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Star Climate Ratings for Georgia Schools: How to Make Your School a 5-Star School

Star Climate Ratings for Georgia Schools: How to Make Your School a 5-Star School

Since 2014, the climate of each public school in Georgia has been rated annually on a scale of 1-5. School climate, according to the National School Climate Center, refers to a school’s “quality and character,” based on the “patterns of students, parents, and school personnel’s experiences of school life.” Factors that affect a school’s climate include its values … Continue reading Star Climate Ratings for Georgia Schools: How to Make Your School a 5-Star School

BI Tool: Student Growth Percentile Scatterplots

BI Tool: Student Growth Percentile Scatterplots

Welcome to Illuminate’s BI Tool Blog! Over the last 2–3 years, the number of districts using Illuminate’s Business Intelligence Tool (BI Tool) has exploded. Over 3,000 BI Tool reports have been created by over 250 school districts, with more being created every day. At Illuminate, we pride ourselves at putting powerful technology directly in the hands of educators. … Continue reading BI Tool: Student Growth Percentile Scatterplots

9 Informal Assessments to Help You Pinpoint What Your Learners Need

9 Informal Assessments to Help You Pinpoint What Your Learners Need

The great thing about informal assessments is they help us gauge students’ understanding during the learning process instead of after. Informal assessment also changes teachers’ relationship to student learning. Through informal assessment, a teacher becomes a guide throughout the learning process, rather than the judge of the student’s final product. While committing to formative—or informal—assessment … Continue reading 9 Informal Assessments to Help You Pinpoint What Your Learners Need

Teacher Resiliency: Keeping Teachers Motivated, Supported & Fired-Up

Teacher Resiliency: Keeping Teachers Motivated, Supported & Fired-Up

Early January is a time for renorming, turning last fall’s skills into actionable habits and building a classroom community that kids will remember for years to come. The question is: How do we keep our vitality through the winter and spring of 2018, and why is this critical from an equity lens? In public schools … Continue reading Teacher Resiliency: Keeping Teachers Motivated, Supported & Fired-Up

Developing Hope & Resilience for Disengaged Students

Developing Hope & Resilience for Disengaged Students

Recent studies on student engagement self-perception and performance. The extent to which a student is engaged is a robust predictor of his or her ability to learn, get good grades and test scores, retain information and, ultimately, graduate. The 2016 Gallup Student Poll surveyed 900,000 public school students in grades 5-12 in 48 states. The … Continue reading Developing Hope & Resilience for Disengaged Students

How to Build a Successful Master Schedule

How to Build a Successful Master Schedule

The master schedule is one of an instructional leader’s most important tools. It’s a function of the school’s philosophy, a reflection of its vision, and a blueprint for its resource allocation. The vast majority of a school’s resources may be spent on teachers, but ensuring a viable curriculum that helps that school achieve its academic … Continue reading How to Build a Successful Master Schedule

Equity: A Practical Guide for Educators

Equity: A Practical Guide for Educators

In recent years, “equity” has become a buzz word and popular topic in K-12 schools, higher education, businesses, and even in religious organizations. A common definition is that whereas “equality” results in giving everyone the same thing, “equity” equates to giving individuals what they need. In schools, equity results in treating all children fairly and … Continue reading Equity: A Practical Guide for Educators

Meeting the Needs of Our English Language Learners

Meeting the Needs of Our English Language Learners

The issue of meeting the needs of our Long-Term English Learners (LTEL) and English Language Learners (ELL) is challenging and complex. Let’s start by considering some facts. LTEL and ELL students currently represent the fastest growing segment of school-age population in the U.S. Yet, the numbers are showing that many of them are struggling in … Continue reading Meeting the Needs of Our English Language Learners

Getting Grading Right: How to Grade for Learning

Getting Grading Right: How to Grade for Learning

Grading is foundational to your role as an educator. If you get grading right, it’ll help everything else that you do like instruction, assessment, curriculum, and evaluation. You’ll also see immediate results three months from now. But if you get it wrong, no matter how earnest your efforts are in these other areas, it’ll cut the … Continue reading Getting Grading Right: How to Grade for Learning

Identifying the Problem of Percentile Ranks

Identifying the Problem of Percentile Ranks

In education, we frequently use the “Percentile Rank” score a student receives on tests to report to parents and understand how that student performs. As educators we really like the percentile rank because it seems easy and intuitive to understand. However, this article will present some cautionary concepts when using the percentile rank scores on … Continue reading Identifying the Problem of Percentile Ranks