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The Dulles School Builds a PBIS & SEL Program with 100% Adoption

At the Dulles School of Excellence, school is much more than a place to learn. It is also a safe haven. Located on the South Side of Chicago, 90% of Dulles’s students live in the housing project next door to the school, which has a high level of violence.

Making sure students can detach from the outside world is Larry Williams’s job. Mr. Williams is the Dulles School of Excellence’s Culture & Climate Coordinator. Everything non-academic, he covers.

Mr. Williams is working to build a supportive community that nurtures the academic and emotional well-being of students. Because as any educator knows, education isn’t simply about knowledge acquisition, it’s about developing life skills to be productive and caring citizens.

Mr. Williams achieves this through positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) and social-emotional learning (SEL) programs that set high expectations for students and equip them with the skills to reach them.

Without the ability to regulate their emotions and act appropriately, students can’t learn.

100%
Adoption
Reduced
Suspensions
35k
Positive Interactions
If we don’t set high expectations for our students, they have nothing to reach for.
Larry Williams, Culture & Climate Coordinator

Dulles Needed a Tool to Manage This Program

Mr. Williams brought PBIS and SEL to Dulles because that’s what he used in his classroom to create an engaging and organized learning environment. But to make it a school-wide program, he needed to invest in a tool to help him manage it on a larger scale.

At first, he considered creating a paper-based token economy system, but printing off paper bucks and manually tracking how they are being distributed? That’s a lot of work with not that much visibility.

So they first brought on ClassDojo, but that caused several problems:

  • ClassDojo combines a social network with student behavior tracking, which puts student data and privacy at risk.
  • ClassDojo allows users to change or delete messages after they are sent, creating opportunities for misuse.
  • ClassDojo doesn’t provide schoolwide rubrics or data, so there is a lack of consistency and fidelity.
  • Chicago Public Schools banned the use of ClassDojo outright, and other districts are doing the same.

So Mr. Williams set out to find a better tool, and he found LiveSchool.

About the Dulles School of Excellence

Enrollment: 700

Grades: PK-8

Demographics

  • 97.1% Black
  • 98.1% Low Income
  • 9.1% Mobility Rate
  • 27.5% Chronic Truancy
  • 4% Math Proficiency
  • 6% Reading Proficiency

Data-Driven Behavior Management

LiveSchool became the hub to integrate PBIS and SEL into Dulles and measure it. This is done through their school's LiveSchool rubric, which is a set list of behaviors and actions with an attributed point value.  In Dulles’s case, they focused heavily on PBIS & SEL, which we’ll explore below.

“LiveSchool has allowed Dulles to have more control over the positive rewards that we give students.”

PBIS

The Dulles School of Excellence uses the ROARS and PRIDE acronym to track PBIS and reward students for positive behavior as a part of their Tier 1 strategies.

Dulles also leverages LiveSchool to track Tier 2 and Tier 3 PBIS. For example, they manage Check-In and Check-Out (CI/CO) in LiveSchool.

For students assigned to CI/CO, they are paired with a specific mentor. There are daily meetings where students can earn up to 5 points. Then, there are weekly meetings, where based on the sum of the week’s behavior, students can earn an additional 50 points. This way, a bad day doesn't mean students don’t receive points at all for the week.

According to Mr. Williams, this approach to PBIS builds trust among students in every tier, and they are already noticing improvements in behavior.

SEL

SEL competencies are also built into the rubric so that students and staff can recognize SEL in action and student growth with it.

Suspensions & Detention

Finally, Dulles also tracks in-school suspensions and detentions as deductions. This section is admin-only, meaning that only approved admins can add the deductions.

Spending What They Earned

Throughout each day, students can earn a total of 78 points, and students are serious about receiving them.

“When we’re in the hall, you’ll hear kids say: ‘we’re really quiet. are you going to give us hall points?’”

Teachers are also held accountable for giving points. It is a part of their coaching and reviews.

So what happens when students have these points? Well, that’s where the rewards come in.

Tiger Store

The Dulles School of Excellence has a Tiger store, which is a PBIS and attendance store that students pay to enter with their LiveSchool points. In it, they can claim school SWAG, trinkets, games, and toys.

Events

Points also count toward big events like graduation. The Dulles School of Excellence covers the cost for the 8th-grade trip, pinning ceremony, and luncheon. But if students lose points, they lose access to these events, unless their parents pay for them. This way, parents are also invested in the good behavior of their kids.

There are also other events like pizza parties that students use their points to participate in.

House Competitions

The points also add up in a schoolwide House Competition. Students are divided into Houses by grade, and each point earned or lost adds up to the group total, which is displayed on a dashboard for all to see. Dulles will have events that celebrate the top Houses like their March Madness event, where the top class got t-shirts.

