Increasing Student Achievement by Analyzing Data
Tacoma Public Schools located in Washington, educates more than 30,000 students at 54 schools and is the 3rd largest district in the state.
“Everything that we do is to promote the whole child and move kids down the path towards graduation. From our benchmarks to what we use in our operational sense, to our data dashboard initiative, everything is coming straight out of eSchoolPLUS.”
Erika Flattum | SIS Business Analyst | Tacoma Public Schools
As graduation rates hit an all-time low of 55%, Tacoma Public Schools needed to better understand issues students were encountering. The SIS needed to help administrators analyze the data to make policy decisions.
Tacoma Public Schools, as a data-driven district, worked with SunGard K-12 to create new district processes while implementing eSchoolPLUS, a robust, intuitive system, to collect and analyze data that helps them get better at what they are doing for the students.
SunGard K-12 partners with Tacoma Public School to assess processes and requirements on many different levels. As the need for data grows, Erika Flattum, SIS Business Analyst at Tacoma Public Schools, is confident in their partnership with SunGard K-12, saying, “They’re really easy to work with and down to earth. It’s been a good, collaborative, constructive working relationship.”
As school districts continue to look for new ways to utilize student data, Tacoma Public Schools creates actionable, data-driven initiatives that all start within
How do you think eSchoolPLUS helps the district drive student success?
Over the past five years, Tacoma Public Schools’ graduation rate increased from 55% to 82%. Data-driven policy decisions played a large role in this significant improvement. As Tacoma Public Schools made these changes, they started using eSchoolPLUS, which allowed the district to look at processes and requirements. “We want to look at things that allow us to more proactively work with students, so we contact families of secondary kids who reach a grade for the week that falls below a C. We monitor how students are doing on their path to graduation in terms of credits and where they’re standing. We look for trends in our discipline data. You name it, we probably have an operational report that looks at it. With the intent being that we’re providing real and actionable data to folks in schools, who are face to face with kids and families. And eSchoolPLUS helps us do this.”
How has SunGard K-12 helped you resolve a challenge the district encountered throughout the years?
As a data-driven district, Tacoma Public Schools continues to look for new ways to increase student achievement. In the past year, Tacoma Public Schools realized what a valuable tool, Career Planner is within eSchoolPLUS and started the process of setting it up. Erika said, “eSchoolPLUS allows us to more accurately reflect how students are progressing towards graduation.”
How has SunGard K-12 helped you analyze your student data?
eSchoolPLUS allows Tacoma Public Schools to get data in a way that is consistent and uniform so it can be analyzed. SunGard K-12’s Professional Services assessed where the district was at and what the data looked like and helped put together a plan to move ahead. “Given the complexity of what we had to change, SunGard K-12 was really great in taking the logic, running it in one of our test systems, and then applying it for us in our production system.”
Communication is the hallmark of successful relationships, tell me how SunGard K-12 has evolved with your needs.
“SunGard K-12 continues to improve, especially in terms of being really customer centered. They’re always really open, really easy to work with and down to earth. From the initial folks that you call on the phone all the way up to the executives, it’s been really a good, collaborative, constructive working relationship,” says Flattum.
“eSchoolPLUS makes it easier for us to analyze student data. The insight from the data helps us see issues quicker so we can follow up with students immediately and proactively work with them to see where they’re deficient sooner rather than later.”