Friday, October 5, 2012

Is Your School Maximizing Its Progress Report Score? Part 1 of 3

The NYC Progress Report shapes how your school is perceived by prospective parents.  Of the three NTC accountability reports, it is the only one that transforms schools ratings into letter grades.  This school is an A, that school is a C.  Validity of the metrics aside, parents understand that an A is better than a C.  

I have become obsessed with dissecting the Progress Report metrics.  My hobby is reviewing the new metric announcements in early spring and predicting how they will affect school scores.  The work begins when I plan reports we can add to Datacation that allow for verification and improvement of scores.

This article explores the DOE defined metrics of excellence and how to maximize their point value.  My intent is to help you improve your progress report score with your current resources.  By using data reports in the Datacation portals or other systems, your staff can satisfy the DOE standardized metrics and still have time to promote local programs that give your school the personality and vigor that reflect excellence.  

School Environment
This is the section of the Progress Report worth the fewest points and the only section of the progress report that includes qualitative data.  All of the qualitative data comes from the school survey results. 

From the School Survey

Communication – Skedula and Pupil Path can ease the communication burden. Communication is no longer defined solely as the spoken word.  Skedula includes many options:
Calendars – The School calendar appears on the Pupil Path home screen.  It informs readers of deadlines, sporting events, trips and the like.    Each course also has a calendar that apprises students and parents of assignment due dates.
Messaging – Parents can send and receive messages via their Pupil Path and personal email accounts.  Students can also send and receive messages using their account.  Messaging permits regular contact with parents and students.  Newsletters and curricular information can also be sent to parents and students through the messaging system. 
Curriculum posting – Teachers can create a non-graded assignment that includes information on upcoming curriculum.  This information will appear on the course calendar that appears on Pupil Path.
Anecdotals – Share with parents and staff the positive (and sometimes) negative happenings from classrooms.  Anecdotals can be posted simultaneously to multiple students thus reducing the time spent entering the information.  Progress reports are also available in anecdotal form.  All anecdotals can be customized to ensure that communications with parents are personalized .
Academic Expectation – Staff, parents and students must understand that what is expected at your school is the child’s highest performance level possible.  Using the Data Tool tracker reports, High School Readiness and College Readiness, compare the student’s current course grades, exam grades and attendance to the measures required to be successful when the student moves on to the next school level.  These reports are designed to facilitate discussions with your students and their parents of the academic performance needed to succeed at the next level of study.   The conversation about their child’s success in the future will further the perception that your school expects the most from the student in your school and in the future.

Daily attendance comprises 20% of the School Environment score and is the only quantitative measure in this section.  The Skedula Attendance Compliance Report allows schools to see students who have been marked absent for the day, but attended classes. This will help your school recognize students who qualify to have their daily attendance reversed.  Schools define the number of attended classes that triggers the attendance reversal, so the report can reflect school and DOE policies. 
The Skedula Daily Attendance report displays the attendance records for all students in the school or in any Skedula group.  Create a group of low attending students and use this report to check the progress of the interventions taken to improve attendance.

Stayed Tuned for Part 2 Next week.

Stephanie Ring
Director of Accountability and Assessments 

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