More than just homework: using data to take learning beyond school hours
When most people think of learning outside of the classroom, they think of homework. They think of the time spent struggling to solve a certain math problem or having to read a certain number of chapters a night.
But what if it could be more? More beneficial for students. More fit for individual needs. More fun than homework.
Metro Schools is collaborating with the incredible Nashville After Zone Alliance (NAZA) to take after-school programs to the next level. Together, we’re focusing on extended learning that targets each student’s needs. This collaboration is an innovative practice, and it shows that positive changes can happen when two different learning institutions collaborate.
What does that mean?
Metro teachers and principals use student data to gain insight into each student’s needs and tailor instruction to them. We’re also sharing some of that insight with NAZA so they can continue the learning process and give students the right supports after school. It’s a partnership that uses school data to figure out what types of after-school programs are the right fit for different children.
How does it work?
Metro Schools has given NAZA staff limited access to information about students, including information about school attendance, their behavior in school and their grades and coursework.
Limited access means that only certain people who work for NAZA are allowed to view certain information about students based on the role they have in the after-school program. For instance, a math tutor would have access to a student’s math grades and reading tutors would be able to see the reading level of students in their program. Only the data needed by NAZA staff is shared.
NAZA also shares the data and knowledge they learn with the students’ schools. This includes which students are participating in which programs.
So, how is this helping?
- It’s more beneficial for students.
It aligns with Dr. Joseph’s goal of matching students with interventions that fit their specific needs. Through this type of partnership, Metro Schools and NAZA can focus more on what students need instead of just offering a one-size-fits-all program.
- It’s more fit for individual needs.
School staff have access to the afterschool program enrollment information. This gives them the chance to suggest programs for certain children based on each child’s specific needs.
- It’s more fun than homework.
NAZA offers small group tutoring, interactive activities, sports, art, fitness activities and so much more. The programs are structured to help students build self-confidence, develop leadership and social skills, meet new friends and further enrich their lives.