What the heck is a “data room”?

This year, over February break, 30 Fidelity associates marched into Roger Williams Middle School and completely transformed two rooms…in just 6 hours!

The first room, a social studies classroom, was cleaned, primed, painted, had the lights completely scrubbed and got new window shades. It looks like a brand new classroom!

Fidelity volunteers finish up the new white board.

Fidelity volunteers finish up the new white board.

They did a wonderful job. But they didn’t stop at just one classroom. The team also transformed an old dressing room used for plays (most recently used for storage) into a Data Room.

We asked some of the teachers for the philosophy behind the data room;

In order to make sure that all our students are successfully prepared for high school (and therefore prepared to graduate as 18-year-olds who have choices), us middle school teachers need to ensure that each student’s individual needs are addressed. The way we address individual needs is by collecting data, analyzing it, reflecting upon it, and then creating a plan for each student that we serve. When you take a look at data, it has the power to tell us exactly what our students struggle with in an objective way.

This year, we’ve experimented with ways to make whole-school data accessible for the entire school to use. We have common planning times on data and action plan with our teachers using all sorts of numbers. Last year and at the beginning of this year, we had data walls to look at math and reading trends across grades and subgroups; however, these walls were unclear and not personal at all. We never used them.

Upon researching data rooms, our principal found and idea that seemed to be very usable at RWMS. The idea is to create a data room for each grade that tells a data story for each student. The rooms will be like giant, living excel spreadsheets. They will have student names followed by all of their data (i.e. reading, math, attendance, uniforms, behavior, quarterly grades, etc). The students will be alphabetized on the grid so that they would be easy to find and for teachers to access.

It is our hope that these rooms will be used as team-centers where teachers can really focus on what matters – the students. These rooms will be for teachers and administrators to go into to meet, analyze data, and plan. It will not be for parent use or student use, as the data is confidential.

The ideas behind the room are monumental (especially in our data driven education system), and the volunteers helped put theory into action.

Getting the walls ready for data!

Getting the walls ready for data!

In total, there will be 4 data rooms at Roger Williams Middle School: one for each grade and one for special populations. It will be a fascinating experiment to see how data displayed and analyzed in this way can potentially help students through collaboration and strategy.

Check out the video we made about the service projects!


About leglassy

1) Make lists. 2) Read. 3) Learn. 4) Repeat.
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