In larger districts, establishing consistent K-12 data practices in multiple buildings can be challenging. A foundation of consistent district-wide protocols and systematic communication with stakeholders is the first step. In Salem School District, a Demonstrated Success data coach helped the District Data Team to establish their foundational data routines to set the stage for effective, consistent K-12 data use.
The Salem District Data Team began by defining their mission as a district data team: A: Supporting and fostering data use at the school level, including creating and integrating protocols, and providing access to data and B: Looking at and using data as a district team, to make data driven decisions in the best interest of Salem students. Over a series of two months, the Demonstrated Success coach facilitated 4 half day sessions with the Team. Initial conversations involved creating a common understanding of the data use procedures already in place at schools. Then the team shared what they perceived to be the strengths and the gaps of data use districtwide. Once on common ground, the team used the resources and best practice models shared by Demonstrated Success to tailor a system of protocols, practices, and communication procedures they planned to implement. These protocols included establishing a districtwide assessment calendar, articulating expectations for rigorous analysis of data at the PLC level, reciprocal communication between building leaders and PLC teams around conclusions and action steps, and direct communication from principals to the District Data Team about building level data results and action steps. In a few focused sessions with Demonstrated Success, the Salem District Data Team had defined their purpose, and established districtwide protocols that set the district up for success.