In September of 2019 we introduced a new partnership with Perris Union High School District and explored the vision and goals guiding their data journey. Now as Perris Union HSD begins implementing the Hoonuit platform across its schools, Kerry Bobbitt, Student Information Systems Coordinator, shares how they are utilizing Hoonuit’s data science experts, which key metrics they have begun focusing on, and their plan to create a strong data culture through site-level data teams.
“The implementation process with Hoonuit has been very comprehensive. It’s been a great team to work with. We feel like they are really striving to understand our needs and tailoring the data warehouse to meet those needs.”— Kerry Bobbitt, Student Information Systems Coordinator at PUHSD
Perris Union HSD is Building Site-Level Data Teams to Lead Data-Drive Decision Making
Perris Union HSD has spent the last several years investing in data-driven solutions capable of providing educators and administrators with the actionable information they need to make meaningful progress toward district goals. That journey led them to a partnership with Hoonuit as they look to take their data culture and capabilities to the next level. “We’ve been making a heavy push toward a data-driven decision-making model. With Hoonuit we’ll be pushing even harder because it’s just too important to ignore,” said Kerry Bobbitt, Student Information Systems Coordinator at PUHSD.
To date, Hoonuit’s data and analytics platform has been introduced broadly to district leaders. “All of our principals have been exposed to it as well as the assistant principals. Members of our classified support staff have also been exploring the platform. The reactions have been universally positive. The Hoonuit platform has really given us a lot of flexibility that we didn’t have before. Our team loves the ability to create custom groups and analyze how students are doing across many different areas. It’s given us a lot of different angles to look at student information from,” says Bobbitt.
Leveraging Hoonuit’s Data Expertise
Currently, Perris Union is in the process of refining the methodologies it will use within its student achievement dashboards ahead of a full platform rollout that will occur in the 2020-21 school year. In the meantime, Bobbitt and his colleagues have been working with Hoonuit to ensure their specific goals and objectives are reflected within their Hoonuit dashboards. “It has been very rewarding to work with Hoonuit’s data science team and talk about the different business rules we want applied. They go to work and we have results back very quickly,” explained Bobbitt.
The ability to match Perris Union’s dashboards to specific standards set by the state of California has been of particular benefit. “We’ve looked at our discipline, suspension rates, and state education code violations very closely with their team. As a result, we were able to properly update some of our dashboards to show a suspension rate that reflects the way California calculate suspension rates. And that’s important for us because for the last several years we’ve been keeping really a close watch on this as we’ve had a higher suspension rate in this district,” said Bobbitt.
Strategic discussions between Bobbitt and Hoonuit’s data scientists and implementation team have also led to refinements that will further ensure their day-to-day needs are met. “As an example, we are now able to do ‘point in time’ filters to monitor our progress over the years. We can see what our suspension rate after the first nine weeks of school this year versus last year and so on. That was not something that was originally rolled out with the product. Once we explained our philosophy with Hoonuit and shared that we planned to do stuff like that with our grades as well, they configured the platform to meet these needs,” said Bobbitt.
Early Data Usage
Although Bobbitt and his colleagues have just begun their Hoonuit data journey, several metrics have emerged as favorites that are reviewed on a near daily basis. “We look at the DNF (Did Not Finish) rate stuff a lot. The core subject analysis module is fantastic for that. We’ve also been using the achievement module and tweaking it a little bit for our own use. And of course suspension and chronic absenteeism are very important. We’re trying really hard to make sure that our students don’t fall into chronic absenteeism. It’s been fantastic to build groups and reach out to the students who are trending chronic. They may have several suspensions or they’ve got lower grades. Now we can see it all up front and we can intervene.”
Equity is also an important issue. PUHSD serves approximately 10,000 students of diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds in one of the state’s most rapidly developing regions. They are committed to fostering an environment of collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking. “Everything we do comes back to equity. We’re always looking at our subgroups and figuring out where the gaps are and how we can close them. We are using Hoonuit to create group filters and dissecting data from many different angles to help meet our goals,” says Bobbitt.
Building Data Teams to Cultivate a Strong Data Culture
Bobbitt and his team are excited by the prospect of leveraging Hoonuit’s comprehensive data platform to track district-wide goals, enhance administrative decision-making, and help teachers make a greater impact in the classroom. First, however, they must build an organizational infrastructure that can support a successful data culture. To that end, Bobbitt and his colleagues have started the process of creating site-level data teams.
“We’re including principals and assistant principals. We’re going to have several teachers from each school site in each data team. It’s important to have the teachers’ input and we want them to see what the data looks like and how it works. Each site will also have a staff member called SIS tech on their team. They essentially help do the day-to-day tasks and the information system at each school site. They are important people to have in our conversations because they can see all the things we’re doing and they know where all the data is coming from and they know their school’s culture as well. It’s a pretty good collection of people at the school sites,” said Bobbitt.
“There are others who will be playing important roles. Our assistant superintendent and our pupil services director who handles child welfare and attendance will be involved. Members of our curriculum instruction team and those who help build our accountability plan will also be part of this,” he explained.
Perris Union HSD is planning to launch their data teams this spring and begin exposing them to the different data dashboards and tools that will be available to them within Hoonuit. In the meantime, Bobbitt and other members of the Educational Services team provide quarterly updates to a Cabinet that includes the Superintendent, Chief Budget Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Executive Director of Technology. “The check-ins give our Cabinet an opportunity to see the data and our progress. It also gives them an opportunity to ask us questions about the data, what we’re seeing, and how they can help,” said Bobbitt.