Data Use PD

The Data Use Professional Development series provides Rhode Island educators with the knowledge, tools, and structures to effectively use data to inform instruction.

In small cohorts of no more than 25 educators, teams from each school and district representatives join together in a year-long, tiered professional development series designed to teach educators how to collaboratively analyze relevant student data to inform educational decisions and increase student achievement outcomes.

In addition to meeting in cohorts, educators will also be provided a data coach that will visit each individual school up to three times throughout the school year to provide on-site, tailored support in using data.

  • Districts asked to finalize training schedule for the 2013-14 School Year
    Districts and schools participating in Data Use Professional Development in the 2013-14 School Year are asked to schedule and confirm the remaining days of training, to take place over the course of the 2013-14 School Year. If you have questions about scheduling, please contact Dan Costello at or 401-222-8938.

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Comprehensive Assessment System (CAS)

The Office of Instruction, Assessment, and Curriculum has released the Comprehensive Assessment System Criteria & Guidance document. This guide provides:

  • a common understanding of the features of a comprehensive assessment system
  • shared language about assessment
  • tools for LEAs to deepen assessment literacy among educators
  • tools for LEAs to use to take inventory of their current assessment system and plan next steps for refining it

Topics addressed by the guide include:

  • purpose of assessment
  • types of assessment
  • considerations for developing and selecting assessments
  • interpreting and communicating data
  • reliability, validity, and fairness

Though specifically aimed at LEA leadership, the guide would also be useful for school administrators, curriculum and assessment directors, and teacher leaders and could serve as a foundation for professional development around assessment.

In addition to the CAS Criteria & Guidance, RIDE has hosted a series of monthly webinars on developing a comprehensive assessment system and other topics related to assessment.

For more information, go to the CAS page.

Interim Assessments

The Interim Assessments project enables districts, schools, and teachers to use and create locally managed interim assessments-a valuable tool to help teachers pinpoint areas of curriculum for which students need additional or adjusted instruction. The Rhode Island interim assessments, which are delivered primarily online, provide rapid turnaround of student results, so that instruction can be changed in real time-a benefit not offered by large-scale, statewide assessments.

The primary purpose of the interim assessments is for instructional planning and monitoring purposes. Districts and schools should consider the role these assessments could have within their comprehensive assessment system when making decisions about how they will be used and if all students will participate. The project includes developing a suite of interim assessments. All assessments will initially assess mathematics and English language arts content in grades 3-11 and science and social studies in the future. All mathematics and English language arts content will be developed using the Common Core State Standards.

State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS)

In 2009, RIDE was awarded a 4.67 million dollar federal grant to build and enhance the state's longitudinal data systems. What this means is that our state has been given the opportunity to connect our information systems from pre-kindergarten through higher education and into the workforce. By following our students through the education pipeline, we can answer many important questions about schools, programs and the impact they have on the students of Rhode Island. This initiative involves the entire state - from the school house to the state house.

Research on Data-Informed Decision Making

  • Study Gives First Look at Data's Impact on Districts:
    Promising results emerge from study of 59 districts – Report of the study [PDF]
  • Data Quality Campaign:
    The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) is a national, collaborative effort to encourage and support state policymakers to improve the availability and use of high-quality education data to improve student achievement. The campaign provides tools and resources that help states implement and use longitudinal data systems, while providing a national forum for reducing duplication of effort and promoting greater coordination and consensus among the organizations focused on improving data quality, access and use.
  • Doing What Works:
    The mission of Doing What Works is to translate research-based practices in practical tools to improve classroom instruction. Learn more about how to use data and impel improvements at the school and classroom levels.

Data Use PD Project Details

  • School Data Leadership Team
    Each school participating in the Data Use Professional Development series will select approximately four educators to learn and implement a culture of collaborative data use.  These four educators will form the School Data Leadership Team (SDLT) and will be critical in implementing and maintaining data-driven instructional practices at the school level.  Principals will be included as members of the SDLT, while the additional three team members will be selected according to specific criteria set forth by each LEA. 

