Entries by Hallie Montoya Tansey

Congratulations To Our First Cohort Of Grant Recipients!

This week, Schoolzilla notified the school systems who are receiving awards in the first round of the Mosaic District Progress Monitoring Grant Program.   We made awards to 27 school systems serving 235,000 students in 11 states.  Recipients included San Francisco Unified School District, Bakersfield City School District, Hemet Unified School District, Battle Creek Public […]

Four Insights for Designing K-12 Dashboards

School districts today are collecting an increasing amount of data, and with that comes a growing desire to use that data to drive better outcomes for their students. The challenge is that while the data exists in stacks of paper on desktops and digitally in different academic systems, it’s not available in an aggregated form […]

Common Sense Media released free data security and privacy tools for districts; Schoolzilla earned top marks

The district CTO’s growing data privacy challenge: According to the Teacher Knows Best survey of over 4,000 teachers, “Virtually all teachers (93 percent) now use some sort of digital tool to help guide instruction.” Given education technology tools’ sudden rise to near ubiquity, it is not surprising that “for the fourth straight year, state legislatures […]

Getting the Most Out of Your State Assessment Results

With the release of new state assessment results, district and school leaders are anxious to use their data and make decisions that will impact student achievement. In our September webinar, LaKeshia Richardson and Steve Taylor from Schoolzilla focused on the essential questions district leaders, school leaders, and teachers are asking when reviewing their data: Do […]

Case Study: Using Data to Drive St. Louis Public Schools’ Transformation Plan

2013–2014 — Challenge: St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) was working hard to regain their full accreditation, after showing enough progress to regain provisional accreditation the previous year. But, despite SLPS’ strong data culture, district leaders recognized that their data tools were insufficient to provide “the right data on the right timeline,” leading them to issue […]

Designing Reports Your Users Will Love

Data + design thinking rarely go hand-in-hand. But designing reports your users will love involves more than just creating a graph or chart. Designing intuitive, easy-to-use reports that engage users and enable data-driven decision-making requires taking a step back to ensure that your visualizations are addressing real user needs. In our June webinar, Maggie Goulder and Jason […]

Four Keys to Driving a Successful Change Management Strategy

Measuring the success of your change management initiative is critical in determining its effectiveness. Change management in education can be very difficult, whether you’re at a single-site charter school or a large traditional district. Bi Vuong, the former deputy CFO of the School District of Philadelphia (which she called “the District”), spoke at Schoolzilla’s Data […]

Going Beyond Tableau With Schoolzilla

Good data visualization starts with two key ingredients: properly structured data and a great visualization tool. Schoolzilla provides school districts with the unique combination of a powerful data infrastructure and—via Tableau Software—an intuitive and beautiful data visualization tool. This combination allows district leaders to build and share the exact dashboards they need to answer the […]

Big Wins in the Little Things: Data Improvements for Key District Operations Webinar

Are you looking for ways to use data to identify key problems with simple solutions? Do you need examples for building tools and processes to address those problems and measure impact? In our last webinar, Adam Kishel, senior data analyst at Lawrence Public Schools—a 14,000 student district in MA that’s been widely hailed as a turnaround success—and Vlad […]

10 Simple Strategies for Holding the Best Data Day Ever

Leading a data day (or any session that relies heavily on data) is no easy task. From preparing an effective presentation, to delivering the session with relevant and timely content, to following-up with attendees to ensure data conversations are continuing well after the session has ended. In our last webinar, Steve Taylor and Sara Coffin from Schoolzilla […]

Using Data to Pursue Equity in Schools

Schoolzilla is proud to support a growing community of educators who are committed to using data to pursue equity in their schools. There are many ways to define and measure equity. To take one example, Equal Opportunity Schools is a national nonprofit organization focused on the important issue of access to advanced courses, which can […]

KPIs: An Opportunity for Holistic Priorities?

As our K-12 accountability landscape shifts away from the No Child Left Behind act, which some complained was too narrowly focused on high stakes test scores and inadvertently incentivized educators to “teach to the test”, I am increasingly seeing efforts to redefine K-12 success in more holistic terms. Whether it’s the 11 civil rights organizations […]

Considering an Ed Tech Vendor? Seven Factors that Matter Most for Success

Your school is preparing its budget for next year, and you’re interested in pushing forward on a new technology initiative. I’m stoked for you! Before you do, consider seven factors. In our 3+ years of impact and customer success at Schoolzilla, these factors consistently predict success for a school’s new vendor initiatives (e.g., data warehouse or new […]

Building Your Data Culture From the Bottom Up

Building a strong data-driven culture goes beyond a school’s willingness to use data to solve problems. Just like building a house, a school’s data culture needs to be built upon a solid foundation. To ensure you’re building something that is durable and sustainable, you need clear blueprints to outline your plans for developing and maintaining […]

A Data Champion’s Reading List

In the month since Data Champion Summit, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on this year’s conference—thinking about the insightful conversations between Data Champions at the lunch table, remembering the powerful panel discussions with St. Louis Public Schools, KIPP Bay Area, and Harvard (just a few of many), and visiting the Data Champion HUB […]

