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, Ed.D, Assistant Superintendent of School Improvement

Executive Summary

Belton Director of School Improvement 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 Belton’s strategic plan needed more attention, and create an improvement methodology that he could monitor using teacher feedback, classroom walkthroughs, and community input.

About Belton School District #124

Belton School District is a suburban, public school district located south of Kansas City, Missouri. It serves approximately 4,400 students and has twice been selected by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) as one of 21 Model Districts.

The Challenges

Working with 150 citizens and staff members in a year-long review of programs and services, Belton School District had recently updated a five-year strategic plan around three key pillars: a transformation of learning experiences, a culture of safety, and a comprehensive system of support. But although the pillars provided clear direction, the central office staff needed specific, measurable metrics to maintain a pulse on the district — and keep the school board informed on the plan’s progress. Belton came to KickUp with the goal of translating the overall vision into improvement data that focused professional learning support around technology integration, literacy, and college-and-career-ready learning.

"As an instructional coach, I can look at specific buildings and identify what everyone saw. I can tailor in and see how I can support that building."

Annie Sisemore

Instructional Coach

The Solution

KickUp’s Client Success team worked with Belton staff to break down each pillar into several leading indicator metrics, and developed a tailored system to consolidate, triangulate, and activate the information for continuous improvement. Now, the district is working with three years of rich data from sources like teacher needs assessments, classroom walkthroughs, peer observations, post-event feedback and stakeholder surveys. School improvement staff regularly use KickUp’s filtering and analysis features to break the results down even further to make data-backed decisions on day-to-day operations. The original plan architects and Belton administrators then come together for monthly meetings to make real-time adjustments.

Belton has since adapted and accelerated their professional learning strategy thanks to the wealth of data now available. Overall, the district has found that KickUp is more than a tool for strategic plan compliance — simply having large-scale trends accessible at a glance means that administrators can make decisions knowing exactly where and how their actions harmonize with the district-wide vision.

“Now, even though we work in the central office, we don’t feel disconnected. I know what’s actually happening in our classrooms and we’re more strategic in our approach to instruction.”

Lorenzo Rizzi, Ed.D

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 - District-wide annual progress growth of over 15%, from 76.8% in 2016 to 92.9% in 2019
  2. Result #2 - The percent of teachers observed being effective or highly effective in core instructional practices increased by 22 points (from 65.4% to 87.5%)
  3. Result #3 - In 2019, 90% of Belton classrooms employed strategic plan-aligned instructional practices (compared to 70.7% in 2016)

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