    Guidance [PDF, 130KB] is provided on the selection of a School Data Leadership Team to help districts make decisions should they need assistance. 

  • Principal
    Principals of all schools participating in the Data Use Professional Development have a critical role on the School Data Leadership Team. As the leaders of our schools, principal participation is an essential factor in successful data use and collaboration at the school level.
  • District Data Liaison
    Each district will select at least one person as their district data liaison(s). Data liaisons will own this work at the district level and will be critical to sustaining this work across the districts. For more, please see the District Data Liaison Guidance Document [PDF, 366KB]

Updated 2013-14 School Year Schedule [PDF, 69KB]

Scheduling requests and questions should be directed to Dan Costello,

Overview of Rhode Island’s Data Use Professional Development [PDF, 142KB]

  • Structure:
    • Three-day Initial Training:
      The training will kick off with a three-day intensive institute in which school data leadership team (SDLT) members will build a solid foundation on the analysis and use of student data. Days 1, 2 & 3 will occur in the summer. It should be noted that these training sessions are not three consecutive days. Cohorts will meet for 2 consecutive days and a follow-up day 4-8 days later. Participants will learn foundational data analysis skills, as well as develop an implementation plan for the year.
    • Off-Site Workshops:
      Following the initial 3-day training, SDLT members will attend 3 off-site workshops throughout the school year in their cohort, learning increasingly more advanced data analysis skills and concepts. Prior to convening, SDLT members and District Data Liaisons are given a list of materials and resources to bring to the training sessions, e.g., NECAP item analysis, various formative assessment data.
    • On-Site Coaching:
      Immediately following each off-site workshop, data coaches will visit every school (three times total throughout the year) and help analyze data, facilitate data meetings, and/or coach others on the use of data to inform instruction. Visits should be tailored in advance to ensure that trainings are meaningful, and coaches will develop a plan with principals prior to visiting.
    • Sustainability Planning Workshop:
      The final day of the Data Use Professional Development Series takes place in June and focuses on the sustainability plan that each SDLT developed during the year. This is also an opportunity to share successes with other stakeholders, as well as collaborate for next year’s continuation of data use best practices at the district and school level.
  • Cohorts
    School Data Leadership Teams will belong to a cohort of local schools with similar needs. Cohorts will typically contain no more than five SDLTs and will learn together for the initial 3-day training, off-site workshops, and the sustainability planning workshop. Each cohort will be assigned one Data Analysis Coach that will stay with the cohort for the remainder of the year.

    District Data Liaisons will be invited to join a cohort for the entirety of the professional development series. In addition, they may also choose to sit in at various times in several cohorts within their district.

    Cohorts will typically have no more than 25 educators participating (i.e. up to five SDLTs with four educators each, plus one or more district data liaisons).

Amplify, formerly Wireless Generation, was selected to develop and deliver the Data Use Professional Development series with RIDE. Using Rhode Island educator feedback and specific data on each district and its schools will allow RIDE and Amplify to develop the most appropriate professional development offerings for Rhode Island schools. In partnership with RIDE, Amplify will deliver a rigorous, tiered professional development series on the use of data.

