Friday, February 1, 2013

Knowledge is power

One of my biggest goals this year has been to ensure that people have the information they need, when they need it in the form that they find usable. We've made some great steps forward using Excel to re-package a lot of the information held by our Student Information service (and held is the operative word -- it's locked in there quick tightly). Faculty have been able to use the information to involve students and parents more in day-to-day student life, academics and co-curriculars. And they've been doing a lot more analysis on formative and summative grades to find patterns, differentiate instruction and improve assessments.

Another big step is redesigning Sharepoint to make certain that information is stored and presented in an organized way. Over the years, Sharepoint has grown in a haphazard way and users haven't really been made aware of how they can control their experience with the tools built in to it. Admittedly, it's not the most user-friendly system but with a little support folks have been able to make the experience more agreeable to both them and their students.

We've also been fortunate to have an amazing Sharepoint programmer available to us. He's developed a number of apps for faculty, students and parents that is opening up the School to our community in ways that invite even greater participation. People now know more and more about what's happening at school, when and how -- and immediately who to contact if there's an issue. And as a marker of our success? A meeting today with our Guidance Department on our new Student Success Portal: "I'm never sure, CA, if you're joking about what's possible -- until you show us it's all ready for us to use it."
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