Culture of Inquiry, Innovation, and Continuous Improvement Using Data

This Year’s Priorities

Part IV: A Culture of Inquiry, Innovation, and Continuous Improvement Using Data

(Last in a series)

This title of our fourth school improvement goal intentionally uses somewhat lofty language in order to capture the spirit behind the use of data at Lawrence School. It’s about more than number crunching. It’s about anecdotal observations and student work samples. It’s about more than creating improvement goals. It’s about fostering inquiry and innovation.  The goal itself states: Foster a cycle of continuous improvement by using data to monitor individual student progress, to plan for differentiated instruction, and to examine school programs and practices.”

In terms of numbers, what data do we use?  In reading, the Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) is administered individually to each student twice a year. In math, we use district-developed assessments at the beginning (BOYA) and end (EOYA) of the school year. At Lawrence, each grade level team also develops its own mid-year assessment (MOYA).   We also utilize MCAS results for students in grades 4 and up and ACCESS results for our ELL students. 

Ongoing Work

For the past several years, literacy and math specialists each meet three times a year with grade level teams (classroom teachers and special educators) to plan for differentiation. We identify students who require additional support and intervention or who require additional challenge and curriculum extension.

The school’s Bullying Prevention Coordinating Committee works with Laura Horst and me to analyze data from the annual Olweus Bullying Questionnaire (OBQ). We use the results to revise the supervision plan for recess, lunch and hallways and to identify areas needing additional emphasis during class meetings.

What’s New This Year?

This year we are focused on developing common assessments and strengthening the collaborative look at data across a grade level.  We will identify norms to create a safe culture of inquiry. Grade level teams will develop at least one common assessment to administer, analyze the results together, and use the results to plan for differentiated instruction.

So what’s a culture of inquiry, innovation and continuous improvement?  It’s about teachers working together to ensure our students are appropriately challenged, making progress and thriving!

Rick Rogers




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