Ten ways to use JAKAPA to improve your students’ readiness, your school culture and your key performance indicators

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JAKAPA can enhance students' readiness, school culture, and key performance indicators.

1. A Stand-Along Soft Skills Course:

JAKAPA requires 10-15 minutes of engagement daily to complete tasks in each weekly challenge. Districts can create a soft skills training course that students can complete independently or as part of an advisory period and earn ¼ credit annually. Over a four-year high school experience, JAKAPA can be used to award a full credit of soft skills training that will appear on student transcripts as a valuable career readiness elective.

2. A Tool for Progress Monitoring Special Education Goals:

Many IEPs include goals related to self-management, executive functioning, assignment completion, anger management, emotional resilience and social engagement. Our Achieve a Goal feature, which is a daily tracking system, allows students to identify specific daily actions they are doing to achieve their goals. Intervention specialists can use this data to progress monitor growth for annual IEP meetings. If students are engaged in the full weekly challenge system, IEPs can include JAKAPA as a daily intervention.

3. A Reward Structure for PBIS Programming or as an Impact Measurement and Enhancement for Student SEL Programs:

JAKAPA skills are the foundational ones that build a positive school culture. When staff and students have skills in self-management, innovation, emotional resilience, cooperation and social engagement, they will be able to achieve the vision you have for PBIS. JAKAPA skills directly relate to one’s ability to demonstrate responsibility, respect and engagement, so you can align our skills to your PBIS matrix and use JAKAPA as a tool that measures, trains and tracks growth. We can be a valuable impact measure to help you see how your PBIS program is impacting student development.

4. A Component in your MTSS Plan:

JAKAPA is a great tier 1 tool for your MTSS plan. The skills we measure have a huge impact on academics as well as wellness.

Here are some facts about the impact of soft skills training that underscore the importance of using JAKAPA as a tier 1 program. 

  • Soft skills training increases math scores by 7.9% for boys and by 10% for girls.
  • Soft skills training can increase graduation rates by 30%,  and they increase the likelihood of graduating by 64%.
  • Soft skills training can increase assignment completion and performance by 9.3%.
  • Soft skills are the highest-ranked predictor of academic achievement and educational attainment.

Self-Management Skills 

Self-management skills are essential for a child’s development. They include a person’s ability to manage their time, tasks and responsibilities. They also help them stay organized, follow rules and complete work consistently. Parents can help their children develop these skills at home. Parents can help their children learn self-management skills by teaching them how to set goals and prioritize tasks. Parents should also help their children develop time management skills, as this will help them stay organized and focused on their tasks. Try helping your child predict how long it will take for them to complete their work and then create a to do list. They can use timers to help them keep track of time so they are not late. Calendar reminders, daily check ins on goals they are actively working on and discussions about what they did that helped them succeed or fail can help students become more self-aware and determine the best methods they can use to manage the many things we need to attend to in life, school and work.

Innovation Skills 

Innovation skills are important for children to develop, and parents can help their children develop these skills at home. Parents can help their children develop their creativity and problem-solving skills by having them work on puzzles, play board games, or participate in other activities that require them to think outside the box. Parents should also encourage their children to try new things and think of new solutions to problems. Additionally, parents should provide their children with opportunities to work on projects or participate in activities that require them to use their creativity. Try making up stories together, invent a new gadget or solution to a household problem, such as how to organize spaces or use leftover supplies to build something. Listen to music, watch movies or read stories and discuss the underlying themes and how they relate to life. Encourage risk taking and out of the box thinking.

Social Engagement Skills 

Social engagement skills are necessary for a child’s development, and parents can help their children develop these skills at home. Parents should encourage their children to engage in conversations with others and practice active listening. Additionally, parents should help their children learn to work together with others by having them work on group projects or participate in activities that require teamwork. Parents should also help their children learn the importance of compromise and respect for others. Try having family dinners with no technology and have discussions about your day, how you feel about various things that happened and what you can do to resolve conflict. Share ways that you meet new people, start conversations and present yourself as socially warm and trustworthy. Discuss people in your life who you count on and what they do to earn your trust.

Emotional Resilience 

Emotional resilience is essential for a child’s development, and parents can help their children develop this skill at home. Parents should help their children learn how to cope with their emotions by understanding and validating their feelings. Teach your children to recognize and manage their emotions by teaching them techniques such as deep breathing, counting to ten, and positive self-talk. Compliment your children, so they can manage their confidence and understand their gifts and strengths. Additionally, parents should help their children learn how to set boundaries, as this will help them manage their emotions and relationships. Parents should also help their children learn to be assertive and express their needs in a respectful manner. 

