Our community of customers inspires and empowers us – and is instrumental in developing the tools, reports and best practices we offer to schools nationwide. So we’ve decided to start sharing their stories with the “Partner Spotlight” series; to highlight what’s hard, what works, and how data-driven educators strive to make better, faster decisions to help all their students succeed.
Our first story features Data Champion Jay Whalen, who leads the Schoolzilla implementation at KIPP Nashville. Read on to see how Jay saves his school leaders and teachers time, and empowers them to regularly analyze (and act on!) critical data.
“Now we’re a lot more proactive in using data to shape decisions, develop people, and drive results.”
– Jay Whalen, Data Analyst at KIPP Nashville
How Schoolzilla helped KIPP make better-informed decisions
“Before Schoolzilla, the school leader would spend the entire day after quarterly benchmark testing just running data and compiling spreadsheets of results,” writes Jay. “It would then take about a week for deans and teachers to do standard-level and item-level analysis before action planning for the next quarter.”
KIPP Nashville’s school leaders and teachers also meet weekly to focus on student achievement, and they wanted to contextualize each student by combining their personal observations with data from multiple sources. But school leaders had to spend hours in Excel to pull those data together in a meaningful way.
“We had data in so many different places. We needed the ability to access all of our data whenever we needed it, and to pull it all into one spot,” says Jay. “It was a very inefficient use of time just to answer simple questions.”
Partnering with Schoolzilla
Since Schoolzilla’s reports are connected directly to KIPP’s source systems and hosted securely in the cloud, teachers and school leaders can see all of their data in one place, anytime – and the data is always up to date.
According to Jay, “Now, with data at the ready as soon as benchmarks are over, the school leader uses the day after benchmarks to action plan and structure targeted PD sessions to implement immediately based on results. This gives teachers instant feedback, and creates a framework and vision for the upcoming quarter that would not have been immediately available before.”
“We’ve always thought we were good at using data,” says Jay. “But prior to Schoolzilla we were very reflective, and used data in hindsight. Now we’re a lot more proactive in using data to shape decisions, develop people, and drive results.”
Next year, Schoolzilla is looking forward to connecting even more of KIPP Nashville’s data systems, and continuing to develop tools that empower KIPP Nashville staff and students to reach their goals.
- Schoolzilla partner since 2013
- 90% of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch
- Key data sources: PowerSchool, Illuminate, MasteryConnect, NWEA MAP, LiveSchool, state assessments, and more
Jay Whalen, Data Analyst and Schoolzilla Data Champion:
Jay discovered the power of data in his own classroom as a History and Social Studies Teacher. He wanted to make data-driven decisions for his students, but had no option but to spend countless hours on his own analyses. Now Jay leverages his experience to empower KIPP Nashville teachers to “do more with data.”