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Check In/Check Out

By Karina Mojica

Edited by Claire Murphy, 9/2022

What Is Check In/Check Out?                                                                                     

Check-In, Check-Out (CICO) or the Behavior Education Program (BEP) is a school-based, Tier 2 behavior intervention that can be used with students from kindergarten-twelfth grade. This intervention can be used as long as deemed helpful to the student. This intervention is primarily “for providing daily support and monitoring to students who are at risk for developing serious or chronic problem behavior” (Hawken et al. 2020). It is ideal for students who have not found optimal success with school-wide interventions (Tier 1) and/or have received multiple office discipline referrals (Hawken at al. 2020). This intervention targets behavior problems such as not being prepared for class, students who like to talk-back, or cause minor disruptions in class (Hawken et al. 2020). CICO consists of check-ins with the same adult at the beginning and end of the school day as well as check-ins with teachers at the beginning and end of class or at designated times throughout the day. Check-in/Check-out gives the student a clear roadmap of behavioral expectations and accountability through frequent check-ins with adults at the school. 

Components of Check In/Check Out

  • Students must be willing to participate in this intervention. 

  • This intervention is ideal for students who engage in problem behaviors throughout the day, not at a specific time.

  • CICO is ideal for students who seek out adult attention.  

  • Teachers and staff need to have a system in place to identify students that would be optimal for this intervention. This could include incorporating CICO in Response to Intervention (RTI) or Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) meetings. 

  • An adult needs to be identified who can always be available at the beginning and end of the day periods, and who is a trusted adult for the student. 

  • Students need to be fully informed on the nature of the check-ins and check-outs including where, when, and with whom they will be meeting. Introduce the student to the adult and allow rapport to be established if this has not been done previously.

  • Have a plan for unexpected circumstances, for example, if there is a two hour delay you will be meeting at these times instead.

  • Daily progress reports (DPRs) need to be made with the individual student in mind. The DPRs should be divided into morning and afternoon checks. For example the morning check could include mood rating scales, a checklist of items that the student needs to be prepared for class, and/or expectation review for the day. The afternoon could include a check for appropriate materials going home, mood rating scales, and/or a review of the day and positive/corrective feedback.  

  •  DPRs need to be filled out daily and data stored and tracked for progress monitoring. Progress should be shared with parents and teachers, and modified where needed. Reporting periods need to be established prior to intervention implementation.   

  •  Data should be shared with the student and discussed with positive and constructive feedback to give opportunities for self-reflection, celebration of progress, and establishing individualized goals. 

  • Reward systems can be incorporated into the CICO system. For example, if the student comes with all of their materials for the whole week, a reward can be given. 

  • Cost: This intervention can be implemented with little to no cost! DBRs can be made by the teacher. If rewards are incorporated, these can be free such as game-time or if rewards with a monetary value are given, this cost will need to be considered. 

Evidence of Check In/Check Out Effectiveness

In a study conducted by Filter et al. 2008, researchers examined the effect of the CICO system on three separate elementary schools. The results indicated that the program significantly reduced office discipline referrals for the students that were enrolled in the program. Additionally, this study provided a survey to school teachers and administrators, with results indicating that they viewed CICO to be efficient and effective in reducing problem behaviors. In another study done by Hawken & Horner 2003 investigating CICO effectiveness, results found that “Overall levels of problem behaviors were reduced following the intervention and the larger effect was that students became more consistent in participating in class without problem behavior.” Another important note indicated by a study done by Hawken et al. 2007 was that, students who participate in CICO will most likely not require “more intensive behavior supports.” 


Filter, K. J., McKenna, M. K., Benedict, E. A., Horner, R. H., Todd, A., & Watson, J. (2007). Check in/check out: A post-hoc evaluation of an efficient, secondary-level targeted intervention for reducing problem behaviors in schools. Education and Treatment of Children, 30(1), 69-84.


Hawken, L. S., & Horner, R. H. (2003). Evaluation of a targeted intervention within a schoolwide system of behavior support. Journal of Behavioral Education, 12(3), 225-240.


Hawken, L. S., Sandra MacLeod, K., & Rawlings, L. (2007). Effects of the behavior education program (BEP) on office discipline referrals of elementary school students. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 9(2), 94-101.


Hawken, L. S., Crone, D. A., Bundock, K., & Horner, R. H. (2020). Responding to problem behavior in schools. Guilford Publications.


Sugai, G., & Horner, R. H. (2008). What we know and need to know about preventing problem behavior in schools. Exceptionality, 16(2), 67-77

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