Team and Family: Building School Culture with Positivity
At KIPP Truth in Dallas, TX, teachers and administrators are helping lead the revolution in positive school culture.
Assistant Principal and LiveSchool Site Leader, Shedrick Hay, coaches his teachers to communicate positively with students and is transparent about his positive expectations.
“We send out reports to our staff and we truly focus on a five to one ratio with LiveSchool points.”
A positive school environment is something that Mr. Hay cares a lot about – he experienced first hand what negativity can do to a school community and the power one teacher can have on a students trajectory with a little bit of positivity.
Growing up outside of Shreveport, LA, Mr. Hay was not always encouraged at school. “I heard something negative almost every day, it was rarely positive – whether about my dress, who I would grow up to be, or things I didn’t have because of my upbringing.” It wasn’t until his 8th grade year when he met Mrs. Meadows, a Spanish teacher, and Mrs. Specks, a History Teacher, that he felt school was a positive place. “They exposed me to the idea that teachers are good people. To positivity.”
Drawn to bringing positive school culture into his teaching practice, Mr. Hay has used LiveSchool to streamline KIPP Truths point system and uses data to keep things positive.
“Every grade level has a LiveSchool board to show where students are in terms of their earning and they can track where they are in terms of earning rewards.” Each month, there is a monthly party that students can earn with their LiveSchool points. For example, popcorn and a movie, an ice cream social, or a technology party.
New ideas often come from students themselves. Teachers ask students what they are interested in earning. Over time, investment in positivity has become ingrained in how students interact with their school community.
“Without a doubt we are a team and family.
When asked what makes KIPP Truth great, Mr. Hay answers without hesitation, “Team and Family.” Team and family is a KIPP network moto and KIPP Truth takes it to heart. “Without a doubt we are a team and family. When you have a chance to work with this staff and students, you know at the end of the day – we are committed to being a team and family.”