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Stage 6: Milestone 2

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
 Brooklyn Center, MI
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STAGE 6: CONTINUE IMPROVEMENT AND EXPANSION
Milestone #2: Use Data to Strengthen the Initiative 

Some things to think about:

Translate data into usable information. Use what you learn from the basic evaluation questions outlined in Stage 3 to ask more questions about individual school sites and across the initiative. The answers will help generate the action needed to improve the scale-up effort. Consider asking, for example:

  • Are we reaching and keeping the intended students and families in the numbers and with the impact we hoped for? If not, why not?
  • What internal and external factors may be affecting participation? Which factors can we address?
  • What internal and external factors may be affecting impact? What needs to change?
  • What are the differences across sites? What accounts for them?
  • What additional implementation supports are needed in key functional areas?

Plan action steps. Summarize what you have learned. Look for positive trends. Ask what requires action. Establish priorities. Determine what can be improved internally and what changes require policy changes, technical assistance, or the involvement of other sites. Get started.

Use communication mechanisms. Use the mechanisms you established in Stage 5 to ensure a regular, two-way flow of information between and among sites and the initiative. Communication should include not only evaluation data but also relevant practice knowledge and field experience that can shed light on concerns, strengths, and opportunities—within the initiative, at school sites, and in the surrounding community. To ensure useful information and to build connections between site and initiative leaders, consider the following:

  • Prepare periodic reports organized into overarching issues and recommendations for policy action per the reported problems and requests of sites
  • Present the reports periodically for discussion with school-site coordinators, parents, or other site team members
  • Communicate intended actions to affected sites

 
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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DATA AND INFORMATION

Continuous improvement depends on the ability to drill down to see what is happening in classrooms and to children and families. In Evansville, Indiana, district leaders wanted to understand why students missed 10 or more days of school. When they looked at high- absentee students in schools with very low poverty rates, they found that time spent on vacation was the primary reason for poor attendance. For high-absentee students in high-poverty schools, the reason was head lice. By asking a specific question, staff used district data to generate useful information and tailor improvement strategies to fit different circumstances.

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