-by Tim Grivois-Shah, Ed.D.
Check-in / Check-out (CICO) is a relatively simple framework for social, emotional, and academic support. While CICO is typically easy for schools and youth-serving programs to implement, most schools use CICO as an intervention for no more than 10-15% of their enrollment.
The basics of CICO are simple. Students participating in CICO:
- Check in:
- When students arrive in the morning, their coach checks to see if students have materials. Coaches might check and see if students have had breakfast.
- Before sending students to class, the coach asks students what their plan for a good day might be. If needed, the coach might offer a suggestion.
- Positive Feedback throughout the day
- Throughout the day, the students’ teachers check in with them.
- At the end of the period, the teacher lets students know what went well, and if necessary, what would help the student be more successful in the next part of the day.
- Check out:
- At the end of the day, students check-out with their coach.
- Students and coaches briefly chat about which parts of the day went well, and if necessary, which parts of the day students could improve tomorrow.
Most schools using CICO expect as many as 10-15% of a school or program to participate in CICO without much additional effort beyond initial training and time for coaches to meet. And when done well, students participating in CICO receive frequent doses of specific, useful feedback, all within the context of positive attention from caring adults. Basically, CICO works because the intervention is about strengthening relationships with students and communicating with young people effectively.
Clearly, our unexpected, rapid, and nearly global shift to remote learning has highlighted the importance of building strong relationships with the children and youth we serve. If your team uses CICO (or something like it) to support your learners, here are some graphics to illustrate what the role of the teacher, coach, and student is in CICO.