Case Study: Texas School District Uses Kognito to Support Student Well-being
Fort Worth Independent School District (ISD) is a large and diverse community of 76,000 students across 144 schools in Texas. They recently shared how they used three Kognito solutions to train their educators and staff on LGBTQ+ awareness, mental health and well-being, and how to support students who have experienced trauma. Continue reading for some highlights of our findings from the case study, or download the full case study here.
Supporting the Needs of Students
In 2021, Fort Worth ISD proactively adopted several Kognito products to provide professional development training opportunities for educators to better equip them to support the needs of students.
- Step In, Speak Up! – an interactive role-play simulation for educators that builds an understanding and appreciation for the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ youth. This program prepares educators to lead real-life conversations with students to curtail harassment and support students who may be struggling as a result of bullying or isolation.
- At-Risk for PK-12 Educators – this suite of simulations, ranging from early education to high school settings, builds awareness, knowledge, and skills about mental health and suicide prevention. This program prepares users to lead real-life conversations with students that build resilience, strengthen relationships, and connect them with support when needed.
- Trauma-Informed Practices – this interactive role-play simulation helps educators build skills, confidence, and empathy to better support students whose behavior might be related to sources of trauma or distress. Users learn how to recognize signs of distress and assess the need for referral.
“The course guide that Kognito provides with each product including rich discussion questions, was instrumental in helping me build these [courses] pretty easily. The course guide allowed that process to be really seamless.” – Chris Moore, Adolescent Health Coordinator, Health & Physical Education Department at Forth Worth ISD
What We Found
While these training solutions were first introduced to teachers, other staff members including counselors and intervention specialists saw the benefit they provided and are now participating. As a result of taking the simulations, educators experienced a significant change in behavior.
- 35% increase that teachers noted in their ability to manage a classroom discussion where a student has made an anti-LGBTQ+ statement.
- 36% difference has been noted among educators related to confidence in communication strategies to help a student who is exhibiting signs of psychological trauma or distress feel safe.
- 41% difference post-simulation for educators who initiated conversations with a parent whose child is exhibiting signs of psychological distress to motivate them to connect with mental health support services.
Through interactive learning experiences, Forth Worth ISD was able to prioritize student mental health and well-being and improve the school environment for their students.