"Things get done only if the data we gather can inform and inspire those in a position to make [a] difference.” – Mike Schmoker, former school administrator, teacher and coach, author
One of the key ways that schools put our theoretical model into practice is to use data to implement, evaluate and continuously improve their efforts at building a college-going culture. Therefore, we provide our schools with customized and comprehensive data reports that include state assessment scores, high school graduation and college enrollment rates, survey data from students, parents and educators on beliefs and behaviors about postsecondary education and more.
Schools use this information to assess their progress and identify continued needs. "You can’t get to where you want to go unless you know where you’re at," said Jennica Vincent, Research & Evaluation Specialist for Oregon GEAR UP. "Collecting data is just one step in the process of reaching educational goals – it allows us to measure progress toward specific objectives that feed into larger, loftier goals. By sharing findings and conclusions, we start a conversation around our shared goals, one that says 'we’re listening, we’re invested in your success, here’s what we’ve heard, and here’s how we’re trying to help'."
Sharing Data with Educators
- GEAR UP Meetings: The GEAR UP Team at each school (which may include administrators, counselors, teachers and other key school staff) reviews data during site visits with GEAR UP staff as well at the annual SUCCESS Retreat.
- Staff Meetings: Schools utilize staff meetings as well as time during departmental Professional Learning Communities to go over key data points as a staff.
- Staff Retreats: Myrtle Point Junior/Senior High School's annual staff retreat provides dedicated time for all staff to explore data and go over the goals of GEAR UP before the school year starts.
Sharing Data with Families & Community
- Family Events: Camas Valley Charter School provided one-page handouts (see photo above) with key survey results to attendees of their annual Academic Awards Night to spur awareness and discussion among parents. Sharing these insights meshed well with the event which is “an opportunity to increase exposure and excitement around academics," said superintendent Patrick Lee. "We are working to create a community that values a high level of academic achievement and celebrating those who are succeeding in this area is a key way to build community and school support for this idea.”
- Newspaper Articles: Ponderosa Middle School shared their survey results with the local paper, highlighting the goals of GEAR UP and the high aspirations of students in the community. "We are working on getting as many positive articles in the local paper as possible," said Jennifer Hodges, GEAR UP coordinator.