Collecting, compiling, and analyzing data so that it produces insights that put powerful information in the hands of decision-makers in a timely manner, is a key component of organizational success that is still in its infancy in education.
The issue of data management is one that plagues many curriculum leaders, teachers, and education administrators across the country as they contend with data that is spread out across a myriad of sources – STAR, i-Ready, MCAS, Aspen SIS, and many more.
So around 2020, when the COVID pandemic restricted most schools to virtual learning, the use of online tools and systems caused an explosion of data that most schools and districts were not ready to process.
Duxbury School District was an exception.
The Duxbury School District is located on Boston’s South Shore in Massachusetts. This district is made up of four schools: Chandler School for students in PreK-grade 2, Alden School for students in grades 3-5, Duxbury Middle School for students in grades 6-8, and Duxbury High School for students in grades 9-12.
The district has a three-part vision. Academic – Every student in Duxbury Public Schools will be provided with multiple pathways and opportunities to cultivate their individual interests and passions through high-quality, innovative, culturally responsive instruction delivered in a safe and secure learning environment. Social – The Duxbury Public Schools will foster a culture of connections and a sense of belonging in an environment that prioritizes students’ social & emotional well-being, celebrating equity, humanity, and life balance. Global – The Duxbury Public Schools will inspire our students to be engaged and empowered citizens who understand and respect the increasingly diverse and interconnected social, political, and cultural systems of the world
As part of their process towards achieving these goals and supporting their students’ growth, the District recognized the need for an efficient and effective data platform that went beyond compliance reporting to one that allows them to use data as a way to drive decision-making at the administrative level, as well as classroom instruction.
The challenge was far from simple. The district had data spread across different systems, making it difficult for teachers and administrators to get a holistic view of student performance, either as individuals or in groups. This siloed data universe resulted in time-consuming and cumbersome processes when it came to identifying meaningful patterns in the existing data, and thus being able to easily use it in decision-making.
Superintendent Dr. Danielle Klingaman recalls the situation: “Like many districts, our data was scattered across different platforms, including local and state levels, secure platforms, and grade-level reporting. We knew that we couldn’t see the full picture of our students. When we put everything down on paper, we had 18 source data systems.” In need of integration of those disparate data, and with the ability to create role-based dashboards and reports, Duxbury School District turned to IntegrITy/AnalyticVue. IntegrITy & AnalyticVue have been partnering in servicing many district customers on data analytics and dashboard solutions since 2019. Duxbury data team began its collaboration with AnalyticVue’s tech team.
The impending COVID-19 crisis was about to exacerbate these difficulties, and it could have been more difficult had the District not taken a more proactive approach.
“Duxbury is unique in that we started using the AnalyticVue platform as part of a data management pilot in early 2020 before COVID hit the United States and forced the shift to virtual learning that became a reality just months later. Although we had already begun developing our data dashboard, we had no idea of the changes we were all about to face,” Dr. Klingaman said.
As it happens, the District was already part of a pilot project for the Massachusetts Small/Rural Schools Data Management Consortium that had begun to address the opportunities and challenges associated with education data. Thanks to its proactive participation and data management planning, the District became an early adapter and helped define ways in which the AnalyticVue platform could better serve educators and administrators.
AnalyticVue is a data analytics platform designed to support educational and organizational analysis. With features such as data visualization, customizable dashboards, and the ability to aggregate K-12 data from disparate sources, the platform offers a comprehensive solution for educational data management.
From the start, it was evident that consolidating data from numerous platforms, such as Star, i-Ready, ELLevation, Star Reading, Accelerated Reader, Star Math, MCAS, STAMP Data, and Follett Aspen, would significantly benefit teachers and administrators. The process, therefore, required a collaborative effort between various stakeholders in the district.
Cheryl Lewis, who was then the District Director of Technology, played a crucial role. Elizabeth Wilcox now-Assistant Superintendent was also involved in the final phase. Lynne McWilliams and Bridget Zak, Aspen Data Managers at the time, contributed their expertise. Ritamarie Benoit and Sara Milner served as Elementary Curriculum Supervisors, and Elizabeth Burns worked alongside Danielle Klingaman at the District’s Central Office.
AnalyticVue, the platform, is supported by AnalyticVue, the team, who facilitate data usage not just via technology but also through partnerships with the districts and other vendors to help create a synergy that benefits all.
Dr. Klingaman shared her experience: “Initially, the hardest part was getting the Student Data Privacy Agreement back from our partners. The AnalyticVue team took that burden off our plates and began working directly with our partners.”
Dr. Klingaman summed up their experience and results as follows:
“We are happy to share our experience with AnalyticVue, a company that has revolutionized how our school handles student data analysis. In the past, our teachers had to log in to multiple platforms to access information about a student’s progress. This made it difficult for them to get a holistic view of a student’s performance. However, since we started using AnalyticVue’s Data Dashboard, our teachers now have access to all the information they need in one place. The dashboard securely collects data from multiple platforms, including our Student Information System (SIS), Learning Management System (LMS), and other data channels, and presents it in an easy-to-read format. One of the things that impressed me most about the Data Dashboard is its up-to-date information. With real-time data updates, teachers can monitor student’s progress and make informed decisions about interventions or additional support.”
Holistic View of Student Performance
With all the data in one place, teachers can now easily monitor student progress, identify areas of improvement, and provide timely interventions. The comprehensive data also allows for better communication between teachers, administrators, and parents, creating a more collaborative environment in addressing student needs.
- Allows teachers to access/review data from various sources at a single glance
- Elegant presentation of data and easy to use
The District has expressed their happiness with the various data visualizations such as dashboards and roster views: “Our teachers now have access to all the information they need in one place, making it much easier for them to get a holistic view of a student’s performance.”
Improved Decision-Making Process
AnalyticVue’s customizable dashboards and data visualization features have improved the decision-making process for teachers and administrators. By consolidating data from various sources, the platform enables them to quickly identify patterns and trends, allowing for more efficient and effective decisions regarding student performance and support.
The comments on the dashboards reflect the District’s satisfaction: “The organized dashboards and roster views display key metrics in a simple, intuitive user interface, which has greatly improved our decision-making process.”
Enhanced Collaboration and Communication
The Data Dashboard has also facilitated better communication between teachers, administrators, students, and parents. By providing a centralized platform for accessing and sharing data, stakeholders can easily collaborate and discuss student progress and for the future, as stated by Dr. Wilcox, “Our teachers use the Student Learner Analysis during EOY planning, student conferences, and team meetings.”
On the collaboration features, the District had the following to say: “The Data Dashboard has significantly improved communication and collaboration within our district, enabling us to work together more effectively in supporting our students.”
The Duxbury School District plans to continue its collaboration with AnalyticVue, incorporating additional systems, digging deeper into the data, and extracting more information to support student success. Teachers will use the Student Learner Analysis during end-of-year planning, student conferences, and team meetings, ensuring that each student’s needs are communicated.
By partnering with AnalyticVue, Duxbury School District has begun to fulfill their vision of using data to positively impact learning. By offering data management and analytic capabilities and providing teachers and administrators with a powerful tool for monitoring student progress and making informed decisions, AnalyticVue has helped Duxbury School District to “dig deeper” into their data, for additional insights and “even more information.”
The District continues to refine its data-driven approach, moving ever closer to using data towards achieving its vision of providing each student with equitable access to achieve personal and academic excellence, fostering a culture of connections and social well-being, and inspiring students to become engaged and empowered global citizens. AnalyticVue, the platform, and the team are honored to be part of that process.