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Assess System

Improved outcomes for all learners is achieved when district systems are effective and efficient. Regular self-assessment helps districts focus on areas for growth.

Why do district implementation teams gather data from every school in their district?

District implementation teams gather data to gauge the extent to which practices and key system features are in place and used as intended district-wide. By assessing implementation, districts examine connections between adult behavior and learner outcomes across their district. Teams strategically use data across all district schools to analyze system self-assessments, staff perception assessments, and student outcome data to find gaps and needs from school to school.

District leadership teams ensure goals and vision

District leadership teams are responsible for ensuring schools tie their goals and vision to the district goals and vision when developing their systems. Specifically, district leadership teams assist by:

  • Helping schools understand and communicate the district’s vision and guidance for system self-assessments,
  • providing time for schools to take their assessments, analyze their data, and action plan, and
  • informing schools of the process for reporting system self-assessment data back to the district.

Assessing and guiding implementation

Implementation research shows that districts only realize improved outcomes when evidence-based practices are implemented fully across the system with fidelity (used as intended). The goal for districts is to reach full implementation (fidelity) in each school.

In implementation science, fidelity is the top point to reach and sustain (full implementation). Assessments inform teams if they’ve reached full implementation by gauging if everyone at every school:

  1. knows what to do,
  2. is trained in what to do, and
  3. a coaching model is in place to ensure they are implementing with accuracy.

Sustainability is much more likely when these competency drivers are in place and assessed each year. Here’s an overview of assessments used to gauge system implementation in Wisconsin.

Assessing helps teams understand supports

Assessment data gives districts the tools needed to discover how they can grow and improve. Assessing reveals:

  • what adults are doing to improve the overall system (helps with allocation of support and action planning),
  • where budget and additional staff allocations are required (ongoing learning and capacity development), and
  • policies that are creating inequitable access or opportunity.

Districts across Wisconsin have improved outcomes through strategic action planning and data use. It’s important to have continuous communication between districts and schools to support policy and practices that develop equitable outcomes for students.

Assessing guides continuous improvement

The district leadership team ensures schools in their district are implementing at fidelity by strategically using data. This includes, analyzing the data to see if all schools:

  • Understand and communicate the district’s vision and goals,
  • take their system self-assessments,
  • implement at fidelity,
  • analyze system and student data side-by-side for long-term action planning,
  • consistently use a coaching model,
  • create opportunities for successful student outcomes,
  • close gaps for marginalized learners, and
  • utilize high-quality curriculum and overall practices that equitably addresses needs for all learners district-wide.

Wisconsin systems vary in size; one size or one way does not fit all

Wisconsin communities are unique and school districts’ needs and sizes vary. In small communities and districts across our state, school leadership teams and district leadership teams may be the same team. In this instance, they are going to look at data much differently than a medium to larger district with multiple schools at the same grade level. It is important to understand the unique opportunities and challenges of district size.

Regardless of size, all school districts need cascading communication up and down the feedback loop so all stakeholders understand what is happening and what supports are still needed. Assessment data guides those communications and action steps.

Successful district-level teams ensure schools take their system self-assessments every year

By ensuring all district schools take academic and behavior assessments in the spring, the district-level team can action plan for the next school year and set up benchmarks.

We have a library of system-self assessment resources below and you can contact your Regional Technical Assistance Coordinator for guidance.

Key Resources For Assess System