Infinite Insights Recap: How U-46 & Osseo Area Schools Adapted & Quickly Created New Dashboards

Posted by Sarah SingerO

Hoonuit’s Infinite Insights virtual event series offers education leaders a space to share their data successes,  collaborate, and ideate. This blog series summarizes the insights gleaned from each session. Watch a recording of the event here. 

On Wednesday, June 24th four of our education partners shared how they are using data to solve key challenges throughout COVID-19 school closures and how their education agencies are planning for the 2020-21 school year. Our panelists covered a range of issues ranging from new assessment strategies and building new dashboards to mapping district services and analyzing digital learning data sets.  

We were fortunate to have had Matt Raimondi, Coordinator, Assessment and Accountability at School District U-46 and Anthony Padrnos, Executive Director of Technology at Osseo Area Schools join us as panelists.  

U-46 profile:

  • Second largest district in Illinois 
  • Serves nearly 39,000 children in grades preK-12 in 11 communities 
  • 40 elementary schools, 8 middle schools, 5 high schools, and 2 alternative schools 
  • Half of student population are Hispanic and begin as English Language Learners  

Osseo Area Schools profile:

  • Fifth largest school district in the state of Minnesota 
  • Serving more than 21,000 students  
  • 30 different school sites across several Minneapolis suburbs 
  • Diverse school district with a broad range of socioeconomic status of its families 

How Hoonuit allowed U-46 and Osseo Area Schools to create new dashboards quickly and easily 

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools were forced to abruptly close, and immediately transition to distance learning. One of the many ripple effects was a need by educators for new insights around all things distance learning. As a result, the technology teams at education agencies were asked to create new metrics and dashboards in short order. Our clients were able to adapt and solve for these new needs due to the configurable nature of the Hoonuit data and analytics platform. 

“We used existing reports for a head start. For example, Danielle [Danielle Peppa, Data Warehouse Programmer and Database Administrator at U-46] would take some of the attendance reports that are already built and make a copy from one dashboard over to another dashboard and go from there,” said Matt Raimondi, Coordinator, Assessment and Accountability at U-46.   

“Most of the metrics were already built, they just needed some date parameters. It didn’t take very long, just a couple of days. For example, we had a pre-COVID attendance and then e-learning attendance. So the pre-COVID attendance just has a date range up to March 13th and the e-learning attendance was everything after that. So it’s date driven. And then we added IEP as a filter and made a SPED indicator active and the same with ELL metrics,” added Peppa. Subgroup data analysis is critical to pinpointing disproportionalities and ensuring equity. 

Osseo Area Schools shared similar success building new dashboards based on existing ones. “I would say for my team, it took a little bit of learning, but we basically used dashboards that already existed, copied them, and then did modifications to them. It went through very well and we were able to spin up some new dashboards relatively quickly because we weren’t trying to build something from scratch and it was a good environment for us to play around and learn from at the same time,” said Anthony Padrnos, Executive Director of Technology at Osseo Area Schools. 

Hoonuit recognizes that many education agencies don’t have large technology teams like those at U-46 and Osseo Area Schools. To help our clients be as nimble and flexible as possible, Hoonuit is releasing a new tool – called the Query Designer – this summer that will allow users to create and customize their own dashboards and views with greater ease. The Query Designer provides a simplified drag-and-drop user experience and allows for a preview of metric changes in real-time while making updates. Contact your Hoonuit data consultant to learn more about the Query Designer and other new dashboard tools.  

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