Why Use Baseline Data to Drive Decisions in K-12 Education?

Table of Contents What you need to know about baseline data How baseline data drives instruction in the classroom Baseline data in Special Education Should baseline data be used for mental and behavioral health support? Data is the evidence we depend on Learn more about using baseline data Believe it or not, data wasn’t always […]


Is RTI Making a Difference?


Your RTI & MTSS Data Analysis Team: Nerve Center of Tier 2/3 Services

Student data tells a story. When schools administer building-wide academic screeners, screening data has the remarkable power to predict which students are at serious risk of academic failure and need targeted RTI and MTSS interventions.   At Tiers 2 and 3, the Data Analysis Team (DAT) is the building-level group that interprets this data ‘story’ […]


7 Steps to Monitor Progress on Tier 1/Classroom Interventions

When I visit schools as an RTI/MTSS consultant and talk with teachers about Tier 1/classroom academic interventions, I often hear frustration over the difficulty of collecting and interpreting data to monitor student progress. Yet, the critical importance of data is that it ‘tells the story’ of the academic or behavioral intervention, revealing the answers to […]


8 Steps to Monitor Progress on Tier 2/3 Reading Interventions

Whenever I can, I like to visit the American southwest and hike in rocky desert terrain. I often find small piles of stones (cairns) placed at intervals as trail markers. Hikers are always on the lookout to spot the next cairn, moving from signpost to signpost to successfully navigate the trail. Trekkers who ignore the […]


3-Step System to Identify Social, Emotional & Behavioral Issues Sooner

The primary purpose of schools is to educate. At times however, students display challenging behaviors or significant social-emotional concerns that interfere with their learning. In such cases, our goal as educators, counselors and service providers is to identify who those students are and match them to appropriate behavioral or social-emotional interventions. To do that, we […]


Your RTI and MTSS Academic Screening Process: Performing a Check-Up

Modern air travel is a marvel of complexity, with thousands of commercial flights traversing the world each day. At the center of this transportation web, air traffic controllers bring order to potential chaos by tracking every aircraft safely from liftoff to landing. The RTI/MTSS model, too, is complex. It requires that schools track the academic […]


Not Just for Academics: Expanding RTI/MTSS to Provide Behavioral and Social-Emotional Support

Listen to the Podcast!   In my early years as a school psychologist, I worked at Thornland Elementary School (fictitious name). Thornland was an urban school with committed teachers, students eager to learn and a behavioral environment that approached…chaos. In fact, when I first arrived, documented disciplinary office referrals at this 500-student building hovered at […]


School Psychologists, Juggling & Systems-Level Change

There are two things about me that you may not know: (1) I can juggle; (2) I am a certified school psychologist. And I think that there is a connection between these seemingly random facts. Let me explain… Juggling First, the juggling: when I was in high school, I discovered that my very talented younger […]

Talk Data to Me

A data-centric view on the challenges facing school districts

Recruiting & Hiring

Talk Data to Me: Hire Rates

According to a 2021 Frontline survey, about two-thirds of over 1,200 school and district administrators reported having a teacher shortage. Some districts experienced the teacher shortage worse than others. About half of the respondents reported difficulty filling jobs across all grade levels and subjects while the other half felt the effects of the shortage in […]

Teacher Absences & Subs

Talk Data to Me: Trends in Absence Management and Substitute Pools

Troubled by substitute shortages and low fill rates? You’re not alone. These are challenges faced by many districts, and for good reason. Substitute management is no walk in the park: a lot of different elements go into maintaining and managing a healthy substitute pool.   To overcome the challenges associated with the substitute shortage, districts […]

Recruiting & Hiring

Talk Data to Me: The State of the Instructional Teacher Shortage

The Frontline Research and Learning Institute recently published a research brief called “The State of the Instructional Teacher Shortage”. Following a basic supply and demand economic model, the analysis investigates the quantity of candidates applying for jobs (supply) as well as the availability of open positions (demand). Trends show changes to both sides of the […]

Student Data

Talk Data to Me: Supporting the Health Needs of Students and Staff

In early April, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that schools should be reopened and “full-fledged in person” come fall 2021, regardless of vaccination status. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona echoed this in early May, saying that he expects a full return for all students in the fall. With most states no longer placing restrictions on school […]

Front & Center

A series showcasing various leaders in the K-12 space