Using envoy non-Verbal Classroom Management to Improve Student Behavior, Engagement, and Achievement

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Using ENVoY Non-Verbal Classroom Management to Improve Student Behavior, Academic Performance and Teacher Satisfaction
Joseph Rhoads Elementary and Lucile Gregg Elementary were targeted for this study. Both schools are located in the Houston Independent School District in Houston, Texas. They both have similar demographics. Both South Region elementary schools were performing at Texas Education Agency’s Acceptable status on yearly standardized and TAKS tests, have high percentages of minority and/or bilingual learners, and have high percentages of free and reduced lunch students. Both campuses have experienced a small decrease in student populations over the three year study, and just over 50% of teachers on both staffs have 10 or fewer years of experience. Both campuses serve students through Grade 5. Differing demographics also exist. Rhoads has only 308 students, while Gregg’s enrollment is 587.

ENVoY Non-Verbal Classroom Management was introduced to Rhoads’ administration and staff in August 2006. Gregg staff members were trained in January 2007. Monthly, job-embedded coaching was provided by the same coach to increase implementation of skills learned. Peers, administrators, and community guests observed teachers at random intervals during the 3 year study timeframe. The goal was to determine if ENVoY’s systematic, consistent use would either directly or indirectly result in: 1) an improvement in school wide TAKS scores, 2) a reduction of office discipline referrals that resulted in missed student classroom time, and, 3) a measurable improvement in overall teacher classroom management satisfaction.

The study was done over a period of three school years from August 2006 through May 2009. Mid-term and year end implementation scans tracked staff implementation, and follow-up coaching was used with all teachers. Teacher surveys were administered at the end of the second and third years to collect data on teacher perceptions of the effectiveness of ENVoY and their satisfaction with the model. TAKS scores for pre-ENVoY training 2005-06, were compared with post-ENVoY training 2008-09 preliminary scores. Discipline referral numbers for pre and post ENVoY training years were also collected and compared.

Quantitative results show an improvement in TAKS scores, a reduction of student discipline referrals of 68% at Rhoads and 58% at Gregg, as well as 93% (Rhoads) and 81% (Gregg) teacher implementation of the ENVoY model by the end of the study. Qualitative teacher survey data and comments showed favorable perceptions and attitudes regarding ENVoY use in schools.

Students now pass quietly in hallways, begin seatwork within 20 seconds of release, know when to raise their hands or speak out, give the teacher attention within 5 seconds, remain on task during seatwork, and other numerous other daily behavioral expectations.
The study concluded that, while ENVoY may not have been the only factor for improvement in student behavior, academic performance and teacher satisfaction, the use of ENVoY at Rhoads and Gregg did result in positive data findings.

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