Belton School District

"KickUp gives me a 360° view of district-wide progress. Now I can be laser-focused on the areas in which our district needs to improve."

Belton School District #124

Lorenzo Rizzi, Assistant Superintendent of School Improvement

Executive Summary

Belton Assistant Superintendent Lorenzo Rizzi needed a way to keep up with what was happening across all of his schools. Using KickUp, he was able to determine which aspects of his strategic plan needed more attention and create an improvement plan that he could monitor using teacher feedback, classroom walkthroughs, and community feedback.

About Belton School District #124

Belton School District is a suburban, public school district located south of Kansas City, Missouri. It serves approximately 5,000 students and was recently selected by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) as one of 21 Model Districts.

The Challenges

One of Lorenzo’s first actions after joining the administrative team at Belton was to translate the district’s strategic plan into an actionable improvement plan that focused professional learning support on technology integration, literacy, and college-and-career ready learning. Though this gave them a clear focus, they struggled to clearly track growth in a way that reflected multiple sources of data.

While many responsibilities under his role, Lorenzo and other Belton central office staff needed a way to easily maintain a pulse on the climate, culture, and progress of the entire district while also being able to keep other stakeholders informed on the impact of their efforts.

The Solution

KickUp’s Client Success team worked with Lorenzo to translate his improvement goals into research-backed indicators that could be tracked at multiple points during the year. The Client Success team then built a suite of custom data collection tools intended to capture feedback from administrators, instructional coaches, teachers, students, and other members of their community.

These included a teacher needs assessment, classroom walkthrough forms performed by coaches or principals, peer observations, post-event feedback forms and stakeholder surveys, offering Belton many different angles through which to study their progress. The results are compiled into reports that triangulate this data and guide monthly school improvement meetings.

"Our KickUp data is meaningful at many levels. We can narrow in to assess specific aspects of the improvement plan or compile a high-level overview of the district for our quarterly reports."

Lorenzo Rizzi

Assistant Superintendent of School Improvement

Belton has adapted their professional learning strategy since gathering last year’s KickUp data. For example, the district is implementing a requirement that all principals conduct at least 10 classroom observations per month. The professional learning communities will also be revamping how they use and data. In the coming school year, the goal is to focus on four main topics including: formative assessments, common core assessments, data-driven decisions and data teams, and peer coaching.

"Now, even though we work in the central office, we don’t feel disconnected. I have a better idea of what’s actually happening in our classrooms and we’re more strategic in our approach to instruction."

Lorenzo Rizzi

Assistant Superintendent of School Improvement

Overall, Belton has found that not only does KickUp give them better instruments for assessing school improvement, the data also increases an administrator’s productivity. Professional learning programming is streamlined and aligned to district goals. In the future, Belton will be expanding their use of KickUp to include the new professional learning events management system.

Results

  1. Result #1 - The percent of teachers observed being effective or highly effective in core instructional practices increased by 22 points (from 65.4% to 87.5%).
  2. Result #2 - 84% of teachers reported high student engagement, an increase of 13 percentage points at the start of the year.
  3. Result #3 - In 2017-18, Belton expanded its use of KickUp to manage event registration, allowing the district to tie event data directly to teacher growth indicators.

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