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School District Spotlight: West Genesee

Our Data Warehouse team is pleased to recognize the West Genesee Central School District with this month’s “School District Spotlight.” 

During the summer of 2013, five instructional specialists, two literacy coaches, and the district data administrator from the West Genesee Central School attended the Got Data? Now What? full-day workshop facilitated by Bruce Wellman and sponsored by the Data Warehouse department. This workshop was pivotal in creating a frame of reference for how the district planned to move forward in using data to inform instruction.  In the 2014-2015 school year, the instructional support team implemented the work of Wellman and Laura Lipton’s book “Got Data? Now What?” by utilizing structured protocols and strategies from the text to frame data conversations throughout the district.  This was essential in creating a safe environment that allowed grade levels of teachers to feel comfortable to talk about students’ instructional gaps and continue to foster a collaborative environment.
Initially, in the fall of 2014, teachers did item analysis work with instructional coaches using the previous year’s math and ELA assessment scores. Working as a team, the grade levels dug in deeper to look at the standards and how each skill builds upon the next. These conversations helped teachers and instructional teams become more thoughtful as they moved forward for the remainder of the school year.

In February, the grade level teams met again with the instructional support team.  This time, they utilized a software program called LinkIt!  to assist in analyzing local common formative ELA and math assessments. The teachers were extremely pleased with the ease of use of LinkIt!. They were also impressed with how LinkIt! allowed them to focus on specific standards which students were struggling with and look to address instructional gaps.
Response to Intervention
The West Genesee Response to Intervention plan is a living document that the district continues to adapt and adjust to make sure they are meeting all students’ needs.   During the 2014-15 school year, the West Genesee Response to Intervention team has utilized the RTI Consultation and Support Service  from CNYRIC data coordinators to evolve the Response to Intervention Plan at the middle school level. 

The Response to Intervention team also focused on how data is transferred and analyzed among grade levels and buildings from year to year. With this thought in mind, prior data and documented strategies allow future teachers to continue progress with students and not lose a lot of instructional time trying to assist students with academic concerns.  The instructional support team looked to the student management system, Schooltool. In Schooltool, the instructional team, with support from the CNYRIC Student Services team, created a user defined screen. This screen not only allowed the district to track and monitor student progress, but analyze information to determine the effectiveness of interventions.   During the Feb. 6 RTI PLC meeting, members of the West Genesee Response to Intervention team shared ways in which they are utilizing Schooltool and LinkIt! to organize and share assessment and intervention data within a school and make powerful information more accessible to teachers.
Another adjustment that was made in the current school year was the scheduling of time for ELA and Math coaches to meet monthly with district instructional specialists to analyze best practices and ensure the team has the most up-to-date instructional strategies.  These monthly meetings also have provided the collaboration time to work through various concerns to best support student learning. 

Share Your Success Story
Know a district using data to improve student learning? Are YOU the type of district using data to inform decision-making and improve student outcomes?  Recommend a school district to "Spotlight" so we can recognize and celebrate great work in the area of data-driven instruction!  Contact Lori DeForest at
Phone: 315.433.8300
Visit: 6075 E. Molloy Rd. | Syracuse, NY 13211
Mail: P.O. Box 4866 | Syracuse, NY 13221