School Administrators Contribute to Design of Mobile App that Increases Instructional Classroom Walk-Throughs
Editor’s Note: Logic Solutions is proud to have helped build the digiCOACH app. digiCOACH has been downloaded in 39 countries around the world, and played an integral part in a California school district’s recent success.
February 19, 2015 – Oxnard, CA – During the 2013-2014 school year, Oxnard Union High School District (OUHSD) saw a district-wide attendance increase of 0.9%, resulting in ~$1 million in additional school funding for the large, urban high school district. Additionally, Oxnard High School’s suspension rate dropped 42%, and expulsion rates dropped 37%. The High School District also saw an increase in performance on the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) and doubled proficiency rates in both the math and English-Language Arts (ELA) portions of the exam.
The significant improvements resulted from a large-scale strategy to improve student engagement in the classroom, professional development on new intervention strategies that encourage students to change negative classroom behavior, and increased instructional walk-throughs by administrators.
Superintendent Dr. Gabe Soumakian states, “Increased instructional walk-throughs directly correlate to a reduction in suspension and expulsions due to the higher visibility of administrators in the classroom. We are able to give quality instructional feedback at the site level, which benefits our educators tremendously. Students, especially those who typically form strong bonds with principals, also recognize and appreciate the increased administrator visibility in classrooms.”
Part of the overall OUHSD strategy was implementing the digiCOACH mobile app system, which streamlines the walk-through, feedback, and reporting process.
digiCOACH tackles common struggles with walk-throughs including lack of content-area expertise or common observation criteria. The system makes it easy for administrators to identify strengths of each teacher and build upon needs or areas that require extra support. Administrators can also give positive, meaningful lesson feedback and hold reflective discussions with educators. All reports are saved in the digiCOACH cloud reporting system to help inform professional development decisions.
digiCOACH coaches administrators and educators using research-based strategies in order to help schools focus on teacher-and-student relationships, and boost student engagement to increase the likelihood of students attending regularly.
digiCOACH CEO Doug Whittaker considers Dr. Soumakian a critical part of digiCOACH 3.0’s design process. “We are blown away by the commitment to excellence OUHSD has made to students and educators, and the results this dedication has achieved. Dr. Soumakian was generous with his time and feedback, letting us know specific improvements that would perfect digiCOACH’s usability and value to schools. Our mission is to provide impactful technology that makes conducting the integral responsibility of classroom walk-throughs more efficient and easier. It’s gratifying to see that come to fruition.”
OUHSD used digiCOACH to assist with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) certification recommendations. Almost 70 administrators conducted more than 7,000 walk-throughs in nine high schools with digiCOACH during the 2013-2014 school year.
“The digiCOACH team is committed to working closely with our administration to customize a walk-through platform to ensure areas of focus and feedback options reflect our district overarching goals, making our walk-through process more meaningful for administrative teams and teachers alike. digiCOACH has helped us reexamine our strategies for increasing student engagement,” said Executive Director of 21st Century Learning and Innovation, Consuelo H. Williams.
digiCOACH 3.0 is available on the App Store. For more information, visit digiCOACH.com.
Based in Redlands, CA, digiCOACH specializes in bringing the latest technology to K-12 education. digiCOACH provides school administrators and instructional leaders with a digital coaching tool that streamlines the process of providing feedback to teachers in their classrooms. To learn more visit digiCOACH.com.