student information systems lessons learned

LESSONS LEARNED: Great example at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, Ill., of how to use data to support students who make good choices. During students' free periods, they can seek extra help in specially designated academic resource centers. Rather than taking a time-consuming paper-based name log, center teachers scan barcodes on student IDs, triggering a series of updates: an email goes to the student's parent, complimenting the student for seeking extra help. ("The emails go out from the department chair and it's all positive," says tech coordinator, Joe Macchia. "Parents feel like their students made a good choice.") The student's academic advisor gets an update on a dashboard that includes test scores, GPA, and the subject in which they're seeking support. Classroom teachers can also keep better track of which students are actively using the resource centers. The key to winning support from students and faculty in using the system, Joe says: learning to use the data to support students--not just to dog them.

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