Area of Nomination:
School: Schlegel Road Elementary School
District: Webster Central School District
Region: Mid West
Grade Level: Elementary
Staff at Schlegel Road Elementary School wanted to ensure the use of best practices grounded in a firm understanding of where all their students were functioning to create the maximal instructional environment for all students, including those with disabilities. To do so, they created Grand Rounds, derived from a parallel process employed in many teaching hospitals. The process gathers a diverse group of professionals with varying expertise and roles around the shared task of using data to make decisions for individual students and the broader program.
Schlegel Road Elementary School is one of seven elementary schools in the Webester Central School District. The school serves 516 students in grades Kindergarten through 5, with 19% receiving free or reduced lunch. About 7% of the school population is limited English proficient and 90% are White.
Grand Rounds began in spring 2007 at the conclusion of the first full year of universal benchmark screening using the AIMSweb probes. Since that time, the school has expanded and continually revises the protocol for comprehensive data analysis. The Grand Round process involves universal benchmark data collection three times a year (September, January, and June).
Why was the practice initiated:
The school initiated the practice as an additional element of data analysis to inform instructional decision-making at the student and program levels. The practice also serves as a vehicle for ongoing job-embedded professional development.
Why the practice was validated by S³TAIR:
Schlegel Road Elementary School consistently achieves good standing for all student subgroups on the New York State assessments, with 83-89% performing at a level 3 in ELA and 91-95% at level 3 in Mathematics. In the Grand Rounds process, at least one full day is scheduled per session to review all literacy data, with additional time allotted to cover math. Administrators and all intervention providers including enrichment, mental health, and speech and language therapists are scheduled to attend for the entire day to review all students data. Intervention providers rotate the roles of facilitator, recorder, and timekeeper, with grade level general and special education teachers attending for scheduled blocks of 60 to 90 minutes. Floating subs are scheduled to accommodate teachers' attendance. Data are collected from AIMSweb literacy assessments including Reading-Curriculum Based Measurement (RCBM), AIMSweb Maze Curriculum Based Measurement and early literacy probes and math assessments including Math- Curriculum Based Measurement (MCBM) and early numeracy, the Developmental Reading Assessment Second Edition (DRA2), and data from assessment of mathematical performance in concepts and applications (Fuchs and Fuchs). These data are projected on a Smartboard for analysis. The "Summary of Impact" presentation provides information on individual students' performance compared to the benchmark targets at each grade level.
The Grand Rounds model structure includes:
1. Celebration of accomplishments of students who have demonstrated growth, whether or not they achieved the target.
2.Review of the progress of students not meeting target at all three tiers. Discussions include nature of the current program, additional data sources and classroom performance. Recommendations are made in relation to instructional intervention focus or strategies and intensity.
3.Review of the growth of students who are at or above target but not demonstrating a rate of improvement sufficient to maximize achievement.
4.Review of the grade level data, including the percent at or above target, average scores per benchmark period, program growth over time and recommendations for changes at the program level.
The building staff conclude that "there are no sad data." The success of the Grand Rounds protocol is due in large part to the foundation established through a school-wide focus on developing skill in assessment literacy learning in all staff. The faculty is comfortable looking at data in multiple forms and from multiple perspectives. There has been ongoing and systematic professional development aimed at increasing teachers' knowledge, skill sets, and positive attitudes regarding data. Staff recognize the need to be clinical in their review of results and understand the importance of not "admiring the problem" but focusing on solutions. Through the use of metaphors and catch phrases, they add humor and help to reframe the analysis, thereby defusing defensive reactions and building a mindset has been an essential prerequisite to the successful implementation of this public data review.