Using Support Notes
Support notes are a great way to crowdsource information about a student so they can be more effectively supported. For this reason, all notes are visible to any educator who has access to the student’s page.
To enter support notes, navigate to any individual student profile page and follow the steps below:
- On the left sidebar, type a note under "Create a support."
- If any of the following actions apply select them (Actions include: Call home, Classroom observation, Home visit, Parent meeting, or Student meeting).
- Click “Save.” The note will appear below.
In the example above, you might imagine you noticed a student missed school today, and you decided to call home to check on them. You could write a note about what you learned about the student and this information can potentially provide a fuller picture of why the student might be struggling with attendance.
Notes appear in chronological order just below the "create a note" form. This timeline of notes is interspersed with updates of when a student enters or completes an intervention, so that you can see when the student is receiving more intensive tier 2 and 3 supports.
On the students page you can filter to see which students have Support Notes or which students have received an action (e.g. "Call Home"), which is a great way to monitor the progress of these students who may need additional support.
Because Support Notes are visible to everyone who has access to a student's page in Student Success, it is important to keep in mind what information should and shouldn't be included in Support Notes, to prevent any possible breaches of student confidentiality.
In general, we recommend taking the time to find your district's balance between wanting to provide transparency and breaking down communication silos for educators, while also ensuring student confidentiality on sensitive topics. Many of our partners have taken the time to discuss as a team what level of detail or information they want to share in these notes, and that has been an effective way to ensure that everyone is on the same page about what notes should be entered into Student Success and what notes may need to remain in other systems. Some other tips you may want to keep in mind as you write notes are below.
- Exercise judgment in only writing notes you would be comfortable with your colleagues being able to see.
- When writing notes, anchor towards asset based, student-first, data driven, and high precision language. Language matters, particularly when we are discussing students' academic progress and goals, so being intentional about the words you use is important.
- Proactively identify a preferred communication structure if a staff member notices a note that should be edited or removed per the norms agreed upon by school teams (e.g. raising to Principal, Director of Student Support, etc.). Encourage a culture that is comfortable providing this feedback in continuing support of each other and of our students.