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Shelby County School Board: Digital data boards help track students

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Electronic forms compile every-growing information

By Todd Martin

The Shelby County Board of Education rang in the New Year with its first meeting of 2012 on Thursday.

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The board opened by electing Eddie Mathis as its new chairman and Doug Butler as the vice chairman. After that and some recognition in honor of National School Board Month, the board quickly was down to work.

The staff opened with a report on data boards, which are often discussed during meetings, especially those that involve test scores.

Data boards have advanced from actual boards with students’ scores placed within ranking systems – so teachers and principals could track those below, on and above grade level in state- or district-wide testing – to the digital form they are now.

The boards are spreadsheet-type documents that can sort, manage and maintain large databases of information.

Simpsonville Principal Jill Tingle compared an old, teacher-and-principal-constructed board to the new advanced digital boards for the board members.

“They’ve progressed so much now that we can search by tests, level, gender, race, and we can take it all the way down the individual students,” she said.

The boards continue to hold more and more data as the district remains committed to MAP, Measures of Academic Progress, and other tests.

The new accountability tests will be included to the boards, as is the former KCCT results.

At the high school level, the boards include MAP and KCCT along with ACT, PLAN and Explore tests.

“We actually have teachers entering data and using the boards to track their daily work,” Shelby County High School Principal Eddie Oakley said.

The boards also are used to go through and analyze data to help students with intervention and enrichment. Intervention programs help students who are behind, and the data boards help teachers evaluate in which subjects students are struggling and how their efforts are helping.

Enrichment is for students who continue to excel but need to be pushed, and data boards also help follow that extra work.

With more and more information being stored, and with the boards now in their third year as digital pieces, Chief Academic Officer/Deputy Superintendent Lisa Smith said the boards just keep getting better.

“You’re seeing information go from school to school, now,” she said, “and that’s big for those students starting sixth grade or eighth grade. We’re one of very few districts that you’ll see using data boards from K through twelve.”

Board meeting

The board approved the calendar for the year’s district meetings. The meetings are scheduled for the district offices, 1155 Main Street, and 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

·       Jan. 26 at Clear Creek Elementary

·       Feb. 9 at West Middle

·       Feb. 23

·       March 8 at Southside Elementary

·       March 22

·       April 19

·       May 10 at East Middle

·       May 24

·       June 14

·       June 28

·       July 12

·       July 26

·       Aug. 9

·       Aug. 23 at Collins High School with a dinner/recognition for Governor’s Scholars

·       Sept. 13  at Simpsonville Elementary

·       Sept. 27

·       Oct. 11

·       Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. to hear four school reports

·       Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. to hear four school reports

·       Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. to hear four school reports

·       Nov. 15

·       Dec. 13

Also at the meeting, the board:

·       Received a framed copy of the Viewpoints poster of windows of the county from the district and the Shelby Development Corporation, and a $350 donation made in the board’s honor to the Shelby County Backpack Project in recognition of National School Board Recognition Month.

·       Appointed Eddie Mathis chair and Doug Butler vice chair for the finance committee, during the Finance Corporation meeting.

·       Approved the 2012-14 School Facilities Construction Commission offer assistance.

·       Recognized Karin Ceralde and Julie Webb of Shelby County High School, Molly Davie and Heather Fallen of Painted Stone Elementary, Kimberly Lewis of Wright Elementary and Amy Vest of Southside Elementary for earning their National Board Certifications.