School Data Rooms Bring Data Out of the Drawers and Into the Open

School administrators are excellent at collecting data, but too often they end up storing it – literally. Accountability and assessment movements are forcing schools to bring data out of the drawers and into the open. Some are taking this a step further by establishing school data rooms, where teachers can see student information in a logical and accessible manner.

Walls of color-coded sticky notes cover the walls of Gilliard Elementary School, Mobile, Alabama. The notes tell teachers what their students are doing on the math and reading standards, as well as Look At This their discipline records and attendance records.

The goal is to help teachers recognize and address the needs of students before they become out of control. For instance, if a student isn’t meeting his or her reading goal the teacher might offer extra practice in class or help that student outside of school. If a student is having problems with their behavior or is exhibiting a problem with their behavior, the teacher could refer them for counseling or even consider taking that child from their classroom altogether.

Baker’s strategy is to have teachers recognize their students’ achievements by putting data at the spotlight. In the spring of 2013, a homeless student proudly announced that he had achieved his reading goal.

Before making the leap to a school data room ensure that you ensure the privacy of students and follow FERPA guidelines. This is especially important for data displays in the classroom, where sensitive information like counseling sessions or disciplinary actions may be uncovered accidentally.

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