High School Completion

Theme - Monitoring: Compilation, Analysis, and Use of Data

Best Practices

  • Data collection, analysis, and use are well-established and widespread.
  • Students, especialy those most at risk of failing to graduate, are closely monitored and known individually.
  • Guidance personnel play a key role in tracking the progress toward graduation of individual students.

Although electronic records to track student progress toward fulfilling graduation requirements are an important and essential tool, at-risk students are also known personally. They are reached out to and offered support and guidance for keeping them in school and successfully passing the required Regents exams and other courses. The guidance department often plays a key role in monitoring and supporting students, but others are involved as well, including special education and ESL staff and directors, as well as building and district administrators. Teachers and administrators work together toimplement State data requirements related to Annual Professional Performance Reviews (APPR) and local assessments to measure student growth. Data are used to track both individual and group student progress and for short- and long-range planning. When gaps are identified, adjustments are made to instruction or curriculum rather than placing the whole burden for improvement on the student or students.

Some differences between higher- and average-performing schools

Educators in the higher-performing schools are less likely to complain about any new data requirements and more likely to seek ways to use them to suit their own purposes and improvement goals. Using data to inform curriculum and instruction has become routine, with teachers playing an active role in data analysis and use. Stduents considered at risk of failing to graduate in four years are especially closely watched, and programs and schedules are adjusted to ensure that all students are on track to earn the credits necessary for graduation.

Data use in the average performers is "getting better," i.e., becoming more embedded in the culture of the school. Constantly changing State requirements create tension around data gathering and use, especially the State requirement for Annual Professional Performance Reviews (APPR). Guidance departments are beginning to focus more on student progress toward graduation and next steps, often involving software to capture student interests and academic credits.

Selected Evidence

Brookfield reports on student progress in five-week intervals, using those reports to flag and then more carefully monitor students failing any course. The consequence of a failure is placement on an ineligible list, with weekly monitoring of progress coordinated with teachers by the guidance department.

Elmont's Pupil Personnel Services has developed a form used to confidentially alert teachers and other staff of a student under stress for a variety of reasons.

With 250 students per grade, Eastridge uses a spreadsheet to track progress of individual seniors toward graduation, including when they took the SAT, whose cost is covered by the (East Irondequoit) district.

Elmont has developed several forms to help monitor the progress of at-risk students: a daily progress report for students to complete and each teacher to sign, a progress report to parents for which the student is responsible, and a weekly progress report that the guidance department sends to parents.