6 Tips for Choosing a K12 Student Data Solution
It’s no secret that district administrators and educators have a lot on their plates right now. Between mitigating lost instructional time, preparing for benchmark and state exams, and engaging with families, there is not enough time to be strategic with your student data.
Data that isn’t being used becomes stale and the opportunities for intervention are lost. Worse still, at-risk students fall through the cracks, and graduation rates decline.
To more efficiently work with student data, it makes sense for a district to have a “one-stop-shop” where attendance, discipline, grades, benchmark assessments, and state testing are all easy to access from one location. A place that teachers, principals, and district administrators can see the student data they need, rostered to their specific role.
Advantages of a one-stop-shop for student data: 1) everyone is working from a single source of truth, 2) teachers make better decisions in planning and differentiation when they have data faster, 3) no surprises for district administrators, 4) less time wrangling data, more time analyzing data, 5) better holistic view of the district for strategic planning.
Deputy Superintendent at Galena Park ISD, Elizabeth Lalor put it best when she shared her view on how important access to student data can be, “If the right person has the right data at the right time, then a child’s struggles can be a teachable moment rather than a series of lost opportunities.”
Knowing this, what steps should your district take to provide access and analytics to your student data? Here are some important things to consider when looking for a student data platform:
Integrations are KeySeek out a solution that can integrate all of your disparate student data systems. If it’s important to collect, it’s important to include. A program that can connect your district’s attendance, discipline, benchmark assessments, grades, state exams, SAT, ACT, and more will give you the ability to select the right package for your district regardless of the software maker.
Focus on PrivacyAppropriately scoped access to district data is one of the most important features of a one-stop-shop. While everyone in your district uses student data, not everyone has the same goals. Scoping ensures that within the same platform, district leaders have a birds-eye view of the entire district, while teachers focus on the information pertaining to the students in their classes.
Automation is EverythingPutting all your data in one place isn’t a game-changer if it takes extra manpower to do it. If your tech team has to pull in data manually, then you are always subject to time restraints or impeding priorities. The ability to set automatic syncs is essential to bringing all your data together.
Custom Analytics for Your Unique DistrictNo two school districts are alike. Different departments need reports and visualizations that focus on the areas critical to them. A one-stop-shop for student data should be more than a data warehouse it should provide the ability to filter and distill data into actionable formats. Your tools for analysis must be able to meet the unique needs of the district and school community with dashboards and reports that keep your whole team up to date.
Consider Communication DataA true one-stop-shop for student data in 2022 incorporates the granular data surrounding parent and student communication. Consider combining student data and communication tools to see which students need more engagement, where you can improve communication at home, and where your parent relationships are thriving.
Ease of Use and ScalabilityUsers shouldn’t need a Ph.D. in Data Analysis to be able to generate reports and dashboards. Select a platform that is scalable in complexity. Everyday users such as classroom teachers and principals can quickly run bespoke reports to identify students based on attendance or benchmark assessment results. Advanced users including your district data team can use the same platform to dive deeper into custom reporting and analytics for larger district trends.
A “one-stop-shop” for student data can help support district goals including improving student performance, reducing absenteeism, and increasing parent engagement. The right platform will provide both teachers and administrators with the tools they need to visualize the data that matters most.
SchoolStatus is the district-wide communication tool that integrates key student data in order to increase communication among educators, district administrators, and student families. The company’s solution aggregates individual student data, such as state assessments, attendance, and grades in an easy-to-visualize format and offers the option to communicate with student families via call, text, or email. Through SchoolStatus, millions of communications have occurred on the classroom, campus, and district level. For more information about SchoolStatus, visit http://www.schoolstatus.com.