Districts Rave about 'Student Story,' New Way to View Holistic Student Growth

Educators can now view the full spectrum of a student's academic and social-emotional growth on a single dashboard, thanks to a new tool called Student Story. 

Building data-informed schools is notoriously difficult to do, but a breakthrough in Fall of 2021 may finally make this process easier.

Dr. Thomas D’Elia of Belleville Public Schools was among the first to pilot a new technology known as Student Story, a self-updating dashboard that puts twenty different aspects of a student’s academic and social-emotional progress on one screen.


Early reviews from staff have been overwhelmingly positive. “We have finally arrived at a one-stop-shop of all the data that we collect on our students,” says D’Elia.

How Academic and "Whole Child" Data Come Together

Dr. D’Elia sought to bridge a chasm that has long frustrated school districts: the need to corral an avalanche of data from different academic measures, while still understanding the vivid and human story of each individual student.

“We want to start and finish with the needs of individual students,” says D’Elia.

To solve this challenge, D’Elia joined several other districts in a co-development project with OnCourse Systems for Education. He emphasized that OnCourse would need to solve what was previously unsolvable: radical efficiency.

“We wanted, in two clicks, to get to know everything about each student.” He stressed the need to transcend traditional data warehousing limitations, which traffic primarily in summative and benchmark test results, to also include a range of social-emotional indicators.

In Fall 2021, OnCourse revealed the results of this work, a new technology called Student Story. In a sneak peek on October 21st, leaders from several districts gave rave early reviews. “This is beautiful.” “I love all this information in one place.” “Amazing.”

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How OnCourse's Student Story Works

On a single dashboard, Student Story brings a diverse range of data points together, like a student's progress toward mastery of grade-level standards, whether they are chronically absent, in an intervention, have parents reviewing their work, etc. Maybe the biggest innovation, however, is that the Student Story largely updates itself, a complete game-changer in the world of ed-tech. (Watch a 3 minute demonstration).

OnCourse CEO Chris Contini promises that Student Story will continue to add new vectors of student progress, but acknowledges that the biggest impacts flow to districts that commit to bringing their systems together onto one platform.

“The traditional approach, where districts purchase a collection of disconnected software products, is no longer a great fit for the interconnected world we live in today. This is especially true for data warehouses products, which tend to become shelfware quickly because they are not well-integrated into what educators do every day. Districts realize now that waiting around to have their data warehouses updated is not a recipe for success," says Contini. "OnCourse’s Student Story finally solves those issues.”

This technology is free to districts that use the OnCourse Student Information System. However, the Student Story grows richer as districts integrate more OnCourse instructional tools, like the Classroom LMS, Assessment, or Multiple Measures modules.

“OnCourse all-in-one districts can watch student grow across formative, benchmark, and summative measures, while also being aware of all the other things happening in that child's life. Designing effective interventions will become much more efficient."

Click to see a 3-minute demo of the Student Story, or sign up for a November 18th webinar on the OnCourse SIS.

To schedule a demonstration for your school district, e-mail us at info@oncoursesystems.com.

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