An awesome opportunity

Greetings, I am writing you from our nation’s capital this week. I am attending the national conference for the Consortium of School Networking (COSN). A year ago COSN, the National Association of School Administrators and Gartner, Inc. partnered to write a grant that provided selected school districts around the nation with assistance to use student data systems to improve learning. The grant is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which also is funding the travel costs for attending the COSN Conference.

The grant focus and namesake is “Closing the Gap Through the Use of Data.” My role is an advisory role as member of a national committee of public school and higher education administrators. This committee has participated in several video/phone conferences over the past year discussing how data is used in their educational organizations. This week we are scheduled to spend a day conversing and recording how data is used to improved student learning.

There are several sessions scheduled where speakers will display their district’s efforts to use student data as a learning tool, how their schools are using technology as a learning tool and how their schools have implemented “Bring Your Own Device ( Technology)” policies and plans. On Tuesday evening, several of us participated in a panel discussion that focused on how we use technology and student data to improve learning in our schools. Following the discussion several of us met w ith the U. S. Department of Education to discuss innovative designs in public schools that are focused on student engagement and learning. We have a lot to be proud of in Rockdale ISD. It is an honor for us to be selected to participate in this grant with COSN and the selected group of educators. Our district’s selection to participate with this grant was based on the type of work we are doing in our district and the efforts we are making to improve student learning through the use of data and to provide innovative learning environments.

Our elementary and intermediate campuses have been doing a fine job for several years using information about individual students (data) to improve their learning. Within the last two years this model has been moved to our secondary campuses. Our teachers, administrators and counselors all over the district focus on academically, socially or emotionally struggling students through the use of individualized meetings called Educational Concerns Committees (ECC’s). Decisions are made at theses meetings to focus on the individual need of the student to provide them with a pathway for success.

This week I am writing you about what we will be doing and next week I will let you know how the conference turned out. It is awesome to know that our district is being recognized at a national level for our efforts to improve student learning.

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2012-03-08 digital edition

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