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Data Journey: Discovering Learning Analytics at Zurich International School

(This post is by Andrew Blair, Head of IT Services and Solutions, Zurich International School) With over 1200 K-12 students and 280 employees, Zurich International School is an International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization World School and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Commission on International Education. ZIS is also approved by the Department of Education of the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland. It delivers a strong academic program, centered around the traditional core disciplines, preparing students for entrance into colleges, universities, or other institutions.   Due to an increasing collection of academic performance data from various internal and external sources, ZIS is continually seeking ways to improve the collation, correlation and readability of separate data sets for the purpose of informed decision making. Internal data sources include teacher-assessed subject grades, descriptors for standards and achievement levels for instr
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Designing Best-Fit Classes with the Class Placement Engine

(This post is by Ben Hacking , Deputy Principal at the Vienna International School ) Established in 1978, the Vienna International School (VIS) is a CIS accredited, IB World School situated in Vienna, Austria.   The School serves students from kindergarten to grade 12 who come mostly from the diplomatic corps and international businesses based in Vienna.   Diversity is one of VIS’s greatest strengths and the School is proud that of the 1368 students attending, approximately 112 nationalities are represented around 85 native languages are spoken altogether.   This diversity is also represented amongst our approximately 270 faculty members, leadership teams and administrative staff.   VIS joined the Learning Analytics Collaborative (LAC) in 2017-18 after an extensive internal review of, and reflection on, our own data for learning practices.  Over time, we have worked with the LAC to develop a number of engines to support and empower our faculty with the data tools and inquiry processes

Making Student Data Part of the Conversation!

I’m sharing an article that tells the story of a school’s data journey. It is very typical of many schools around the world but also more challenging. A school that was once on the verge of being labeled under-performing, turned to data to move the bar on student success. It addresses the need of academic leadership and drive for change as a fundamental success factor in such a journey. Cole Young, the principal of Humboldt Elementary School, turned his passion for learning and data into a success story for the whole school. The journey wasn’t easy as the school didn't have a culture of data, and creating one was difficult, with school awashed with data and a degree of resentment and lack of direction among teachers. Young started by identifying key pieces of data that would be most useful for teachers. Humboldt staff met as a group to look at the numbers and talk about what to do with it, how it applied to research-based practices, and strategize collaboratively as a school. Recog

LAC School Spotlight - American School of Bucharest

American School of Bucharest (by Andrew Pontius, IB MYP Coordinator, and Fiona Moss, Secondary Vice Principal at AISB) THE SCHOOL Number of students: Approx 950 Grades: EC2 - Grade 12 Number of faculty: 180+ Curriculum: IB (PYP, MYP, DP) Accredited by: NEASC, CIS, IB Joined LAC in the 2017-18 School Year  THE CHALLENGE What was the challenge the school was facing?   The original challenge was just visualizing data. We looked at IB DP Scores, but very little other data was consulted on a regular basis, and the few spreadsheets that were created were looked at only by the leadership teams. Why was LAC chosen?  Andrew had used LAC at his previous school (ISPP), and found that it had helped build some productive conversations in a multitude of ways. When shown to the then Director, the ideas of what else could be implemented grew, and we began working with LAC.  HOW IS THE LAC PLATFORM BEING USED NOW Who uses the platform at the school? Mainly used in Secondary by a range of people. It is

Using data to inform decision-making within the Student Support Team

LAC Case Study: International School of Phnom Penh (This post is by Jonathan Smedes , Director of Learning, Teaching, Innovation and Impact at ISPP) THE SCHOOL The International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP) is an internationally accredited day school located in the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. The school hosts students from approximately 50 different nationalities and has a current enrollment of approximately 920 students from Early Years to Grade 12. Established in 1989, the school has grown from a small community school, servicing a few expatriate families, to a beacon school in the region, attracting students from all over Asia and beyond who make Phnom Penh home. It is the only parent-governed, not for profit, internationally accredited (CIS/WASC) school in Cambodia. ISPP is fully authorized to run the PYP, MYP and DP and is a member of host of other international organizations.    THE CHALLENGE In the Secondary School (Grades 6 to 12), the Support Services Team (SST) meets

Building and Leading a School Culture that Values Data Informed Dialogue to Improve Student Learning

(This post is by Megan Brazil, Elementary School Principal, United Nations International School, Hanoi. The post was first published online in 2016.) In a ‘silo schools’ approach, teachers have generally been left to work independently on collecting, understanding and using their own classroom data to make decisions about instruction, planning and assessment. Many schools have not yet made the successful transition from individual to collaborative: to enable teams of teachers to collectively analyze  learning data in order to improve learning outcomes for all students. What we know to be true in many schools is that teachers still spend a disproportionate amount of time planning instruction, but don’t place the same emphasis or effort on finding out if the instruction really worked. Perhaps then, less importance has been placed on finding time for teams of teachers, coaches and administrators to take a look at the ‘back end’ — the learning that has taken place as a result of the planni

Learning Data Conversations - A Catalyst for Building Collaborative Professional Cultures

We are awash in learning data in our schools. However, there remains a deep skepticism for quantitative data and, at the very least, a noticeable discomfort for sharing and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data about one’s own student learning. Teachers and school leaders who wish to begin looking at both qualitative and quantitative data in a systematic way for robust school improvement must begin to develop a professional culture that values talking about data of all kinds. Investing in data literacy and data conversations serves schools in fundamental ways: Embedding a collaborative learning cycle connected to student learning data and qualitative data as part of curriculum development and school improvement.  Developing a shared language and safe environment for collaborative and open-minded exploration of ideas that might challenge our existing mental models.  Challenging and influencing unproductive mindsets about student performance. All of the above serve to d evelop and