Cooperation Skills 

Cooperation skills are important for a child’s development, and parents can help their children develop these skills at home. Try working together on things. Maybe cook together or divide up chores and work side by side to complete them. Give your children responsibility and then praise them when they come through and do their part. Encourage your children to find ways to participate on teams, play group video games or work. Parents should also encourage their children to compromise and negotiate with others, as this will help them learn the importance of compromise and respect for others. Additionally, parents should help their children learn how to manage conflicts in a healthy and productive way. 

Overall, soft skills are essential for a child’s development and parents play an important role in helping children develop these skills. By teaching their children self-management skills, innovation skills, social engagement skills, emotional resilience, and cooperation skills, parents can help their children develop the skills they need to be successful in life.

5. Integrated into Current Career Development Pathways:

JAKAPA can become a tool within a career development pathway as a daily homework item. We can provide longitudinal growth data as students move from career exploration into your CTE pathways. Engaging with JAKAPA can yield a local college and career readiness credential and our data can be used as evidence for awarding state level graduation seals or credentials. Showcasing JAKAPA data at Business Advisory Council meetings can set you apart from other districts. Your business partners will see that you are developing more than just academic and technical skills, so your graduates will be truly ready for the workforce.

Ready to See What JAKAPA
Can Do for You?

"My JAKAPA demo quickly helped me understand how easy it would be to implement THE JAKAPA soft skill solution IN My school."
—Missouri Educator

6. Integrated into your 21st CCLC After School Programming:

Youth development is one of the four critical areas in any 21st Century grant program, and JAKAPA can be a great tool for measuring, training and tracking key skills related to student soft skills and wellness. We can provide an edge to your grant application by supplying a validated assessment tool you can use to show the impact of your programming. As part of your after-school program, you can provide time for students to complete the JAKAPA tasks (10-15 minutes daily). For students who attend your programming daily, you can award elective credit toward graduation each year.

7. To Actively Work toward your Profile of a Graduate:

Most districts have engaged in a process to identify the characteristics they hope to instill in all students before graduation, called a Profile or Portrait of a Graduate. While academic preparation is always one focus area, the majority of vision statements in most profiles identify the soft skills we hope to see in our students. 97% of employers say soft skills are essential and 51% of employers do not believe the education system is closing the soft skills gap. Stanford Research Center, Harvard University and the Carnegie Foundation report that 85% of job success comes from excellent soft skills and only 15% is due to academic and technical skills.

To realize the vision you have in your Profile of a Graduate, your district needs to find a strategic and sustained way to support skill development. Our program can be customized to measure, train and track the soft skills needed to achieve your vision.

8. To Build Soft Skills in your Staff:

JAKAPA is a powerful professional development tool that can be integrated with your teacher evaluation system and school improvement plans. Most strategic plans have goals related to improving the capacity of district, school and teacher teams. JAKAPA skills are directly related to effective teams. In fact, our name means Yes Team. KAPA is the Maori term for team and JA means yes in many languages. Teachers can use JAKAPA to learn these skills, track professional and personal goals, measure team effectiveness and gain awareness on how to work on teams effectively and efficiently. They can also earn CEU credits when LPDCs approve JAKAPA engagement time for CEUs. Even more powerful, when teachers are learning with their students, they can model skill development and support a growth-minded culture where everyone is striving together for personal and professional growth. Teacher soft skills impact your performance measures as well.
  • Teacher soft skill training impacts student dropout rates and graduation rates.
  • Teacher soft skill training also directly explains the variance in student absences, suspensions and GPA.

9. To Improve School Leadership and Achieve School Improvement Goals:

JAKAPA is a great leadership tool that can help leaders better understand the underlying skills that impact implementation of innovations. By doing self and peer assessments with staff, leaders can uncover valuable insights that can inform how they lead, how they communicate and how they structure collaboration. Triangulating JAKAPA data with climate surveys and other teacher surveys can provide information that helps district leaders understand why some efforts are working and others are not.

Ready to See What JAKAPA
Can Do for You?

"My JAKAPA demo quickly helped me understand how easy it would be to implement THE JAKAPA soft skill solution IN My school."
—Missouri Educator

10. To Close Equity Gaps:

Soft skills are an equity issue. Poverty and race are strong predictors of academic outcomes, attendance and discipline problems. JAKAPA can close the equity gaps by giving all students the opportunity to measure, train and track their skill development. As they develop these skills, they will succeed in school, work and life. If we can close these gaps in high school, students have a much better chance of attaining education credentials necessary for financial success. Fewer than 40 percent of Black and Latino students at community colleges earn a credential within six years, according to National Student Clearinghouse Research Center data. Fewer than 20 percent of part-time community college students complete in six years. Student soft skill ability is a stronger predictor of financial success than social class origin or IQ.

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