From the Desk of Debbie Hamburg, Elementary Principal

Using Data to Support Decision Making in the Elementary School

Research shows that student achievement data offers invaluable support for making good decisions about instruction and personalized learning. Administrators, teachers, and support staff routinely use data to guide instructional decisions and meet students’ learning needs. To gain a deeper understanding of these needs, we track and collect data from multiple sources. Good data makes for good decisions.

In our Judaic Studies department we assess Ivrit fluency with the MaDyk assessment. L’Havin U’lehaskil, our Chumash program, has assessments in the beginning, middle and end of the year. The JSAT is given at the end of Grade 5. It is a cumulative review of Jewish learning for the elementary grades. Our JS staff regularly check for understanding by using projects, check-ins (exit slips), as well as summative and formative assessments. The data collected helps to drive and inform our instruction and personalize learning for our students. In this way we are monitoring student progress in important areas of Judaic Studies.

In our General Studies department we assess English fluency with EasyCBM as well as IReady for Math and Reading skills. We use various types of assessments help to give teachers, students, and parents an idea of the individual learning profile and how to enrich and support in targeted areas. 

Interpreting the data from these assessments help educators to identify individual as well as class trends. The data collected helps our school work on goals for each individual student, specific subject areas, the entire grade, and the elementary division. 

Throughout the year we will share the results of your child’s assessments. With check-ins in the form of Parent-Teacher meetings, email check-ins and calls, we will give parents feedback concerning student engagement and progress.  

Throughout the school year, teachers will be collecting student data by using Exit Questions (a quick check-in about a specific skill), projects and processes that reflect student learning, Kahoot activities, as well as formative and summative assessments, and traditional “unit tests”. Student participation, effort, grit and rigor are also important parts of data that helps us to better understand and work together with our students. 

Data can empower students to be active participants in their learning. Students share what works for them and what is challenging. Partnering with the teacher as the facilitator of learning, students are given the appropriate next steps towards mastery. 

The stories and anecdotes that we share with you about student participation and engagement are also data, data with a soul. We must always be aware of the teacher and student relationship in collecting and interpreting data.

Your child’s teacher and I are always available to help you with your specific questions and concerns.

Mrs. Debbie Hamburg

Elementary Principal