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

School administrators are adept at capturing data, but often they end up storing it, literally. The accountability and assessment movements are pushing schools into taking the data out of drawers though, and into the open. Some are taking this a step further with school data rooms, where teachers are able to see student information in a structured and easily accessible way.

At Gilliard Elementary School in Mobile, Alabama, color-coded sticky notes are dotted across the walls of a room known as “the data room.” The notes show teachers where their students stand on the math and reading standards and also record their attendance and discipline records.

The aim is to assist teachers in identifying and addressing students’ needs, before they get out of hand. For example, if a student isn’t meeting their reading goal the teacher might offer extra practice in class or assist the student outside of school. If a student has an issue with their behavior the teacher may suggest counseling or even consider taking that child out of their class altogether.

Baker’s strategy is to have teachers recognize their students’ achievements by putting data in the spotlight. In the spring of last year, a homeless student was proud to announce that he had achieved his reading goal.

Be sure to adhere to FERPA guidelines and protect student privacy before making the switch to a data room. This is particularly important when it comes to classroom data displays which contain sensitive information, such as counseling sessions and disciplinary decisions can be accidentally revealed.

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