Frequently Asked Questions

The scheduling process is completed initially via email between the District Data Liaison and the Data Use Professional Development Project Manager Dan Costello. Districts have been tentatively scheduled for specific dates which are shared via email with District Data Liaisons. We encourage Data Liaisons to share the dates with participating principals to confirm the availability of School Data Leadership Team members. District Data Liaisons may then confirm the dates, or if a conflict arises, contact Dan Costello to reschedule. Because the schedule fills up quickly, District Data Liaisons are encouraged to begin the confirmation process early so that RIDE and Wireless Generation can accommodate the scheduling needs of the district.
Any materials from the training, including PowerPoint presentations, turnkey materials, and additional resources are available electronically from the Data Analysis Coaches.
No. The training is designed to flexible so that districts and schools are able to implement the work of the Data Use Professional Development Series in a variety of ways. Part of the initial 3-day training asked District Data Liaisons and School Data Leadership Teams to plan for implementation back at each school building, including how and when to turnkey the materials with other teachers. Amplify’s Taking Action with Data methodology teaches educators a data source neutral process to use data to inform instruction, thus allowing educators to access different data sources in their analyses.
The training content has been customized to meet Rhode Island educators’ diverse needs. Using the results from the needs assessments, focus groups, and multiple conversations with LEA stakeholders, we have designed the training for Rhode Island educators. Although the content of the training is finalized before the trainings begin, Data Coaches are able to differentiate the delivery of the materials to meet the needs of cohorts, altering the pace, work time, and conversations as needed. Additionally, the Data Coaches will customize the on-site coaching visits to meet the needs of each school, conferring with the School Data Leadership Team before the visit to maximize time together.
There are many data sources available publicly on RIDE’s Rhode Island Education Data website. Click here to view different data sources, including: l Additionally, visit the Information & Accountability main page to learn more about other user-friendly data sources in Rhode Island.
The Data Use Professional Development series is funded through RTTT.

Every building principal will be a member of the School Data Leadership Team (SDLT).  Principals will be joined by three building educators to form a team of four.  At least one of the three building educators should have a flexible schedule and therefore RIDE recommends that one member of the team not be a classroom teacher.  Educators who are passionate about collaboration and school improvement are great candidates for the School Data Leadership Team. Guidance is provided to districts and principals on putting together an effective SDLT.  See the Resources tab.

By investing in educators at the district and school level and putting structures in place during the year of professional development, schools will be better prepared to maintain the culture of collaboration and data use. Additionally, the last professional development offering of the year, the Sustainability Planning Workshop, is dedicated to creating sustainability plans so that the culture and practices of data use continues in subsequent years.
The training will be tiered to meet the needs of all levels of participants. The Data Use Professional Development Series is designed to meet all participants at their current levels to maximize learning and success of implementation. Using the results of the self-assessments completed by each building principal, each School Data Leadership Team (SDLT) is assigned to an appropriate tier of training. The SDLT will join other schools with similar needs in a cohort to ensure that the needs of all data users are being met while participating in the professional development series.
Districts participating in the 2013-14 School Year should identify a District Data Liaison. Data liaisons will own this work at the district level and will be critical to sustaining this work across districts. (Note – for larger districts, there may be more than one District Data Liaison selected.) Additionally, districts should consider whether they have adequate space available at the district or school level to accommodate the trainings for the professional development series. Please see the following question for a description of the space required. 

If you are unsure of your district’s plan for implementing the Data Use PD Series, please contact Lindsay Wepman for more information. 

If you have questions or concerns about training dates, we encourage you to contact Dan Costello as soon as possible so we may accommodate your needs.
The majority of the Data Use Professional Development offerings will take place at a centralized location, preferably at the district level.  Some schools may also have adequate training space on location if a room is not available at the district level.  The 3-day intensive institute, the “just-in-time” professional development workshops, and the planning/reflection workshop will all be held at a designated space with the following characteristics:
  • Capacity for 25 participants plus one trainer
  • At least six tables with adult-sized chairs
  • 1 table for trainer’s equipment, with access to electrical outlet and/or a power strip
  • LCD projector and screen
  • Working Internet access
  • Restrooms
  • A contact person from the location responsible for receiving, storing, and delivering all training materials to the room for each session
During the on-site visits, Data Analysis Coaches will visit each school in his/her cohort individually three times throughout the school year to facilitate data meetings, provide individual coaching, and/or assist with collecting/analyzing data with the School Data Leadership Team.
The Data Analysis Coaches are all educators, including classroom teachers, principals, and professional development facilitators. Combined, their professional experiences come from Rhode Island and nationally. Amplify provides rigorous training and ongoing support to all its coaches. Data Analysis Coaches are passionate about working with fellow educators to increase student achievement.
School Data Leadership Team Webinar - Webinar Recording
District Data Liaison Webinar - Webinar Recording
District Data Liaison Webinar - Webinar Recording

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