Kadoka Area School District hosts Title One Data Retreat
Wed, 05/26/2021 - 10:30am admin
The Kadoka Area School District (KASD) hosted a Title One Data Retreat on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The event was held at the Kadoka New Gym from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event was available to anyone who wished to attend. Attendees looked at various types of data across the school district’s 2020-2021 school year and further back in the past to eye any data trends. Technology & Innovation in Education (TIE) worker, Dan Henry, helped the school organize and present the data. The retreat ultimately serves as a way to direct where the school is going next year. The data collected includes state testing scores, district testing scores, surveys, and more.
The Kadoka Press spoke with Title One Data Manager, Karen Byrd, to gather more information regarding the data retreat. Mrs. Byrd is a veteran of the school district, she wears many hats including being the school district's Federal Programs Coordinator, Elementary 503 Coordinator, Homeless Coordinator, reading coach, and administrator.
How does a parent’s
involvement in this retreat help the school district? How does it help the student?
Mrs. Byrd: This retreat can be a really powerful thing for parents to be involved in because they can see the big picture that we don't always see. As parents, we tend to focus on just our child our children.
Is there anything
noteworthy about this school year (2020-2021) in terms of data?
Mrs. Byrd: We felt good that our kids felt comfortable here in our schools. Each of the schools had great reports on that. Academic data—some trends may be indicated math and reading were an issue for students. Sometimes vocabulary is tied into that, if you’re not going to understand the vocabulary then you’re not going to be able to solve the problem as well. Persistence was another. we sometimes would have kids who will see the problem is too challenging, they may kind of cop-out and just choose an answer instead of spending time, trying to figure things out. Same with reading. We saw that if the passage looks too long, even to listen to, they would cop-out, choose an answer, and just move on. So building the ability to challenge yourself and do more. I mean, that's a skill that we can practice in so many different ways and parents can work on with their kids at home, you know, give them a task, help them support them in trying to continue working, whether it's feeding the dog or making your bed, cleaning your room, that all can contribute to how much energy a student wants to put into doing work.
Did the retreat offer
possible solutions for staff/students/teachers/
administrative officials to help curb any worrying data trends?
Mrs. Byrd: What I do with this information that we gathered is part of my job and the other administrators, we take this information from their conversations that the teachers and parents have put into a synthesis document and we work from that information to develop a plan on what we can do to make improvements. It eventually gets to the state, it’s called a consolidated grant application. The state reads through it and it affects our funding on what we get from the state and federal government to make these recommendations happen. The application is tied to what financially, what keeps our school going. I cannot stress how important parent involvement is in this particular event [data retreat] alone.
What data trend are you proud of the most?
Mrs. Byrd: Overall, our writing has improved from previous years. Something like 30% above the state. Our goal has been to either match or is better than the rest of the state. Our math proficiency score was 56% compared to the state’s 38%. Middle school ELA scores were most 20% higher than the state for seventh and eighth-graders.
What is the process like for teachers or school staff after the event?
Mrs. Byrd: Every year after the data retreat, considerations are huge. We decide where we need to put the greatest amount of support for students and staff. Is it at a particular school? Do we need to change how we run a school day? Can we change schedules? Should we hire more personnel? All of these questions are based on the data that we have.
Are there always changes made after a data retreat?
Mrs. Byrd: Yes. There are always changes made. It may not always appear to someone just coming in and saying, so what'd you do differently this year? Because it may not be a structural thing. It may be in the professional development or the curriculum. Teachers are always looking at the data and looking at their curriculum to help students.
How has COVID-19
impacted the school
Mrs. Byrd: We had several kids who did online learning at home through Black Hills Online, where they were learning through our school district where they could do it at home, but they had to do it continuously to benefit. We had some kids who had done that and were successful. Terrific. We had some kids who signed up for it, did part of it, came back in the winter semester, and did okay. And we had some kids come back who had thought they could manage to do the online learning, ended up doing very little to nothing and join our school after the semester break… and you can imagine their skills were quite far behind. And so it took some regrouping and reprioritizing to try and get those kids up to their grade level.
What’s the best guideline for parents to help students in the long run?
Mrs. Byrd: The best guidance is to value education. Because it can change the world, but not knowing what you don't know by not being educated, just isn't going to make the world a better place. On the flip side, I think we need to point at education and say, there are things we need to do to change education, to make it more relevant to our students. We just can't tell kids to put their phones away when they walk into school. Why aren't those being used as tools to educate? Education has to do more, but families have to recognize the power of education and what it can do for kids and believe in it as much as we can.
Can parents view this year’s data?
Mrs. Byrd: Parents will get a report of the data that we have in the mail. The state department publishes a report card for our school and they will have access to that data so that if you can see what it is, we can't get down to individual students or individual teachers, but you will see school data of how each school site did on their assessments.
What do you want readers to know?
Mrs. Byrd: Let’s get back to the power of education. I want parents to be involved, I want the community to be involved because that brings success to us all. The more we value education, the better off we will all be.