Quick Wins: Saving Time on Title III Budget Narratives
How Central School District 13J in Oregon uses Student Analytics Lab to easily access the data needed for strategic planning and state reporting — and speed up cumbersome, time-consuming processes.
At a Glance:
- Independence, OR
- K-12 Enrollment
- Faculty & Staff
Frontline Solutions Used:
- Student Analytics Lab
Anne Bierwirth is an analyst at Central School District 13J in Independence, Oregon. As a small district in the beautiful Willamette Valley, about 50% of the Central School District population is Hispanic. English Learners (or Emergent Bilinguals) make up about 18% of the student population.
Supporting English Learners often requires special care. The district is constantly working to improve how they track data for these students, which they do at the aggregate and individual levels to provide appropriate multi-tiered systems of support. The better their data, the better the support they can offer!
Supporting English Learners
Central School District began using Frontline’s Student Analytics Lab to support the senior leadership with intentional strategic planning. When looking at student performance on the English Learner Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) exams, the system enables them to see proficiency levels over time and across different student subpopulations to inform goal setting. Similarly, principals can drill down to the campus level to see how different student populations are performing in their own building.
This strategic work is incredibly valuable — but for Anne, what’s striking is how the system saves her time performing day-to-day tasks.
More Accessible Data
Every year, Anne pulls data for the Title III budget narrative the state requires. In past years, Anne would track down the data from multiple sources. She would download ELPA and SBAC from the Oregon Department of Education website and export demographic information and student English Learner (EL) program start dates from their student information system. She would pull different student IDs because each system used a unique ID numbering system. Then, she would cobble it together in Excel.
“I’d be going to one place to get the SBAC scores, one place to get the ELPA scores, one place to get the student demographics so I could disaggregate the way the state wanted me to, and I’d be pulling it all together in Excel with VLOOKUP, and it’s just very clunky….The waste of time from having to go to so many disparate data sources and pull the information together, and ending up using Excel as if it was a database when it’s not. It’s so much faster to use a database to do analysis than to use a spreadsheet.”
When the district set up Student Analytics Lab, Anne knew the Title III budget narrative would come up each year, so she made sure to include several custom data fields that would help her compile it more quickly. Because they focus on students who have been in the EL program for 5 years or longer, the EL start date is automatically pulled in from their student information system, as well as disability status, special education status, and ELPA and SBAC assessment scores. This year, generating the Title III report was much quicker.
“I just took straight from the dashboard in Student Analytics Lab and it was so cool. I just picked my filters and pulled my numbers right off the screen. And that was so fun to have it so quickly, without me having to do any calculations in Excel.”
Taking Back Two Hours
Anne said she saved at least two hours putting together the Title III budget narrative this year, thanks to Student Analytics Lab.
“Two hours might not sound like a lot, but because we are so understaffed, every little minute counts around here right now. It’s just hard to deliver the product that we need to deliver to our students and our families with these skeleton crews some days. And so anywhere that we can be more efficient is really valuable. You can quote me on that one too.”
Data-based Decision-support Software for Schools
See how Frontline Analytics can help your district make more strategic decisions by bringing your data together into easy-to-understand visual dashboards — and communicate your vision to your board, stakeholders, and community.