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How We Use Data to Improve Our Impact on Student Achievement

 

 

Small group intervention with City Year Detroit AmeriCorps members, who serve as student success coaches, is a vital component of how we help our students at our Detroit Public Schools Community District partner schools thrive. Through a collaborative effort, we look for students testing in the bottom 50% who aren’t receiving other services, do not have an Individualized Education Program, and can benefit from tutoring and mentoring from City Year AmeriCorps members. Then, we place students on focus lists.

We use data every step of the way to accelerate and improve our impact on student achievement. Not only is data used to identify students who can benefit from small group intervention, but data helps us identify where students are excelling and struggling and what skills they should be working on next while they are receiving small group intervention.

Our Impact Analytics Director, Julie Reilly, leads our work to measure and report on impact goals and analyze and evaluate the success of our service model. Julie leverages data to help our City Year AmeriCorps members and Impact Managers plan effective services. We asked Julie questions about her work to help you learn how we are making a difference for students.

 

Our AmeriCorps Members use data to inform their interventions in several ways. These include identifying students who would benefit from small group interventions, personalizing small group interventions to meet the unique needs of each student, monitoring progress with students through data analysis which can result in real-time adjustments, and to collaborate and communicate with school partners.

– Julie Reilly, Impact Analytics Director at City Year Detroit

Tell us about your role at City Year Detroit.

I am the Impact Analytics Director at City Year Detroit. In my role I design initiatives to build a culture of sustainable data collection practices and data fluency, leverage Power Bi and Salesforce to design iterative reports for various stakeholders to communicate City Year’s impact and monitor progress towards goals and analyze and evaluate the success of our whole school whole child service model. 

What’s your why?

After I graduated from Michigan State University, I served with City Year Detroit for two years as an AmeriCorps member and Team Leader. I loved my experience and immediately felt a sense of purpose and a place of belonging. I continue to serve to see a new generation of young folks in service.

How is data used to help students?

At City Year Detroit, we utilize data across the ABCs – attendance, social-emotional learning, and course performance in Math and ELA.

How does data inform the interventions AmeriCorps members use with students?

Our AmeriCorps Members use data to inform their interventions in several ways. These include identifying students who would benefit from small group interventions, personalizing small group interventions to meet the unique needs of each student, monitoring progress with students through data analysis which can result in real-time adjustments, and to collaborate and communicate with school partners.

How are students chosen for focus lists?

Our focus list selection process is a collaborative process that includes the Impact Manager, school administration, and myself. We utilize various data points, including iReady data, course grades, and attendance, to identify students who could benefit from receiving consistent time with City Year AmeriCorps Members to meet specific social, emotional, and academic needs.

How do we assess student improvement?

Student improvement is measured based on local partnerships with DPSCD and AmeriCorps. Academically, we are measuring students’ iReady and course grade improvement. For iReady, we look at students that have met their target growth by end of year – target growth being one year’s worth of growth. We also look at improvement in attendance and social-emotional competencies as evaluated by our local assessment, the DESSA.

How many unique students are being served in small group intervention?

Currently, City Year Detroit AmeriCorps Members are serving 682 unique students in small-group interventions.

How effective are small-group interventions?

Research has shown that small-group interventions can be highly effective in certain contexts. Small group interventions provide more targeted support, focusing on the specific learning needs of students. In smaller groups, students have more opportunities for active engagement and participation which promotes a deeper understanding of the material. Small group interventions can also address the social-emotional needs of a child. By prioritizing relationships, students feel more comfortable expressing themselves with their AmeriCorps members which can positively impact motivation and self-esteem. Also, small group intervention allows for more flexibility and adaptability as we monitor each student’s progress.

Detroit students experienced interruptions in their learning because of the pandemic and can benefit now more than ever from additional support. Small group intervention is part of our evidence-based, holistic Whole School, Whole Child model. We lean into it and the strength of our school and district partnerships to effectively serve students. We see students with the strength and desire to offer so much to the world, and we are helping create the learning environments they need to thrive.

Learn more about our impact here.

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