Using Tableau, they created a series of dashboards for tracking and reporting learning activities. The first dashboard took in results from a district-wide survey that checked on each student and their family, with the purpose of detecting and remedying specific needs. Using reports from this dashboard, the district could take necessary action right away. If devices weren't working, the district could send out new ones. If a family lacked wi-fi access, they could get their own hot spot. If they had nutritional or medical needs, the El Paso ISD food services could be dispatched, and school nurses could conduct telehealth sessions. In cases where households couldn't be reached for the survey, truancy officers could investigate to make sure the students were healthy, safe, and able to continue to learn.
Next, it was important to make sure learning participation rates were as close to 100% as possible. Additional dashboards took in data from Schoology, the district's remote learning platform, and TEAMS, its student information system (SIS). Viewing data at the district and school levels, and then filtering it down to specific populations or individual students, made it easy to quickly identify students at risk and report each case to the relevant principal or teacher.
“Having the dashboards, and being able to quickly export customized reports, meant we could readily engage school administrators,” said Steve Clay, Executive Director of Analytics, Strategy, Assessment, and public education information management systems (PEIMS) for El Paso ISD. “As soon as we noticed problematic numbers, we could hand them a list of students and say: Here are the ones who aren't engaging—what's your plan, what haven't you tried yet, and how can we get you some help?”
This granular level of reporting became even more essential when the Texas Education Agency (TEA) stipulated in early May that all school districts must report student engagement metrics throughout the pandemic. Because of its work in Tableau, El Paso ISD already had the data to meet TEA guidelines and readily reported its progress on strengthening learning participation according to the agency's crisis codes: Engaged, Not Engaged, and Not Contactable.
In addition, the district could show vast improvements on other metrics, such as invalid grade reporting due to the lag in training on new COVID-era, participation-based grading systems. At the start of their reporting, the district showed more than 20% of grades in TEAMS as being mismatched with the most recent guidelines, affecting more than half of all students. Using this data, administrators directly contacted and coached the teachers with impacted students, and within a few weeks they reduced the invalid grades to 1.9% impacting only 7.7% of all students, with the trend continuing to improve toward 100% valid.