Progress Monitoring for Continuous Improvement: Utilizing Data from WIDA SIS

November 6, 2019 | Categories: Essa , Local Education Agency , State Education Agency , Wida

According to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), schools that have been identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) and Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) need to conduct a Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) followed by evidence-based interventions. As many, if not most, of these schools have completed that initial process as of today, they are now in the position to evaluate their initiatives to support their ongoing work. In other words, they are engaging in progress monitoring to promote continuous improvement. 

ESSA requires information on the CNA and school improvement plan to be broken down into identified groups of students including English Learners (ELs)

If, as part of its CNA, a school has implemented a program that focuses on enhancing learning for ELs, they now have the opportunity to evaluate that program to determine efficacy and make adjustments accordingly. These adjustments could be programmatic or practice-based, and by conducting such an evaluation, school and district leaders can determine a root cause and identify target areas for improvement. The WIDA School Improvement System (WIDA SIS) is designed to do just that.

What is WIDA SIS?

The WIDA School Improvement System (WIDA SIS) is an online school-wide leadership assessment and feedback system that supports leadership for the teaching of English Learners (ELs). Rather than focus on an individual school leader, WIDA SIS utilizes a multi-source comprehensive survey to assess core leadership practices that are distributed across the school building. Upon completion of the survey, users receive immediate targeted data and feedback designed to support school improvement and professional growth focused on teaching and supporting ELs.

Using WIDA SIS to Evaluate Programs

School leaders can use WIDA SIS to assess various programs, activities, and practices that focus on the needs of ELs:

A sample data block from the WIDA SIS reporting system. The reporting system identifies Areas of Strength and Improvement Needs for each school.

The WIDA SIS reporting system allows school and district leaders to drill down to specific item-level data in order to identify key practices on which to focus.

Using WIDA SIS for Progress Monitoring

After an initial WIDA SIS implementation, followed by implementing changes to programs and practices, school leaders can re-administer WIDA SIS to measure progress over time. In the example below, a school has administered WIDA SIS, implemented changes in practices as necessary, and re-administered WIDA SIS to determine change in the practices or programs on which they focused.

School leaders that implement WIDA SIS over time can measure progress within this cluster view feature. The color-coded cells show how a school has progressed (or not) in any of the various areas measured in WIDA SIS

Schools identified as CSI and TSI schools have many demands placed on them, to be sure. While they certainly would rather not have these designations, they can use them as an opportunity to do meaningful and innovative work. WIDA SIS helps schools in this position move beyond compliance to enhance teaching of ELs and school improvement planning.