Meet Allison Jordan, the Director of Assessment, Research and Evaluation for the Newton County School System located in Covington, Georgia. She works with teachers and administrators to administer and utilize assessments in order to measure student success and instructional effectiveness. She’s also responsible for assisting schools with data analysis as it relates to the State’s accountability index and assessment data.
We asked Allison a few questions to learn about what’s happening in Covington, Georgia.
What led you to teaching/education?
Initially, I had planned on becoming an engineer. I enjoy examining current practices and developing new processes to make things more effective and efficient. After a year of undergraduate studies in engineering, I knew that my heart was leading me to help others. I wanted to help others achieve their dreams. By combining my passions/strengths—helping others, analytical thinking, and computers—I discovered my calling in education. I went on to pursue degrees in the areas of business, computer science, and marketing. I served as a classroom teacher for more than 20 years to many wonderful students, each with their own unique talents and abilities. It was very rewarding to help my students realize their potential and pursue their dreams.
Tell us about your Illuminate Data and Assessment implementation. (Feel free to share your successes, challenges, and lessons learned.)
Our implementation began June 2015. There were a few challenges in the beginning, but with the help of the Illuminate team (Beth, Sue, Mark, Art), we were able to ensure all systems were functioning properly. We continued transmitting more data and exploring the use of other features in the platform. After attending the Illuminate conference February 2016, Chris Balow Sr. began working with us to implement a district-wide RTI plan, and wow—we have learned so much from Chris Sr., and then discovered that Chris Jr. was able to help, too! We then started working with Franck Reyherme to learn more about the Business Intelligence tool, which was amazing! In such a short amount of time, we have revolutionized the way we administer district assessments and analyze data. Each day we discover something new and teachers become more excited.
What is your favorite Illuminate feature?
There are too many to name! Several Illuminate team members shared with me how to load summary assessment data. However, it wasn’t until Franck referred to it in database terms that I began to understand the power behind this feature. I have used this feature multiple times to load data from external systems and generate custom reports for users. I have also used the summary assessment feature to mass assign roles to users. This is an extremely powerful tool and can significantly reduce the time spent on manual data processes. I am also a huge fan of the Business Intelligence tool and hope to have more time to explore the tool in the near future.
How has Illuminate helped your teachers in their work with supporting students?
Teachers have discovered how easy it is to capture data for assessments, homework, essays, etc. They now have the information readily available for parent and student conferences. Teachers no longer have to search multiple locations for data. Now they simply login to Illuminate and begin reviewing data for individual students, classes, or schools.