Create Meaningful Dialogue about School Data

Facilitating discussions that lead to improved achievement
By: | Issue: May, 2019 | Web Seminar Digest
April 30, 2019

When district leaders promote and guide the use of data in schools, educators can engage in meaningful dialogue and draw upon multiple data sources to trace the causes of low student achievement and to find solutions.

This web seminar addressed how administrators can facilitate discussions about the effective use of data and how to improve teachers’ relationship with data. A principal in Idaho discussed data analysis and described how to help staff harness data to inform classroom instruction.


Angie Brulotte
Jefferson Elementary School
Jerome School District #261 (Idaho)

Mitchelle Kelley
National Education Consultant

Angie Brulotte: Last spring, we realized that we could give the Istation assessment to all of our incoming kindergartners at registration. Only 19 percent were at benchmark and ready to enter kindergarten. That was a huge piece of information that we leveraged and shared with stakeholders, who have been able to help us put a number of things in place within the community.

In the past, we would take one-minute fluency reads, and we could graph them and look at the national norm. But that didn’t tell us a lot, so we had to do pretty intensive one-on-one diagnostics to try to determine what to teach. When fluency isn’t there yet, how do you know what to teach and how to plan? That was costing us a lot of time.

We wanted to think about how we could make the most of the Istation data to maximize the growth for students and to support our staff’s collective efficacy. There was one thing that we knew would be most important: Teachers needed to be able to look at the data, think about the data and plan for the data if we were going to have our best work and our best results.

We’ve seen a gain across the board in all grade levels. We’re seeing proficiency build, and because of that success, we’re now tackling something a little larger—looking at strategies for English language learners. It’s great to be able to target those strategies. It’s even better when you have a sub score that specifically helps you measure that.

Overall, if you have a school with amazing kids and hardworking families, but maybe your school has fewer resources or has kids who are coming in with lower proficiency levels, I encourage you to try the assessment. I hope the one thing you take away from this is that we found such great success in our circle of influence—taking control of the things that we could and supporting teachers with the thinking and conversation time that they needed to be more strategic.

At the beginning of the year, 19 percent of kindergartners were in Tier 1*, and in the spring, 45 percent were in Tier 1. That’s a significant gain, and we’re continuing to see them improve as first-graders this year.

Mitchelle Kelley: Istation provides engaging, individualized instruction for reading and Spanish literacy and math. Istation’s award-winning pre-K through grade 8 educational technology program supports educators and students.

The program incorporates Istation’s “Super 7 Essentials” to address differentiated instruction. Students begin by completing the formative assessment called Istation’s Indicators of Progress, or ISIP. The ISIP takes about 30 minutes to complete, and this fun assessment is computer adaptive, which means the level of each question changes depending on the student’s response.

When the students complete the ISIP, it seamlessly places them into an individualized instruction path that includes a research-based and engaging interactive curriculum. The gamelike interactive lessons are intuitive and can route students to reteaching when necessary. Different cultures and dialects were taken into account during the development of the interactive instruction.

In an effort to support educators, Istation generates personalized data profiles from the ISIP and the interactive curriculum. The data profiles are generated instantaneously to help administrators, teachers and parents plan instruction and monitor growth.

As teachers monitor student progress, they have access to over 2,800 resources. The resources include scripted teacher-directed lessons, projectable lessons, and a vast library of fiction and nonfiction books and passages. Students can continue working on the electronic lessons at home, and their parents have access to reports and instructional activities that address their child’s needs.

To assist educators, Istation offers face-to-face professional development with experts in the education field, as well as online implementation tools and live virtual support. Feel free to visit to review Istation validity and reliability research.

*According to Istation’s Indicators of Progress, students assessed at Tier 1
are on track to finish the school year performing at grade level.

To watch this web seminar in its entirety, please visit

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