big take-aways, then present back to your PBIS or rewards committee.

  • What are some ways you can earn points right now?
  • Are there other things you'd like to earn points for?
  • When do you usually find out that you've gotten a point?
  • What was your favorite memory so far in our school this year?
  • Which of these rewards sound most fun, and why: Homework Pass, a Snack, Time with a Teacher, or Time with Friends?
  • Let's brainstorm! What kind of rewards would be fun to try as a school?

If you're ready to run your first focus group, download our free Student Focus Group Agenda.

Create a Student Leadership Team

A student leadership team meets regularly to talk about issues and opportunities from the student perspective. When creating a student leadership team, you want to go beyond the "typical students" who sign up for every club. How can you reach out and pull in students with diverse perspectives?

Once your team is established, 1-3 designated adults meet with the group regularly. A monthly meeting can be a great frequency. Here's what you're looking to accomplish as a group:

  • Create a mission statement. For example: The Student Leadership Team's mission is to help make our school better by telling the adults what is on students' minds and inventing ways to get students to work harder in school.
  • Get feedback on events. After your school has a big event (virtual or in-person!), ask your leadership team for honest feedback. Did students like it? What made it fun? What could have been better? Stay open and positive – feedback will help your next event be even better!
  • Identify behavior problems. As adults, we see behaviors that are problematic. Our students do, too. We can often get a unique perspective from students on what's going on. Be sure to set the norm: we're not talking about specific people (no names!), only general problems.
  • Brainstorm solutions. Get students involved in brainstorming how to use your points system to address problems. Too much trash in the hallways? What if we had a special 2-point bonus for picking up trash?! If you can get your student leadership team excited, you're on your way to school-wide improvement.
  • Dream up fun rewards. There's no better source of fun rewards and events ideas than students themselves. Who can keep up with all the trends nowadays? They can! Keep an open mind – you'll find creative ways to make your points tangible for students.

What did we miss?! Tweet @whyliveschool with your favorite ways to get student buy-in.

Interested in LiveSchool?

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

Take a Tour!
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