Classroom Observation Software Helps Kansas City School Improve PD

Dr. Philip Hickman, Principal and Director of Education at Genesis Promise Academy in Kansas City believes that offering ongoing professional development opportunities to his faculty and staff is a necessity, and that decisions about what to include must be data-driven. That's why Dr. Hickman began using observe4success.

“After hearing about observe4success from some of my colleagues, I was eager to use a system that assisted my team in making data driven decisions,” says Dr. Hickman. “As a nationally recognized school, we strive to be on the cutting edge of change and innovation; we owe it to our students to make sure we are constantly improving and adapting to their needs. observe4success has helped us stay current with the research in this field and has played a big part in helping Genesis Promise Academy identify areas that will benefit from additional professional development.”

Developed by educators for educators, observe4success started as a grassroots effort to capture and systemically report the essence of classroom culture and instructional practice so that administrators and peer observers could easily grasp classroom characteristics. With observation data collected, stored, and sorted, administrators and teacher work together to identify strengths to build on and weaknesses to address.

Dr. Hickman credits observe4success for a change in his school culture, opening the lines of communication between administrators and teachers and allowing the school as a whole to talk about, work towards, and implement improvements.

The data tracking also keeps Dr. Hickman and his administrative team accountable to their board, parents, and supervisors.

“observe4success tracks the date, time, duration, and observer every time we are in the classroom," he said."It’s been helpful to show exactly when and with what kind of frequency we are getting into each of the the classrooms.”