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

School administrators are adept at collecting data, but often they end up storing it, literally. The accountability and assessment movements are pushing schools to take the data out of their drawers however, and put it out in the open. Some are taking this one step further by establishing school data rooms, where teachers can access student data in a structured and easily accessible way.

At Gilliard Elementary School in Mobile, Alabama, color-coded sticky notes line the walls of a space known as “the data room.” These notes show teachers where their students stand on reading and math standards along with attendance and discipline records.

The aim is to assist teachers in identifying students’ needs prior to they become out of control. If a child isn’t reaching his or their reading goals The teacher may suggest extra instruction or work with them outside of school. If a student is having a behavior problem the teacher may recommend counseling for them or even consider pulling that child from their classroom altogether.

Furthermore, by placing the information in the spotlight teachers can also share their achievements with their students – a crucial part of Baker’s strategy. In the spring of 2011 a homeless student proudly stood up to explain that he had achieved his goal in reading.

Be sure to adhere to FERPA guidelines and safeguard your students’ privacy before making the switch to a digital room. This is especially important for classroom data displays where sensitive information such as counseling sessions and disciplinary action can be accidentally shared.

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