Effective Projects Case Study
Tools for Data Driven
Decisions at Keene School District
is a story about a project that started 12/5/2006.
For more information, please contact: Beverly Straneva
Provide training and tools to help Teacher Trainers
implement the NWEA test and analyze this data.
Funding: This project was supported by $9,974 from NCLB
Title II-D (Educational Technology) and $8,000 in local funds. The project illustrates how federal
funding supports “Data collection and analysis
– Implementing individualized instruction by collecting, managing, and
analyzing data to inform and enhance teaching and school improvement efforts.”
The project addressed the following grades and content areas:
PreK-2 Gr3-5 Gr6-8 Gr9-12 EngLangArts Math
District is a small city in the
southwestern corner of the state. Recent budget problems have put a brake on the
district’s rich history of supporting technology and professional
development, although the district does have technology throughout the
district. The increased emphasis on
data analysis through NWEA MAP testing has tied up the computer labs, thus
this request to buy more laptops with grant funds, particularly for the
middle school. Training is essential
to understand these tests.
The plot: In 2006/07, the middle school walked groups of
students to the SW Center for testing, as there were not enough labs to offer
this onsite testing. This resulted in a great deal of out of class time,
resulting in the loss of instruction time. Many other staff members have
requested additional circulating laptops so the plan was to also circulate
these throughout the year. Training in the use of data, particularly with
NWEA data, consistently came up as a need
during the 2006/07 school year.
The biggest planning challenges for this project was to find the right
person to offer data training, specifically with the MAP data, at a time
during the summer when teachers could attend this training. All grade levels
were invited, but the schools were at different places in the implementation
of the MAP test, so the needs were different. The challenge was to find a trainer skilled
in NWEA across all grade levels. Therefore we hired a trainer from NWEA but
it was more expensive than originally thought. This was difficult to work with various grade levels at various stages
of implementation as far as the training. It was also difficult to offer
training in schools as some schools,
and some teachers, were in such different stages of using the MAP tests. Using the hardware at KMS proved to be easy
and it was very helpful to have an additional lab set up with an airport. No
classes walked to the SW Center this year. The laptops have been checked out
often by district staff members.
The teachers: 20
teachers were directly involved. At the
elementary level, the reading teachers and a classroom teacher or the Media
Specialists attended the training. At
the middle and high school, teachers from English, Math, Guidance, Special
Education and Media Specialist
participated in the training.
students: All of the
Teacher/Trainers agreed to bring information to at least 75% of their building
staff prior to the end of Nov. 2007, through staff meetings, one-on-one
training or presentations at professional development days. The training helped teachers analyze the
data to create appropriate instruction groups, and set student goals, a direct
impact on students. Training also helped classroom teachers understand the
reports, view class breakdown by RIT, thereby again helping target
instruction to students. Training was
also given to parent groups to help them understand student reports.
Teacher/Trainers collected data on the numbers of staff
trained in each building and submitted their reports to the project manager
and their building administrator. They
collected informal feedback from the teachers who attended training, via
small focus groups in staff or department meetings, on the impact training
offered and new training needed. The
program manager collected data on the summer training and on the staff
training from the Teacher/Trainers via hard copy surveys, telephone consults,
through standardized questionnaires distributed via email, and also with
small focus groups of the trainers.
The difference: NWEA
results, fall to spring, will be used as a measure of student achievement.
This testing will occur with the same group in the spring. Additional training needs are being
measured in February, 2008, via a district wide Professional Development
survey. This data will help drive future Professional Development sessions
and help determine other data analysis training. The impact of this project’s training is evident in
the number of staff that the Teacher/Trainers have impacted. At the middle
school training was done on 1/18 for parents, 10/23 for teachers and during
the workshop day of 11/6/07. The various elementary schools offered training
at different times all fall, and also many one on one sessions. The high
school teachers offered training after school at department meetings. Data analysis and using data to
differentiate instruction is vital to affecting student achievement. The need
for in house data teams to help peers examine data as a basis for classroom
instruction is needed.
conditions: Essential conditions included
the ability to cost share for the laptops and the airport so the mobile lab
was useful, and also to cost share for the training, as part came from the
grant and part from the SW Center’s fund. This sharing of costs also helped
develop a group of local teachers who are potential trainers for the SW
Center in future sessions for other districts.
for the future: Implementation
changes The data training would have
been more effective if it had been targeted to a school which had been using
NWEA MAP for a longer time, giving the Teacher/Trainers more data to examine
during the August training. It may
have also been more effective to have this right after a fall test, so the
information could be shared immediately with staff as they were looking at
their class data. This would have pulled the teacher leaders out of their own
classes for training, but the just in time training might have been more
useful. A standardized evaluation of
the Teacher/Trainers staff training would have been helpful. Several teacher
leaders did get feedback on their training, but it was mostly informal.
Recommendations: Utilize local or area trainers as a cost savings
measure. More training can be done at a lower cost, and availability of local
trainers offers more sustained support.
our story: In January 2008, the Director and
Associate Director of CIRTT and one of the teacher leaders, Tracy Shalit,
presented current practices in using NWEA data to the School Board. Information on this grant has also been
presented to the principals and SAU professional development committee, and
the district’s NWEA implementation committee.
to share: none at this time