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Rufus King International Middle School Hosts Third Annual Whole School Data Chats

It is the beginning of the second semester for our students here at Rufus King International Middle School. Grades for the previous semester have closed, updated schedules have been handed out and it’s time for a fresh start. Students are looking to re-center on their goals, get focused and get motivated. City Year is here to help them do that in the best way we know how: data chats!

City Year AmeriCorps member working one-on-one with student.
City Year Milwaukee AmeriCorps member, Niko, setting goals with a middle school student.

Data chats are a time when City Year Milwaukee AmeriCorps members sit down with students to talk about their attendance, grades and Standardized Test for Assessment of Reading (STAR) scores. It’s also a time for students to reflect on what went well last semester, what areas they can continue to grow in, and what they need to do to reach their goals. Each student gets to sit down with a City Year member one-on-one and talk for about 10 minutes. During this time, students get our undivided attention as we talk about what they want to accomplish these last couple of months of the school year.

City Year AmeriCorps members working one-on-one with students
City Year Milwaukee AmeriCorps member, Victoria, and Senior AmeriCorps member, Fernie, participating in data chats.

Preparing for data chats was a team effort. Our team had to collect data to chat about for almost 500 students. That means 500 attendance records, 500 STAR scores and 500 report cards. Then it all had to be sorted into 500 folders. It was quite the process. Luckily, our amazing Impact Manger, Sarah, made a to-do-list to keep us all on track. The work was tedious and many paper cuts later, I was starting to get annoyed, but after seeing the impact data chats would have on our students, I knew it was worth it.

Here is an interview I had with two students after they had their data chats:

How many Data Chats have you had, was this your first one?

Student A: This was my third one. I had two with you and the one on Friday.
Student B: It was my first data chat.

What was it like?

Student A: It was weird talking about my grades but I liked it and it was fun meeting new City Year people.
Student B: It was nice. I liked talking about my grades, what I’m good at and what I need to work on. I liked meeting new City Year.

Was it helpful to you at all?

Student A: Yes, I plan on working on the goal I made to get 700 on the STAR Test.
Student B: Yes. I’m good at English, science and social studies but I need to work on math. I would like another data chat.

Article by Evelyn Wegner, City Year Milwaukee AmeriCorps member

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