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Headshot Young Girl

Paul Swanson


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Right now I am watching the teachers around me die of thirst while drowning in data. Data is stored in our SIS (PowerSchool) and in our LMS (ManageBac), it is collected through IXL, Lexia, NoRedInk, Seesaw, MathSpace, Achieve3000, Google Forms and more, and yet finding something as simple as a list of parent emails is still impossibly hard for teachers. What's more, teachers see data as a game of numbers rather than as a way of better understanding their students. My wife was working with an ES team at a previous school, and they did a regular data retreat, but for many of the teachers it was known as "Dot day". They would look at where the dots were on the visualization, shrug their shoulders, and then go back to their classes. There wasn't a clear way then to see how to take informed actions based on their understanding. Here at Stamford one of our core objectives is to build a school community where everyone feels a deep sense of belonging. A big part of that is to feel listened to, to feel known. That task is enormously difficult when teachers have hundreds of students and information is siloed and inaccessible. The core question I'm hoping to address is: What do we need to know about our students to best reach all learners, and how can we learn this as quickly and efficiently as possible?

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