Monday, December 9, 2013

Assess - Analyze - Achieve (Digital Data Walls)

In Somerville, we have recently enhanced our approach to providing individualized instruction for each child.  During the 2012 Board of Education Retreat, concerns were raised over the district standardized testing scores.  To address the areas of concern, the Board and district leadership formed the position of Academic Achievement Officer and the related Assess - Analyze - Achieve program as part of the district's intense strategic planning process.

As part of the Assess - Analyze - Achieve program, the Academic Achievement Officer compiles students scores on state standardized tests, Dibels, Reading On-Demands, Writing On-Demands, Mathematics On-Demands, and ELA/Mathematics Questions of the Day.  Data from each of these sources is summarized in a column interpretation sheet for each student.  These interpretation sheets are shared with each of the students' teachers and have enhanced educational dialogue during Teacher Professional Learning Communities (PLC).  Teacher PLCs are actively using student data to assess the impact their instruction is having on student performance.  At Van Derveer School, teachers are monitoring individual progress through the use of data walls.  By monitoring every student’s academic progress, teachers ensure that the best educational decisions, instructional modalities, and implementation of appropriate mini-lessons are being utilized to achieve the desired outcomes for each student.

In an effort to support this paradigm shift, Mr. Teehan and I hosted an information session for parents and guardians at Van Derveer School.  During this session, each parent was provided with their child's performance data along with teaching strategies used to address their child's individualized needs.  In addition, we identified available resources for parents to use at home.  A video of the presentation can be seen below.  Resources and additional information can be found on Mr. Teehan's blog.

We will continue to communicate and educate our community on these new approaches to instruction.  As with any school initiative, the success of the program depends on YOUR involvement.  We look forward to your comments, input and suggestions and NEED your partnership in order to help our students succeed.
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