At IRIE we are committed to supporting districts and schools in their efforts to use information to make decisions regarding student achievement with an underlying belief in equity and diversity. We individualize our services based on the needs and resources of districts with whom we work. When possible, we encourage the sharing of best and promising practices among schools and districts in order to be more efficient in providing services.

Data Team Support

The IRIE offers data services that include working with districts to establish and facilitate district and school based data teams as a means of improving teaching and learning. Support includes providing technical and strategic methods of using data to undertake district and school level strategic planning.

Trainings on Data Tools

Trainings for data teams and administrators, coaches or teachers include training in the use of the Massachusetts Department of Education Data Warehouse along with creating district, school or student level reports using the EDW. As well, training in use of the District Data Team toolkit to facilitate planning and use of data for decision making is offered. Training on using the District Analysis Review Tool (DART) and Financial and Staffing DART Tools is also offered.

Assistance to districts regarding use of assessments includes providing analysis of local assessments to determine reliability and validity based on district use, mapping local assessments with MCAS and evaluating off-the-shelf assessments for particular district use.

District data assistance includes both broad programmatic evaluation and statistical analysis along with individual student data analysis. We create reports to present analytic results at both the program and individual student levels, such as creating individual student profiles using both assessment and non-assessment data. Drill through MCAS analysis includes CPI, Growth, AYP and item and strand analysis.

Data management assistance is provided with the goal of creating an interface between local data such as SIMS, EPIMPS and local assessment data and MCAS for ease of data accessibility and facilitiy, including support with the School Interoperability Framework (SIF) implementation to become vertically and horizontally integrated.

Learning Walkthroughs

IRIE offers Learning Walkthrough facilitation and training for district and school based teams including training on using the data collected during the Walkthrough to affect teaching and learning. Learning Walkthroughs are a systematic and coordinated method of gathering data to inform district-and school-level decision making. The resulting insight can help clarify and focus the work needed to help all students achieve at their fullest potential.

Technical Assistance

IRIE staff provides technical assistance to districts and schools aiming to improve student achievement that includes working with staff responding to state accountability reviews. Assistance includes support for leadership aiming to improve school culture, bolster the academic programming offered students, and using data to identify needs and to demonstrate projected improvement. Assistance also includes supporting teachers through use of targeted professional development and ongoing support via facilitation of professional learning communities. Data are used to help identify needs and to measure outcomes as well as a professional development vehicle in itself.

Pioneer Valley District and School Assistance Center (DSAC) Support

Housed at the LPVEC is one of six District and School Assistance Centers (DSACs) in Massachusetts. Data support and support facilitation is partially provided via IRIE staff. Services offered via the DSAC include data services, use of school reform tools such as the Conditions for School Effectiveness Self-Assessment, Learning Walkthroughs and Professional Learning Communities. The DSAC collaborates with districts to assess their strengths and needs, facilitate access to resources and professional development, establish partnerships and networks, and deliver individualized assistance for the region’s districts. DSACs work in partnership with organizations participating in the Executive Office of Education’s Readiness Center Initiative in each of the state’s geographic regions.

Pioneer Valley DSAC Website

IRIE’s Data and Technical Assistance Goals for FY2012

The overall goal is to be on the cutting edge in the use of technological and data tools and use of data to support districts and schools in their efforts to improve student achievement.

Priorities to meet this goal include:

  • Continue to build internal capacity to support current services offered

  • Strengthen use of School Reform Tools such as facilitation of professional learning communities (PLCs), school schedule planning for better use of student learning and teacher planning time, and to support the High School reform initiative as it rolls out in Massachusetts

  • Integrate Data Practices with Online Coursework to reach a wider audience and to provide ongoing professional development throughout the school year

  • Continue to build regional capacity to disseminate successful practices, tools and strategies to districts and schools

  • Aggressively seek out external funding sources to support existing services and build capacity