Activity 1: Zap the Gap

Activity Guide

Collaborative Staff Discussions

A strong culture of data use is critical to ensure routine, consistent, and effective data-based decision making. Crafting a clear vision reflected in goals, roles, and responsibilities is critical in establishing school policies, programs, and protocols. The formation of a schoolwide data team whose members include administrators, teachers, department chairs, coaches, curriculum specialists, service providers, etc.—a broad representation from the school community—increases the probability that school data will be used to inform instructional practices that improve student achievement. This article focuses on the process for analyzing data and the instructional planning that should follow from the analysis.

Resources

Materials

Process

Read the article. Use the Discussion Guide prompts to follow the strategies put in place at each step of the process in the article. Then, identify additional strategies needed to improve student mastery levels at your school. This activity is for use with the members of the data team, the leadership team, and/or the faculty as a whole. The article and discussion could also serve as a recruitment strategy to prepare new data team members or to establish a new team.

Begin by providing participants with copies of the reading prior to the group discussion. Encourage all participants to read the selection—highlighting, annotating, and noting important points.

Divide participants into discussion groups of five to eight. Provide each group with a set of summary student data from the latest state assessment, separated by subgroups. Ask group members to identify a recorder and discuss each of the following questions. Summarize your group’s responses.

Extend and Apply

Use the Discussion Guide Planning templates to implement, monitor, and adjust your improvement initiative. Utilize planning template A, the process circle, to craft your plan. Follow the sequence in the article and use the process circle to flesh out each step. Use planning tools to identify personnel and establish timelines.