Spending the points is the fun part. And at Dulles, teachers, parents, students, and admins all get to join in.

Parents Are Involved Too

LiveSchool has a built-in communication tool called Recaps, that auto-sends weekly emails to parents and students recapping the points awarded and lost over the last week, including any comments for teachers.This is a big part of Dulles’s use of the platform.

Recaps enable Dulles parents to see the smaller wins and areas for improvement that happen on a dial basis with their students.

Behavior Data to Measure It All

The power of Dulles’s PBIS and SEL programs is in the data. With LiveSchool, Dulles can track everything happening across the school in real-time. LiveSchool reports show them:

  • The most common positive and negative behaviors.
  • The top and lowest student earners.
  • The top and lowest point givers.
  • The number and ratio of positive and negative points.
  • And so much more!

In the reporting dashboard, Mr. Williams and his team can zoom in on individual teachers, classes, and students.

This data creates integrity and transparency for the program to:

  • Ensure teachers are giving points – and fairly.
  • Catch problem classes and students before they become major issues.
  • Coach teachers in 1:1 settings using data.
  • Set schoolwide goals and track progress against them.

This data is now a part of the culture. Dulles’s Dean of Students pulls reports weekly and shares them with staff. This creates opportunities for meaningful discussion, collaboration, brainstorming, and goal-setting.

This data is now a part of the culture. Dulles’s Dean of Students pulls reports weekly and shares them with staff. This creates opportunities for meaningful discussion, collaboration, brainstorming, and goal-setting.

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The Dulles School Builds a PBIS & SEL Program with 100% Adoption

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THE RUBRIC
Larry Williams, Culture & Climate Coordinator
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The Dulles School Builds a PBIS & SEL Program with 100% Adoption

At the Dulles School of Excellence, school is much more than a place to learn. It is also a safe haven. Located on the South Side of Chicago, 90% of Dulles’s students live in the housing project next door to the school, which has a high level of violence.

Dulles Needed a Tool to Manage This Program

Mr. Williams brought PBIS and SEL to Dulles because that’s what he used in his classroom to create an engaging and organized learning environment. But to make it a school-wide program, he needed to invest in a tool to help him manage it on a larger scale.

At first, he considered creating a paper-based token economy system, but printing off paper bucks and manually tracking how they are being distributed? That’s a lot of work with not that much visibility.

So they first brought on ClassDojo, but that caused several problems:

  • ClassDojo combines a social network with student behavior tracking, which puts student data and privacy at risk.
  • ClassDojo allows users to change or delete messages after they are sent, creating opportunities for misuse.
  • ClassDojo doesn’t provide schoolwide rubrics or data, so there is a lack of consistency and fidelity.
  • Chicago Public Schools banned the use of ClassDojo outright, and other districts are doing the same.

So Mr. Williams set out to find a better tool, and he found LiveSchool.

About the Dulles School of Excellence

Enrollment: 700

Grades: PK-8

Demographics

  • 97.1% Black
  • 98.1% Low Income
  • 9.1% Mobility Rate
  • 27.5% Chronic Truancy
  • 4% Math Proficiency
  • 6% Reading Proficiency
100%
Adoption
Reduced
Suspensions
35k
Positive Interactions
If we don’t set high expectations for our students, they have nothing to reach for.
Larry Williams, Culture & Climate Coordinator

Data-Driven Behavior Management

LiveSchool became the hub to integrate PBIS and SEL into Dulles and measure it. This is done through their school's LiveSchool rubric, which is a set list of behaviors and actions with an attributed point value.  In Dulles’s case, they focused heavily on PBIS & SEL, which we’ll explore below.

“LiveSchool has allowed Dulles to have more control over the positive rewards that we give students.”

PBIS

The Dulles School of Excellence uses the ROARS and PRIDE acronym to track PBIS and reward students for positive behavior as a part of their Tier 1 strategies.

Dulles also leverages LiveSchool to track Tier 2 and Tier 3 PBIS. For example, they manage Check-In and Check-Out (CI/CO) in LiveSchool.

For students assigned to CI/CO, they are paired with a specific mentor. There are daily meetings where students can earn up to 5 points. Then, there are weekly meetings, where based on the sum of the week’s behavior, students can earn an additional 50 points. This way, a bad day doesn't mean students don’t receive points at all for the week.

According to Mr. Williams, this approach to PBIS builds trust among students in every tier, and they are already noticing improvements in behavior.

SEL

SEL competencies are also built into the rubric so that students and staff can recognize SEL in action and student growth with it.

Suspensions & Detention

Finally, Dulles also tracks in-school suspensions and detentions as deductions. This section is admin-only, meaning that only approved admins can add the deductions.