Skip to main content

Case Study

Merrillville Community School Corporation Uses Analytics to Enhance Student Engagement

District Background:

Lake County, Indiana
K-12 Enrollment

Frontline Solutions Used:

Student Analytics Lab

Challenge Merrillville Community School Corporation

The Challenge:

Merrillville School Corporation in Northwest Indiana has a proud history of serving their diverse student population. Their mission includes creating “quality learning experiences by setting standards that engage students to reach their highest potential”. Never has this mission been put more to the test than in 2020.

As the COVID-19 pandemic moved across the nation, schools began closing, and Merrillville made the decision to move all classes virtual. Dr. Dexter Suggs, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction, was faced with the daunting task of trying to determine how to support student learning in this new environment. He was convinced that data was the key for their district.

We needed a platform to ensure we were creating a virtual learning environment conducive to learning for all of our students.”

Dr. Dexter Suggs

Solution Merrillville Community School Corporation

The Solution:

Turning to their newly implemented Student Analytics Lab, formerly 5Lab, the corporation was able to quickly create critical dashboards using their Google Classroom data. Dr. Suggs wanted to be able to track student engagement, so he worked with the Frontline Education team to define what student engagement meant (being active in the Google platform, completing assignments, etc.) The new dashboards provided views by school, grade, income, demographics, and more.

“We had no place to start, but we had to start somewhere.” Dr. Suggs and his team continued to monitor the level of students actively involved in the learning process on a regular basis so that they could provide timely interventions if needed, and Frontline provided a regular summary to support these efforts.

Results Merrillville Community School Corporation

The Results:

Merrillville trained approximately 30 building leaders and administrators to use Student Analytics Lab, formerly 5Lab so that they could continuously assess which students might need additional support. Administrators were able to drill down to the student level and “bookmark” the lists of students needing potential assistance. This enabled the Merrillville teams to set up early-intervention flags so that they could help students stay on track.

The staff at Merrillville Community School Corporation has a saying that it “is important to provide the information to those in the battle…” In keeping with this philosophy, Dr. Suggs emphasized to the Merrillville team the critical importance of using the insights contained in Student Analytics Lab to inform and help drive learning for their students.

Using analytics will be important in a hybrid environment. The use of paper and pencil will become more obsolete, and we’ll be able to gather data utilizing whatever technology platform is being used… And we have a centralized portal to facilitate gathering that information and getting that data to our team to effectively inform education.”

About Frontline Education

Frontline Education is the leading provider of school administration software, empowering strategic K-12 leaders with the right tools, data and insights to proactively manage human capital, business operations, and special education.

Educational organizations representing over 80,000 schools and millions of educators, administrators and support personnel have partnered with Frontline Education in their efforts to develop the next generation of learners. Frontline is dedicated to driving engagement across K-12 school systems and supporting the continuous improvement of employee effectiveness and efficiency with solutions for proactive recruiting and hiring, absence and time, professional growth, student information systems, special education and interventions, payroll, benefits and financial management.

Frontline Education corporate headquarters are in Malvern, PA, with offices in Roseville, CA; Salinas, CA; Andover, MA; Walled Lake, MI; Rockville Centre, NY; Williamsville, NY; Brecksville, OH and Austin, TX.

Learn more at