School administrators are skilled at collecting data, however often they end up storing it–literally. Accountability and assessment movements are forcing schools to take data out of the drawers and out into the open. Some schools are going a step further and have created schools data rooms where teachers can access student data in an organized and easy manner.

At Gilliard Elementary School in Mobile, Alabama, color-coded sticky notes are found on the walls of a room known as “the data room.” The notes show teachers where their students stand in relation to math and reading standards as well as their attendance and discipline records.

The aim is to help teachers to understand and address students’ needs before they become out of control. If a student is not fulfilling his or their reading goals the teacher may offer extra instruction or work with them outside of school. If a student is having problems with their behavior the teacher may refer them for counseling or even consider removing that student from the classroom completely.

Baker’s strategy is to have teachers acknowledge their students’ accomplishments by putting data in the forefront. In the spring of 2011, a homeless student proudly proclaimed that he had reached his reading goal.

Be sure to adhere to FERPA guidelines and ensure your students’ privacy before making the move to a data room. This is particularly true when it comes to classroom data displays where sensitive information like counseling sessions or disciplinary actions may be uncovered accidentally.

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