Andrew Kirby

Lionville Middle School
Exton, Pennsylvania

Best Practices

1) School Improvement Strategies: I am very fortunate to serve the Lionville Middle School community. We continuously evaluate our student needs and look for ways to improve our student services. While reviewing our existing PBIS framework, we decided to look for a new and creative way to improve student climate and behavior. We found that our students predominantly do what is expected, over 90 percent of students were without a discipline referral. Thus, we decided to use an evidence-based method called “tootling.” We accessed a digital platform called a kindness wall, which allows students to submit positive messages to one another for the entire school to see. The messages are related to our PBIS – P.R.I.D.E. acronym, and relate to positive student behavior experienced in and our of the school. Staff and community members are also able to post positive messages to one another and to students. Our goal is to leverage socially based positive reinforcement to grow positive behaviors and acknowledge students and staff for doing the expected or desired. We have also used a small group of student leaders to provide student prospective to this process, and immediate student voice.

2) Teacher and Staff Development: I have worked closely with several educators in targeting professional development. The growth of an educator has a direct impact on the students being taught and is a core value in my pursuit of education leadership. I joined public education to help all children have access to the skills needed for a successful future. By working to develop educators, I am hoping to ensure competent professionals are, in turn, developing competent students. I have had the privilege to work directly with school psychologists, school counselors, and teachers through the professional development process. Two of my most significant contributions have come in the form of school counselor skill development and project based learning activities with teachers. I worked directly with our counseling department to increase student services through our MTSS SEL practices over the course of an entire school year. We were able to make significant gains in the level of direct and consultation services provided by our counseling department while adhering to ASCA standards. I worked collaboratively in professional learning and practices in project based learning activities that were cross-curricular and standards aligned. We leveraged state standards, state assessment data with the use of CDTs, and student agency to culminate in multiple student learning projects with positive outcomes.