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Assessment | News

Sheridan Elementary Adds Assessment Tool To Improve Proficiency

Denver, CO's Sheridan Elementary School has adopted a new assessment tool as part of an effort to boost proficiency scores in core areas such as math, reading, and writing.

Placed on "Academic Watch" status in 2003 after years of declining performance results on standardized testing and on the Colorado Student Assessment Program, the school implemented Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's DataDirector tool after federal authorities awarded $2.3 million through a School Improvement Grant.

The customizable assessment tool features the ability to generate longitudinal reports for the collection and storage of data from multiple sources. Reports build on data from not just classroom assessments, but also from benchmarks, district and state assessments and, multiple student information systems.

The resulting data is then used to create concrete reports designed to provide a wider picture of student learning. Reports can be generated along pre-designed lines or can be specifically tailored based on individual district or building needs to show a hyper-specific map of student learning.

Based on the results, remediation and other academic supports can be targeted exactly where they are needed as determined through use of the assessment tool.

As a result, help is not targeted where it is not needed. This saves resources for investment in areas where the data show students have particular needs that are not being otherwise met.

For example, if the results show that students are in fact proficient in a specific area over time such as math, though not necessarily evident on a single assessment, the investment of substantial resources in remedial math would not be advantageous. On the flip side, results may show overall math skills are present, but note a single, specific area on which educators might focus.

"Riverside's team really empowered our teachers, while DataDirector created incredible efficiencies in instruction and helped educators assign students to the correct classes and interventions based on their individual progress," said Michael Clough, superintendent at Sheridan School District.

DataDirector also features a single-login system as well as pre-built reports to use in tabulating data.

More information on DataDirector is available at riversidepublishing.com.

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