Strategic Data Services

Join the BPE School Data Network

BPE’s school-based data strategy focuses on building tools, culture and capacity for effectively using data to transform student and school outcomes.

Tool Development

BPE has developed a Google-based platform for our schools in which all data and accompanying resources are organized through a Google site unique to each school. All key school documents are available on this site for ready access. Google forms are used to systematically capture behavior & suspension data, communications with families, Student Support Team (SST) referrals, student withdrawal information, as well as operational data such as time off requests and supply requests. The data from these forms are immediately available to users and have built-in analytics for quick summaries of information. The Google site also houses all assessment data at the student, item, and standard-level in both aggregate and individual form. Teachers get immediate data as assessments are entered and they can see which questions large percentages of students succeeded or struggled with and for which groups of students. Lesson planning Google docs, classroom videos, and curricular and PD resources are all also linked on the site, thereby marrying assessment with curriculum.

Further, rich, color-filled, student-level spreadsheets are linked on the site and include all key data on students. These are updated as data become available and are a key tool in monitoring classroom-level progress. Linked on the Google Site is our Tableau-based data dashboard, which has all the high-level analytics for the school and is dynamic and interactive, enabling users to ask questions of the data and test hypotheses with simple clicks of the mouse. In moving toward leveraging technology to its fullest, we are also beginning to pilot Google Classroom as early as third grade as a means to efficiently capture data.

Culture

When you walk into our schools, you visibly see data lining our walls in a very purposeful way. We post weekly attendance data, and students with perfect attendance every month are listed in the main office. Certificates also go home with students monthly. In our elementary school, our Directors of Instruction’s offices have data walls for ELA and math and each student’s data is posted and tracked for instructional planning conversations. Summative high-level 1-pagers are prepared quarterly for parents, community members and other constituencies to track our progress against our school goals.

Students and families are an important part of our schools’ data culture, as we prepare a continual flow of data to ensure that everyone knows where they are and where they need to be. We prepare information-rich progress reports and aim for 100% parent participation at family conferences to ensure parents know how their students are doing and what they can do at home to augment the school day. We send targeted, specific letters home when students are routinely late or absent.

In addition to having ready access to all the data described in our “tools” section, staff are emailed daily with an attendance/tardiness dashboard to show data analytics in those areas, as well as a list of students absent that day. These data are also summarized and emailed in a weekly and monthly format. School leaders are also emailed a monthly report with detailed information about student exits every month. All of this data is also in the Tableau-based dashboard, but the additional action of emailing the data ensures full staff engagement with the data.

We also survey staff twice a year and families and students once a year to gather feedback in service of our continuous effort of improvement. These data are shared and plans are made to improve in areas with relatively lower satisfaction.

Capacity

All Boston Teacher Residency trained teachers take a year-long data course in their residency year, which prepares them to use formative, interim, and summative assessment data, and provides them with the accompanying skills and mindset to effectively use data. Through ongoing PD and Common Planning Time, teachers receive additional support and training for using data. All conversations and planning begin with looking at data, planning from the data, implementing plans, and seeing what worked, through the cycle of inquiry.

BPE School Data Network

In 2013, we launched the BPE School Data Network. This network is comprised of charter and traditional school data leaders who come together 2-3 times a year to share best practices and problems of practice, and to foster a community of learners who are looking to innovate and transform the state of education data in Massachusetts and beyond.