First Year Results: Elmore County Pilot

Dogs in Schools The following data was collected from the pilot school program in Elmore County for 2015-2016 School Year. Click here for more information on the data collection review.

Academic effects of Follow the Lead with the use of a trained school dog:

  • The Student Growth Percentiles for students instructed by trained School Program handlers implementing the program reflected a significant impact.
  • Student Growth Percentiles compare student growth to his or her academic peers nationwide.
  • The average Student Growth Percentile (SGP) for students instructed within the program was 71 for Language Arts. This means that on average, the students reflected more growth than 71% of their peers nationwide in Language Arts assessments. This is significant, especially when compared to other classrooms that averaged 47% for their SGP.
  • 100% of the students reflected growth in all areas and subdomains in their state and county Literacy and Math testing.
  • County Mathematics assessments are administered pre and post instruction. The difference between these pre and posttests reflect student growth. The classrooms with Follow the Lead (FTL) and a trained School Dog had 12% more growth than the classrooms without Follow the Lead and a trained School Dog. This means that the students with FTL performed 12% higher than students of the same grade level who were not instructed with FTL.
  • Star Literacy Tests results showed that students’ scores who were instructed with FTL were 28% higher than students who were not instructed with FTL. Positive growth was reflected in all areas of assessment for the students with FTL, while other classrooms’ data did not reflect growth in all areas.

Discipline effects of Follow the Lead with the use of a trained school dog:

  • 100% of teachers reported that there were fewer discipline issues with students.
  • 85.7% of teachers reported that there were significantly less discipline issues with students.
  • During the 2015-2016 school year, there were no discipline referrals to the office for any of the students due to issues in the classroom.

Student participation and inclusion effects of Follow the Lead with the use of a trained school dog:

  • 100% of teachers reported that student inclusion and participation increased.
  • 93% of teachers reported that student inclusion and participation increased significantly.
  • Academic grades and assignments completed support this data.

Classroom environment effects of Follow the Lead with the use of a trained school dog:

  • 100% of the teachers reported a calmer classroom environment.
  • 100% of the teachers reported an environment more conducive for learning.
  • 100% of the teachers reported low stress levels with students and themselves.

Note: K-9s 4 Schools is a program of Service Dogs Alabama. Our School Dogs are trained like Service Dogs with Public Access certification, but with additional commands to work off-leash in classrooms with multiple people.