Using Data for Continuous School Improvement  

December 28, 2015

On October 26-27, 2015 school district leadership teams across Nebraska convened at ESU 10 for a 2015 Nebraska Department of Education School Improvement Workshop. Day one was facilitated by NDE staff and focused on the AQuESTT accountability system. On day two, NDE Staff, ESU 10 Teaching and Learning Staff, and the University of Nebraska at Kearney teamed up to provide a full day continuous school improvement data session. Our presentation team included: Russ Masco and Matt Heusman, NDE; UNK Professor, Dick Meyer; and ESU 10 T&L Staff, Kelly Clapp, Susan Evans, and Denise O’Brien.

The goals of the session were to:
  • Review the Nebraska Data Literacies and four types of data
  • Understand the process of continuous improvement continuums for self-evaluation
  • Make connections between perceptual and other data types
  • Use available resources to monitor and improve the learning climate

Throughout the day, our facilitators worked with individuals and school teams from across the state to model protocols and procedures that could be replicated back in their school districts. We introduced participants to the NDE Data Reporting System (DRS) and school personnel had an opportunity to investigate this data tool. The afternoon session was spent overviewing perception data and experiencing the purpose of this data lens in the continuous improvement process. 

As a member of the Nebraska Data Cadre, I have the opportunity to continue to be a voice for Central Nebraska in the area of data literacy for educators. The Data Cadre is made up of eight ESU consultants from seven service units, eleven NDE representatives from eight departments, and one representative from higher education. Our purpose is to plan and collaboratively deliver instruction and support in the area of data literacy to all school districts in the state of Nebraska. The NDE School Improvement Workshops have been the vehicle to deliver data literacy content to school districts for the past two years. 

At ESU 10, our Teaching and Learning Staff has become well versed in the work of Victoria Bernhardt including her book, Data Analysis for Continuous School Improvement. I am proud of the work our Teaching and Learning Coordinators are facilitating with ESU 10 school districts and continuous improvement teams. We are dedicated to expanding our knowledge and skills in data literacy so we can continue to be a guide for our schools.

-by Denise O'Brien, Teaching and Learning Director