Coalition for Community Schools - Because Every Child Deserves Every Chance

Stage 6: Milestone 1

Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4 | Stage 5 | Stage 6

MILESTONES:

COLLECT DATA TO ASSESS PROGRESS USE DATA TO STRENGTHEN THE INITIATIVE PUBLICIZE PROGRESS EXPAND ROLLOUT PREPARATION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM SCAN
Ogden, UT
 
Kent County, MI
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STAGE 6: CONTINUE IMPROVEMENT AND EXPANSION
Milestone #1: Collect Data to Assess Progress


Some things to think about:

Prepare staff for data collection. In Stage 5, sites developed their own results and evaluation frameworks, including indicators, activities, and data collection methods consistent with the initiative’s community-wide framework. For data collection to succeed, site staff need to keep adequate program records and use survey, questionnaire, and other methods consistently and as intended. An erroneous assumption about the skill of the data collection staff can be costly. Given that data collection is a resource-intensive effort, a team-based training session with opportunity for input is a good way to build ownership and an ongoing support structure that can minimize trouble down the road. The best data are collected by staff who:

  • Understand the value of the data
  • Work in teams
  • Receive support and recognition

Strategies for Engaging Staff in Data Collection

  • Communicate value. When people are convinced that continuous improvement data will be used to improve their work, rather than simply to grade it or add to it, they are more likely to give the task their best effort. Before data collection begins, it is helpful to give staff examples of how data collection has resulted in unexpected or counterintuitive findings—and how those findings have led to beneficial changes in policy and practice.

  • Work in teams. Ideally, teams rather than single individuals should follow clearly established data protocols. Although specific point people will be responsible for the overall effort at sites and at the systems level, team members will need assistance to find all the information they need. Involving the teams from the outset will save time and ensure better results. Teams should have a picture of the entire process, from data collection and review to analysis and distribution; they also need to understand how people can benefit from the collection of data. Help teams see that their work is important and that assistance is available as needed.

  • Provide support. Short and easy-to-complete collection instruments should include written, step-by- step instructions and due dates. Make sure that teams understand and are comfortable with computerized data collection. Involve teams in establishing timeframes that are reasonable given their other duties. While initial training can minimize difficulties in data collection, time for review and revision should also be a part of the process. If the collected data are neither consistent nor accurate, they have no value.

  • Recognize contributions. Finally, recognize the important contributions made by the data collections teams. Initiatives can do this in e-mails; web postings, or newsletters. Include useful facts from data collection efforts as soon as possible. Follow up with opportunities for sites to learn from and use the data collected by the teams.

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Guide Home - IntroductionPart I - Part II - Part III - Part IV - Appendix - Tools

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