Partner story

Lubbock Independent School District

"KickUp lets us connect our feedback straight to our PD and focus our coaches’ time on the highest-impact supports."
Anna Jackson

Executive Director of Leadership and Professional Development, Lubbock Independent School District

It takes dedicated support to make professional learning not just inspirational but effective. West Texas’s Lubbock Independent School District pairs instructional coaching with content focus strands to close the knowing-doing gap.

About Lubbock ISD

Situated south of Amarillo, TX, Lubbock Independent School District’s 2,000 teachers serve just shy of 28,000 students every day. 65% of students are economically disadvantaged, while 48% are “at risk” by the state-defined criteria.

As president of Learning Forward Texas, Lubbock ISD’s Director of Leadership and Professional Development Anna Jackson is no stranger to the importance of high-quality professional learning.  Lubbock was already investing in innovative, sustained, and job-embedded PD. But they knew simply providing high quality supports wasn’t enough: they had to close the knowing-doing gap.

The Problem

Lubbock’s professional learning office employs a content focus model, so participants are assigned to a range of pathways according to both their content area and level of capability. Throughout the year, teachers receive need-based instructional coaching — which means the coaches themselves need detailed information to focus effectively.

The Lubbock office had previously done some of this work manually, but the complexity of managing 2,000 teachers across content strands made it hard to turn data into timely next steps. The district needed an automated process that sped up the process and consolidated the feedback into high-level, actionable strategy.

“It was really, really important for us to collect high-quality data,” says Jackson. “We had a wealth of offerings for professional learning, but weren’t seeing the implementation in classrooms that we wanted to see.”

Jackson’s goals were to:

  • Provide campus- and teacher-specific supports based on individual need
  • Keep track of how coaches are spending their time and align it to the areas of greatest need
  • Inform large-scale content focuses year over year
  • Assess the effect on instructional practice in real time

The Solution

Jackson discovered KickUp while reviewing feedback from her 2018 Learning Forward conference presentation. “Right away it was like a lightbulb went off,” she says. “We’d already been doing some alignment work, but seeing how intuitive it was to slice and dice the data myself — the different ways we could use KickUp became clear almost immediately. Not just with providing learning, but understanding if teachers are taking that knowledge back to the classroom.”

KickUp worked closely with Lubbock to build a feedback loop and coaching log system that’s simple enough for widespread use but provides powerful data crunching underneath:

After content sessions, participants fill out a role-based feedback form which aligns with Learning Forward criteria such as content (objectives, relevance, resources, expertise), process (organization, active engagement), and outcomes (whether objectives of learning were met, predicted use in the classroom).

“We tried to be very specific about moving from the basic level of ‘How did you like the PD?’ to ‘How are you using the PD in your classroom, and what kind of supports do you need?’,” says Jackson.

Department coordinators then take a day to reflect on the responses — filtering within the reports to unlock trends in what’s resonating and what needs attention.

Lubbock’s instructional coaches use KickUp to log their hours along both strategic content focus and type of activity aligned to the coaching model.

Using KickUp, Jackson and her team can deploy English-Language Learning coaching to second-grade teachers, PBIS supports for secondary math classes, or classroom management training to one individual campus — all in real time.

Most importantly, they can understand quickly how time is being spent and what impact it’s having on educator practice.

And the effects are felt even outside of the instructional office:

The Future

Lubbock has recently expanded their reflection forms to self-assess the impact of historical content sessions on classroom practice today. Educators can also submit suggestions on what to do next, and whether they want a coach to contact them for specialized support.

As of 2020-21, Lubbock is also using KickUp’s new professional growth module to pull all of their data together in one place — so they can tie in formative checkpoints and instructional supports with formal evaluations to capture a holistic picture of educator growth.

“It’s a hard thing when you’re doing training on such a large scale to be able to turn it around quickly,” Jackson says. “We’ve found that people in our district are building their confidence in our data and in our responsiveness to that data, which has been really critical to getting even more feedback from them. I think they’ve been able to see ‘We said this and they did that.’”

The Results

  • Over 7,000 coaching logs submitted since September 2019
  • 95% of Lubbock teachers agree or strongly agree that content sessions will build their capacity in their role.
  • 98% of Lubbock teachers agree or strongly agree that they’re prepared to apply their content session learning in the near future.