Skip to main content

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. Recognizing different levels of Data Literacy among teachers was key as every teacher had a different comfort level when it came to data consumption. Other important aspects were to demystify the data, encourage transparency, and let teachers familiarize themselves with the data, making the process of using data collaborative rather than competitive. The article also provides great insight as to what tools, both external and internal, have been used by the school as well as how to start and maintain a data culture. Seeing the effects of regular use of data and having data-informed, data-rich conversations had an amazing impact on school performance and culture. Humboldt teachers have grade-level meetings every week to review their data together and strategize, as well as sharing tips and practices. "Teachers are talking data all the time," Young says. You can read the full article here.

Popular posts from this blog

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

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

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