Incentive System Launches That Increases School Engagement

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Team(You)’s digital incentive system launches for school year 2014. Team(You), tested in six schools and after school programs, showed improved outcomes.

Digital incentive tool Team(You) launched in June. Attendance improved in all pilots, with one moving from 89% to 100% present. The web application allows teachers and staff to administer incentive programs online. Through the system, students are immersed in a token economy that increases financial literacy; the digital tracking allows personalized student-teacher interactions. The system saves administrative time for teachers, improves student attention and self-esteem, and makes attendance and learning fun.

Students are engaged in the system that was designed for them, and by students. The web application replaces incentives being widely used, like paper bucks or marbles in a jar through an easy to use seating chart interface. Students earn points for academic, life, and social skills like improving test scores, class participation, and helping out other students. Data is immediately recorded and can be analyzed by students and teachers.

Early demand is highest from innovative middle school principals looking to address the dropoff in student engagement in high school. “These principals are looking for the solution to that precipitous drop at the 8th grade,” says Andrew Cheeseman, Team(You) co-founder. “This system catches the students’ attention in 6th grade and continues with them through this critical growth spurt in their physical and emotional lives.”

Team(You) is the upgrade of a system with a seventeen-year development at after-school provider Bresee Foundation. Student engagement and enrollment boomed at the after school program, along with growth in the number of points students earned. Bresee students report that the chance to earn points was the reason they came, even on days they thought to skip.

Team(You) founder Cynthia Harrington, serial entrepreneur and financial services executive, volunteered to create a points-based financial curriculum that explained how the token economy was like real life, for which she was awarded the PF Bresee Award. Over 8,000 students have learned about earning and spending in real life while they accumulated over two million points. “These students helped to write the curriculum from their own experiences,” says Harrington. “I added financial concepts as well as questions that challenged them to critical thinking about math as well as life problems.”

Demand for such a product was evident from the beginning. “‘Why can’t we have this?’ any school leader who saw the Bresee system would inevitably ask,” says Harrington. “With that kind of demand, we had a duty to make it available.”

The time tested software system from Team(You) makes it easier for teachers to administer incentive programs that most are already using, and it offers digital tracking of important behavioral trends. The program serves students of all ages; special features are designed for particularly critical years for increasing student engagement.

About Team(You)

Team(You) is the digital tool that increases school engagement. Education is one of the last industries to cut labor costs and to increase outcomes through the innovative use of technology. Team(You)’s proven system has value to classrooms across the world, and the company is meeting the challenge to bring enterprise-level software to individual use in the classroom. Founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur Cynthia Harrington and backed by Wall Street and tech executives, the token economy that students find fun is a powerful learning tool for financial education. The relevant lessons and real-time reporting increases engagement across the school day and facilitates Common Core. Honoring the innovation that comes from the non-profit sector, Bresee holds an ownership stake in Team(You).

About the Bresee Foundation

The Bresee Foundation’s mission is to provide comprehensive after-school programs and family services that equip young people to pursue their education, achieve their full potential, and serve others. It offers structured after-school youth programs including homework help, one-on-one tutoring, technology access, and college scholarships. Bresee has awarded almost $500,000 in college scholarships, provided career-readiness and employment to over 500 youth, hosts an annual Film Festivals on Social Justice, and has become a second home to thousands of youth and family members.

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Cynthia Harrington
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since: 07/2013
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