Connecting Data to Strategy

Data Tools and Practices

This year, RISE implemented Strategic Data Calendars (SDCs) to identify key moments when school teams should leverage specific data to guide decisions and actions. An SDC is designed to effectively and efficiently connect RISE data tools and resources with our RISE by 5 strategies: (1) on-track and postsecondary culture; (2) targeted student transition supports; (3) data-driven collaboration; (4) equitable educator practice; and (5) cross-school learning. 

To maximize the use of data in concert with our strategies, the SDCs map out when during the quarter different pieces of data will be used with school partners, and what resources are available to aid in the use of those data. This is done in an effort to increase the use of data at RISE partner schools, thereby creating a direct line between strategies and data. RISE piloted these calendars in earlier years, and SDCs were officially rolled out across the network at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.

SDCs are guided by: (1) our shared student outcome goals and RISE by 5 strategies; (2) when new data become available throughout the year; (3) input from school partners; and (4) the academic calendar and upcoming decisions. Each quarter, leaders of the RISE school teams review the SDC and work to accomplish fidelity in implementation of the calendar’s components across the network.

Sample Data Reviews from the Strategic Data Calendar:

Here are two examples of calendared data reviews, including one for freshman success and one for postsecondary success.

Grade 9 “On-the-Cusp” Lists: 

  • What: An “On-the-Cusp List” is a list of students who are not currently passing classes, but are within ten points of achieving a passing grade. 
  • Why: Students on this list may be identified for targeted support to help them achieve a passing grade. An “On-the-Cusp List” can help pinpoint students who may benefit from after-school support or other interventions to prevent easily avoidable failures.
  • When: “On-the-Cusp Lists” are particularly useful in the last three weeks of the quarter, when grades are close to being finalized but there is still time for improvement.

Grade 12 Senior Survey: 

  • What: The Senior Survey collects information about students’ postsecondary aspirations, their feelings about their postsecondary plans, and the steps they are taking towards achieving those plans.
  • Why: Collecting survey data allows us to prepopulate the Postsecondary Tracker with information about students’ postsecondary plans.  This enables schools across the network to proactively monitor students’ progress towards their postsecondary goals even before they meet with students individually.
  • When: This survey is administered from late September to early October. This gives us time to understand students’ plans before they take key action steps, such as submitting applications.

Key Takeaways from Year 1

The first year of implementation was both gratifying and also a learning experience. There were components that worked well that we will further develop and improve, as well as components that will be eliminated or added. As the SDCs become an integral part of the RISE strategy, we look forward to increased collaboration with our school partners to ensure the impact of the components of the SDCs as well as the fidelity of their implementation.

“Focus and simplicity – once you get there, you can move mountains.”

-Steve Jobs