This month, Illuminate’s BI Tool Blog highlights Salt Lake City School District’s “Acadience Pathways” report, created by Brittany Dimick. Just like David Jansson’s “A-G Tracker” report, the focus of last month’s post, Brittany’s report uses conditional styling to make the most important data pop off the screen (or the page, for us dinosaurs who still like to print). Brittany’s color scheme starts with the student list and extends to the charts below the student list, which provide a nice visual summary of the data. But the real beauty of this report is that it brings together data from multiple platforms and provides a consistent way for Salt Lake City’s educators to consume the data.
Reports created for educators, by educators. That’s the core premise of Illuminate’s BI Tool. Brittany’s report is a great example of this principle at work as it’s evident that Brittany understands her colleagues’ pain points and builds her reports with them in mind. With her BI Tool expertise, Brittany knows that “principals or teachers will call [her] with a need, and [she’s] able to respond to that need quickly.” Salt Lake City Schools is making full use of Illuminate’s platform: “We bring a lot of external data back into Illuminate, really making it the one-stop shop for teachers.” The 50+ BI Tool reports that they’ve created over the years tie it all together and make it easy for their staff to access, analyze, and act on those data in a timely way.
Read all about Brittany’s “Acadience Pathways” report below!
And remember: for those of us who just don’t have the time or technical prowess to build BI Tool Reports, please keep in mind that Illuminate also offers a Report Building Service. You can contract our team of experts to build the custom BI Tool reports that your district needs. We’ll work hand-in-hand with your team to make sure your vision comes to life and your reporting and data visualization needs are met. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll set up a meeting to discuss your reporting needs.
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Director of Business Intelligence Services
Acadience Pathways Report
By: Brittany Dimick, Teacher Specialist, Salt Lake City School District
I am the Teacher Specialist for Illuminate in Salt Lake City School District. My district is urban and about 24,000 students. We have been using Illuminate for a long time but have only been creating BI Tool Reports for the last 3 years. I have made over 50 reports—some helpful and some not so helpful. I have gotten the process down to taking a couple of hours for a super-straightforward report and to a day or two for reports that are more complex. My current area of learning is HTML5 graphs. Occasionally, I still need to consult with Franck.
One thing I love about the BI Tool is that principals or teachers will call me with a need, and I am able to respond to that need quickly. That is why I have chosen the Acadience Pathways report. My son’s principal called me and asked for this data, and I was able to deliver.
The Acadience Pathways report has three different data sets from two different platforms. We administer the Acadience (formerly DIBELS) on both the Amplify Platform for K-3 and Acadience Learning for 4-6. To help teachers not to have to log into multiple different platforms, we bring all the data back into Illuminate via the DIBELS Next shell and summary assessments. (We bring a lot of external data back into Illuminate, really making it the one-stop shop for teachers.) Both Acadience and Amplify calculate Pathways to Progress, which indicates whether a student is making typical growth expected for their score. But in the respective platforms, the reports are different, making it hard for teachers use.
This report shows the composite score and distance from proficiency for all three benchmarks. It also shows the Pathways to Progress in a uniform way.
Something unique on this report is the bottom quartile. In Salt Lake, we call them Focus students, because the state looks at the bottom quartile’s growth as part of our ESSA accountability measure. To help teachers and principals keep an eye on those Focus students, I used SQL to calculate the bottom quartile. The bottom quartile calculates for each school and grade. Some teachers might have all the Focus students, and some might not have any.
At the end on the report, there are some pie graphs to help teachers and principals not have to hand calculate. Once I built this report, I built a matching report for Reading Inventory (formerly SRI) for our secondary schools.
This report and similar reports have now become part of different school improvement plans across the district. Illuminate’s ability to filter these reports by different demographics helps SLCSD continue its work in equity.
If you stopped reading at SQL, don’t be afraid. I taught myself SQL using free online tools. Once I learned SQL, it made the BI Tool so much simpler to use. I’m not joking. I often use SQL to pull data from Illuminate in the format I want it in, without even using the BI Tool. Think of all the time you spent getting that custom report to have the columns and data format you want. Just invest that into learning SQL, and you will have saved yourself so much time.
I also wanted to say that I love reading the BI Tool Blog because it gives me great ideas of where to go next. For example, after looking at all of your elegantly designed reports, it makes me want to update this report to be more visually pleasing.
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