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    Using Data to Support Student Learning at Roxhill Elementary
    Posted on 01/15/2020
    A photo of a wall display at Roxhill with image of Harrioson Caldwell the first African American principal in Seattle Public Schools. Text says "Roxhill is a living example of how people can get along. It can be done. It is being done."

    Using Data to Support Student Learning at Roxhill Elementary

    Roxhill Elementary, a comprehensive neighborhood school, fosters a climate of compassion, problem solving, creativity, and cultural awareness where the school, families, and community are working together for the social, emotional, and intellectual development of each child.

    Roxhill staff know that there are no broken students, only broken systems.

    "This kind of work is about the 'we,'" Roxhill Elementary Principal Tarra Patrick says.

    It is about leveraging data to mobilize change. The various school teams at Roxhill intentionally and routinely consider various sources of data to identify areas of their own practice that can be shifted to support enhanced student learning. The staff at Roxhill use data to inform, track, and develop structures of accountability to create the most effective and welcoming learning environment for students.

    Principal Patrick recognizes that often "what we [as a system] are doing is not effectively serving kids […and we] cannot accept it." We know changes must be made in classrooms, school buildings, central office, and throughout the larger community in which our students learn and live.

    Staff at the school know that committing to reviewing data, normalizing conversations about data, and making changes based on data is the most effective way to make changes to support student learning.

    At Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Team Meetings, Building Leadership Team (BLT) Meetings, and Levy Team Meetings, staff analyze student achievement data from the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA), Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments, STAR, Fountas & Pinnell Assessments (F&Ps), Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), and curricular and classroom-based assessments. After wrestling with multiple data sources across multiple teams, staff develop student growth goals in major content areas. They get clear on the areas that need more attention and develop strategies to adjust instruction.

    And it is not just teachers who review data. Everyone participates in data reviews to make sure every staff member, whether they work directly with students or not, understand and align with the vision and work of the school. Even external partners who are running programs at Roxhill are using data to look at overall trends in order to determine program impact on student achievement, as measured by predetermined indicators of success. These partners then work collaboratively with individual staff and with teams to adjust and realign program delivery to optimize student outcomes.

    This widespread focus on data is not accidental. Data allows us to see the way our systems fail students of color and gives us direction in changing the conditions of learning so students can succeed. Adults at Roxhill understand that to move the needle for students of color, particularly those that identify as African American boys and youth, race must be centered in all conversations, and understood clearly in the context of data.

    "We cannot fix a problem we don’t fully understand," says Chief of Schools and Continuous Improvement Wyeth Jessee. "That’s why the work at Roxhill is so exciting — staff are really driven to have a clear foundational understanding of the communities they serve, so that they can have a laser sharp focus on supporting student growth."

    All students in Seattle Public Schools can succeed in early literacy, early mathematics understanding, and all academic benchmarks that follow. As part of the 2019-24 five-year strategic plan, Seattle Excellence, a priority goal is to make sure 100% of students become strong readers by 3rd grade.

    It is vital that all students meet this benchmark, as reading by 3rd grade is predictive of high school graduation and life success. Our mission is to help students achieve and we believe it is possible with the help of families, the community, partners, and our great staff. Roxhill Elementary is tackling this work with vision, focus, and unapologetic commitment.

    Learn more about Roxhill Elementary.

    Learn more about Seattle Super Readers.

    Read more about the district’s five-year strategic plan, Seattle Excellence.