How districts can use Title I and Title III funds to implement systems to collect, manage, and analyze assessment data

At Schoolzilla, we sometimes receive questions from districts about which funding pools they can use to fund their data efforts. To that end, we thought it’d be helpful to share a few pointsfrom the US Secretary of Education made in a guidance letter sent to Chief State School Officers on February 2, 2016. This letter […]

Edtech Trends: Seeing K-12 Education Through a Different Lens

For the past year, EdSurge has been researching key trends that are driving the K-12 edtech market through the lenses of its community of educators, administrators, entrepreneurs, investors, and policy makers. Schoolzilla is excited to have our CEO, Lynzi Ziegenhagen, featured as one of the subject matter experts spotlighting the importance of teaching social emotional learning to […]

Product Spotlight: Chronic Absence Dashboards

“Across all grades, students who missed more than 4 days at the beginning of the school year were over 16 times as likely to be chronically absent than students who were absent fewer than 2 days.” (Olson, 2014) “Nationally, children from families with low socioeconomic status with strong attendance gained more literacy skills than peers […]

DCS Session Preview: Assessments as a powerful professional learning tool for teachers

With Schoolzilla’s Data Champion Summit just a week away, we’re gearing up for an amazing conference packed with robust professional learning and networking opportunities. To deliver the most relevant and impactful sessions, Schoolzilla has teamed up with other experts in the field to provide deep dives into specific domains of school data and management. Here’s […]

Flip Your Thinking About Assessments

What can you learn from a test before seeing your results? That’s the question that ANet founder John Maycock challenges educators to think about in this recent post. Don’t get us wrong, as a data company, we believe in the power of measurable outcomes. But it’s important for all of us to remember that the purpose […]

Q&A with Caroline Galindo: What you need to know about this year’s Data Champion Summit!

In less than two months, Data Champions nationwide will join us in Berkeley, CA for this year’s Data Champion Summit. What makes this the perfect opportunity for K-12 data enthusiasts, and how does this year’s summit differ from last years? Caroline Galindo, Impact Team Lead for Schoolzilla, shares all the important details. Q: What is a […]

Talking to Parents About Data

By this point in the school year, schools have lots of data that can support student learning, from formative assessments to newly released PARCC and SBAC results to grades, attendance and behavior data.  Fall parent-teacher conferences present an opportunity to share and discuss these data with the people who know students best–their parents.  Unfortunately, parents […]

Schoolzilla welcomes St. Louis Public Schools!

In September 2015, Schoolzilla was honored to welcome St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) into our customer community.  We’ll be working with SLPS to implement a “one-stop-shop” KPI dashboard aligned to the district’s Transformation Plan. By combining data from dozens of disparate sources into a live, flexible dashboard, Schoolzilla will enable SLPS to monitor its most […]

Stopping the School-to-Prison Pipeline with Reclaiming Futures

Based at Portland State University, Reclaiming Futures is a national organization whose work focuses on improving juvenile justice through research-based interventions. As they broaden their impact to include working directly within K-12 school systems, they are partnering with Schoolzilla to develop a suite of research-based, interactive dashboards designed to support the needs of students who […]

3 Ways To More User-Friendly Data

We recently sat down with designer Mayra Vega to her get advice on creating data dashboards that people will actually use. She told us that getting people to use the reports you create starts with reorienting your concept of user needs from nouns to verbs. Thinking of a need as a noun fast-tracks your thinking […]

Schoolzilla Gets a Fresh Face: Data Wall!

Schoolzilla’s powerful data warehouse and dashboard platform just got a makeover. Meet Data Wall, our new, more intuitive and visual interface. The good news: Our data warehousing and visualization technology will continue to automatically pull all your data into one secure place and allow you to create customized data dashboards. The better news: Now you can […]

The Data Doctor Is IN

Do you work in a school district’s central office and have a spreadsheet headache you’d like help with? Schoolzilla has partnered with a funder to offer 25 complimentary 1-hour consultations where you can learn spreadsheet tools and tricks. Spend less time cleaning and organizing data and more time getting actionable insights.

Six Ways to Make Sense of Your Common Core Assessment Data

As schools await their Common Core test results, educators, instructional leaders and data analysts across the country have been developing thoughtful ways to understand their first Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) data. Schoolzilla reached out to some of these thought leaders to understand how […]

To and Through College

We at Schoolzilla love This American Life (TAL), especially their education coverage.  The recent episode “Three Miles” is a great example. It tells the story of three kids from a school in a poor NYC neighborhood who were part of a program that took them to visit a very fancy private school nearby. The three […]

Five Hiring Practices to Build Your Data-Driven District Culture

 There is growing consensus that schools need so much more than annual standardized test scores to understand students and inform the teaching and learning processes. To holistically understand and help students, numerous classroom-level assessments that span different question types and delivery methods – along with behavior, attendance, intervention, and a host of other data points […]

Schoolzilla and State Compliance Reporting

Data Champions spend countless hours fulfilling compliance-related requests, which leaves little time for the analyses that will help students succeed. Schoolzilla helps districts automate compliance reporting, so their Data Champions can spend more time on work that will directly impact students and teachers. See a few examples below, or contact us to tell us how […]