Illuminate Blog

Follow our latest stories on educators, students and classroom technology

6 Free Professional Development Kits for Educators

By Kristin Rockwell | April 1, 2020

With nationwide remote learning in place, some educators are experiencing slightly more flexibility in their daily schedules than they would if students were still in school. Although we are not sure what the fall will look like, many teachers and administrators are attempting to utilize this unexpected time for developing or sharpening skills that will…

COVID-19 and Assessments: Moving from “What If?” to “What Now?”

By Dr. Amy Jackson | March 30, 2020

When I picked my daughter up from school on March 2nd, her teacher was handing out packets of information about the upcoming end-of-year tests and practice questions. She talked to a group of parents about how we could help prepare our children. At some point, someone referenced what we’d all been hearing on the news. …

Remote Screening & Progress Monitoring 101

By Rachel Brown, Ph.D., NCSP | March 26, 2020

As schools across the U.S. work to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 by implementing virtual instruction and assessments, Illuminate has compiled resources to help educators use their current tools for their students’ needs.  In light of the many interruptions that students have experienced due to the COVID-19 virus, schools will have to decide whether to…

Use the Data You Have Today to Group Students, Align Remote Resources & Plan for the Future 

By Kristin Rockwell | March 25, 2020

Finding ways to group students into meaningful cohorts to progress learning has always been a trend in education. These student groups may be based on academic, social-emotional, or behavior data. But in these unprecedented times, the data that we’re able to gather with students has significantly changed—and in many cases, we’re temporarily unable to receive current…

Learning From A Distance? 6 Tips To Do It Well

By Martin Yan | March 23, 2020

With the situation across the country developing at a rapid pace, most schools are shifting to a virtual learning environment to accommodate their students. Some schools may have the capacity and infrastructure already set up to support a full transition to virtual learning, while others may be ramping up resources to put a plan together. …

How Garden City Public Schools is Building an Information-Rich Comprehensive Assessment System

By Natalie Howell | March 12, 2020

About Garden City Public Schools Located in Garden City, Kansas, a southwestern section of Finney county, the Garden City United School District is home to a vibrant community of over 7,400 students across 11 elementary schools, two intermediate centers, two middle schools, one high school, a preschool, and an alternative education program. The district envisions…

5 Strategies for Implementing MTSS at the Secondary Level

By Kate Pechacek | March 5, 2020

As we’ve noted in previous blogs, MTSS is a framework with a tiered infrastructure that uses data to help match academic, social-emotional, and behavioral assessment and instructional resources to each and every student’s needs. But despite the passion and dedication of educators, the work of supporting each and every student’s needs presents an indisputable logistical…

Analyzing Your Assessment Data: Patterns of Need & Root Cause Analysis

By Dr. Melissa Hogan | February 27, 2020

Now that your students have taken an assessment, it’s time to start analyzing your data. But where do you start?  This article will explore two data analysis processes to help dissect and analyze your students’ assessment data: Patterns of Need and Root Cause Analysis.    What are Patterns of Need? Patterns of need are meaningful…

Supporting Advanced Learning Within a Multi-Tiered System of Supports

By Maria A. Martin | February 20, 2020

What is MTSS and How Does Advanced Learning Fit Within the MTSS Framework?   A multi-tiered system of support, or MTSS, is a framework with a tiered infrastructure that uses data to help match academic, social-emotional, and behavioral assessment and instructional resources to each and every student’s needs. Although it’s understood that MTSS is for all students,…

Creating and Taking Action on a Data-Driven Strategic Plan

By Valerie Coffey | February 13, 2020

This article was co-written with Heidi Aldrich Many educators think of student success as high assessment marks, high graduation rates, and socially well-adjusted students ready to tackle whatever comes next. To get to that point, however, it first begins with the district leadership having proper alignment around their overall vision, approach, and policies.  In the…

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