Research & Insights / Schools use data to make a comprehensive set of decisions on improving student learning
Schools use data to make a comprehensive set of decisions on improving student learning
EdVestors’ School on the Move Prize serves to highlight the strategies of Boston’s most improving schools. Through years of research, EdVestors and the Rennie Center have identified key practices that enable schools to improve and sustain progress. The ten schools in consideration for the 2022 School on the Move Prize exemplify these practices in their pandemic recovery efforts.
Boston Green Academy, an in-district charter serving grades 6-12 in Brighton, focuses on green careers and grounds goals in student outcomes. The school prioritized increasing the graduation rate and lowering the dropout rate, investing pandemic relief funds in student support positions. Staff conducted over 50 home visits during the summer to students with low attendance, administration (including the principal) and paraprofessionals served as advisors to lower the staff-student ratio, and over a third of students received counseling. 97% of seniors received a diploma or certificate this year, and no students dropped out.
BGA uses instructional rounds and Star assessment data to ensure high-quality instruction. These measures identified pandemic-related declines in student preparedness, student engagement, and the rigor of classroom tasks. To address these concerns, BGA added a math interventionist, expanded the middle school’s targeted intervention block, and invested in the skills of paraprofessionals by training them to co-plan with teachers. Six different teams of staff review data weekly on student achievement, behavior, engagement, and social-emotional health.
Channing Elementary in Hyde Park centers students and families through street data: qualitative and experiential data that “take us down to the ground to observe, listen to, and gather artifacts from the lived experience of stakeholders.” In the fall of 2021, Channing’s Student Support Team conducted home visits and community walks to learn about families’ experiences during remote learning and their hopes for the year. This data, along with MCAS results that showed learning loss in English and math, informed the communally created “Vision of a Channing Learner,” outlining the skills a student should graduate with.
Once school began, teachers facilitated weekly data cycles, assessed students in multiple ways, and conducted walkthroughs to strengthen their instructional practice. To measure student experience, 1st-6th graders took surveys on their in-school relationships and kindergarteners produced feelings charts showing that they were happy to be in school with their teachers and friends.
Read the next post “A culture of high expectations drives instructional practice” featuring Ellis Mendell Elementary and Charles H. Taylor Elementary here.