#FutureFriday: 2 Terrific Types of School Data Meetings

Today on #FutureFriday we talk making school data meetings more productive and meaningful. Walk away with two great meeting formats - the "District Data Flyover" and the "Deep Data Dive".

Today on FutureFriday I’m joined again by Nichelle Tolbard – techie and teacher – and since we are closing in on the end of this school year, it’s a great chance to talk about great ways to use EOY data we’ve been collecting all year. 

Our essential question for today: how can we make our data meetings more productive and meaningful?

Today we are going to give you some tactical advice about how to frame and execute data meetings - and we’re going to give you TWO AWESOME DATA MEETING FORMATS to use to derive two very powerful but very different effects, depending on what your needs are.

Now, there’s a prerequisite for this – which is that you’ve found a way to capture and represent your data. This is why we’ve been recommending Data Visualization so strongly.

Nichelle: One of the most important reasons is because you really want more than just assessment data. You want holistic data if you can get it, attendance, discipline, student growth numbers, etc. Data visualization can get you there. To know more about this, check out this previous FutureFriday to learn more about that.

It’ll make your data meetings far more productive.

Tre: So whether you are using a Data Visualization platform or not, let’s say you’ve got your data in hand, now what to do with it?  The two different meetings we’ll talk about today are: 1) The District Data Flyover and 2) The (3D) Data Deep Dive.



I love the District Data Flyover, because I’m the kind of person who loves going to the buffet, I get to have a little bit of everything. Here’s how it works.

This meeting happens twice a year, tops, because you want to get a good critical mass of data collected. Midterm and EOY time.

  • Assemble team of leaders and stakeholders
  • Move briskly through data – in OnCourse Analytics these are called “Data Cards” (behavior, assessment, grades, etc.) – and look for lightbulb moments, outliers, anomalies, spikes, what have you.
  • As lightbulbs pop from your committee members, collect the insights/questions/concerns on breakout cards and move on quickly
  • Conclude by dealing out the cards for individuals/sub-committees
    to explore and plan remediation
  • Re-convene maybe a month later before school year ends; create strategic initiatives
  • Look at the results, determine what’s a real, serious issue. How do we prioritize?

Creating the initiatives gives you essentially a scorecard which you can use in the coming school year to evaluate your progress. 

So the District Flyover is an REVELATORY methodology seeking QUESTIONS, and what Nichelle is going to share with you is EXPLORATORY, which seeks ANSWERS.



This meeting starts with a question “Why is a group of the same teachers with the same students in their classes, consistently getting scored low on similar domains during teacher evaluations?” And ends with an answer that is derived from intense research through the school’s data. Here’s how it looks.

  • Chief administrator identifies a mission-critical issue within the school staff, students, operations, etc.
  • Staff is broken into subcommittees to investigate specific portions of the over-arching topic: attendance, behavior, grades, etc.
  • Investigation digs as deeply into the data and the discussion allows
  • If using this meeting structure in a K-8 or K-12 school, it is recommended to group staff members in like grade levels (primary, middle, secondary)
  • Encourage group members to explore all differentiators: classifications, behavior, changes in enrollment, socio-economic variables
  • The goal is to reach an answer by the end of the meeting, and create an action plan, or at the very least a follow-up plan

Thank you for watching another episode of FutureFriday. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog, and we will see you again next time!

If you’d like to know more about data visualization with OnCourse Analytics and how it could impact your K12 school district, then click the link below to see what it’s all about.

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