Over the past 6 years, I have worked with teachers in countless schools, in many districts, representing grades preschool through continuing education. Almost to a teacher, teams everywhere wish that they could see what other schools across the state are doing when they meet as professional learning teams or data teams.
As a help for all of you who learn by observing others, I have put together this collection of video clips and "real life" ways that schools have implemented the data team process in their communities. They are not offered to represent the "perfect" data team function, but to highlight effective process, in a variety of forms.
For each one, I have highlighted a particularly point to observe. As I combed through videos, I looked specifically for videos that answered a particularly question that teams have asked me. My answer to those questions is, "Well, here is one way that a team addressed that question..."
The teams are not all Connecticut teams, but the resources are. If you are not a Connecticut educator, check your state's Department of Education website for data teams resources, or feel free to access the ones at the Connecticut State Department of Education website.
What is the Data Teams Process?
The Five-Step Data Team Process (Length: 7:32)
While most schools have data teams in place, schools vary in the stage of maturity of their data teams. Many teachers want to know what the basic data team process is. In this short video clip, Doug Reeves, of the Leadership and Learning Center, reviews his organization's protocol for data team conversations, which has been adopted by schools all over the country. The images are from Aptos High School, Pajaro Unified School District, Watsonville, CA.
Organizing for Data Teams
Many school districts have become creative in helping to support their teachers when the Data Teams process becomes a district-wide initiative. Here are some nice examples of the use of technology to establish coherence across school districts.
Windham Middle School, Windham Public Schools, Willimantic CT, has created a Wiki for the sharing of district-wide forms and protocols. Wikis can be created in minutes, and provide a place for public or internal sharing of resources and collaboration. This saves meeting time for talking about students and instruction.
Also in Connecticut, Middletown Public Schools posts the dates for all district, school and grade level data team meetings on its public web page, with links to minutes and progress monitoring reports at all levels. Note the specific focus of each meeting, and the specificity of the grade-level team goals for each meeting, and the concise nature of their reports. Also note how clean the page looks, making it easy for parents, administrators and teachers to find and access information.
Form, Forms, Forms...
There is a learning curve with anything new, including district-wide forms and electronic templates. Waterloo Community School District, has created online video tutorials demonstrating how to use various tabs and parts of the district's electronic data teams template. The clips are only a few minutes long, and can easily be included in a data team meeting for a mini-PD. How could your district use something like this?
The Connecticut State Department of Education has a number of helpful forms available on its Data-Driven Decision-Making and Data Teams web page, including data team forms for instructional and school data teams.
Types of Data Team Meetings
School Data Team Meetings
Teachers at The Lawrence Elementary School, Middletown Public Schools, Middletown, CT, model a full-length school data team meeting. Note that, here in Connecticut, we use the term school data team, instead of core team (Length: 53 min)
Grade-Level Team Meetings
Fifth-grade teachers at Tri-Community Elementary School, Central Dauphin School District, Harrisburg, PA, have posted a video showing how they used district benchmark assessment data to set a continuous approvement (long-term) goal as a grade-level team. (Length: 5:39)
In this fourth-grade team meeting, teachers at Belmont Elementary School analyze common formative assessment data and create an action plan to address three areas: re-teaching of weak areas in measurement; inclusion of test-taking strategies in instruction; explicit Tier 2 vocabulary instruction to support English Language Learners. Also note-worthy is what they said they would NOT discuss at the meeting, and a plan for when they WOULD (Length: 11:21)
Child Study Team Meetings
A triad of teachers from Washington School for Comprehensive Literacy, Sheboygan Area School District, Sheboygan, WI, meets to discuss an individual first-grade student's needs in this video of an intervention team meeting (Length: 25:23)
Every Team Has a Purpose...
The State of Pennsylvania breaks data-driven decision-making in Response to Intervention model into four phases: 1) Universal Screening and Pre-meeting Preparation, 2) Core Team Meetings, 3) Grade-level Team Meetings, and 4) Process Outcomes. This brief video explains the data and conversations of each phase, and the type of meeting that would address that component.
Other Resources and Ideas
Here are links to some other articles on data teams, on this website: