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To whom do you compare?

In recent conversations among our School Perceptions staff, we’ve focused on how our customers can benefit from longitudinal data tracking.

Context is important when analyzing data, and longitudinal reporting is just one (but one very important!) way we can provide that context: helping you track how far you’ve come and to plan for future goals.

The first year a survey is implemented provides a great starting point because it helps you answer the question, “How do we compare?”

Our comparison reports help identify strengths and weaknesses by contrasting a district’s/school’s scores with other schools, presented as a percentile ranking. This detailed report is provided in spreadsheet format and is great for in-depth analysis by an administrative team as they make important planning decisions.

The following year, after a district has had time to implement plans for improvement, they will often choose to repeat their survey. In addition to measuring how you compare, this also gives you the chance to answer the next logical question, “How far have we come?”

Our longitudinal report is presented in a similar format to our comparison report but in this case measures a district’s progress year-over-year, first within indexes (more about those below) and then by individual questions.

Often, you will want to share your results and progress with staff and parents as well. With that in mind, we’ve developed a new reporting option – the executive summary report. This high-level, one-page summary has the flexibility to present results within the context of similar school comparisons and longitudinally.

It’s a quick but informative snapshot of strengths, areas for improvement, and the degree and trajectory of scores over time.

In the example below, you can see these scores are first presented by index, i.e., the aggregate score generated by questions within a theme. For staff, indexes include Academics, Engagement, Support, Student Experience, and Staff Experience. You can see in the image that our sample district showed improvement in the first three indexes.

The report then goes a little deeper by providing the top three and bottom three individual item (question) scores. This can be ordered by comparison ranking or, like in the example below, a district may be more interested in sharing their top and bottom three items based on level of change over the previous year.

Our favorite part about this new report is that it’s simple, yet packed with information, and perfect for sharing with your entire school community.

We’ve learned that meaningful school improvement is not just a one-time effort. Instead, it’s a long-term journey. Data tracking over time is a great resource to help guide your leadership team as you work to make the best decisions possible for your students.

If you are interested in learning more about data collection or new executive summary report, give us a call at 262.644.4300.


The School Perceptions Blog and Resource Center features the voices of our team members. This post was written by Cari Udermann, Project Implementation Manager.


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