Data Strategies for Distance Learning: DC Data Summit

As schools across the country kick off the new school year, school leaders are faced with an unprecedented set of unknowns. After all, no one alive today has started a school year with most if not all of their public school students learning remotely. Experience counts, but how helpful is it when the new school year is unlike anything you’ve seen before? For many, it feels like a first year on the job. 

In the midst of all this uncertainty, pioneering school leaders are turning to data to help guide decisions.  One leader, Alexis Brown, who ‘s the Director of Operations at Digital Pioneers Academy in Washington DC, is leaning into data more than ever as her school embarks on a new year of distance learning. She co-presented with Charlie Coglianese, who’s Founder and Chief Data Wizard at Schoolrunner, at the DC Data Summit on “Data Strategies for Distance Learning”. Digital Pioneers Academy (DPA) is a tuition-free, public charter school serving 360 scholars in grades 6-8 in Washington, DC.

In the webinar, Alexis and Charlie touch on many important things to keep in mind when delivering distance learning. Some of the big takeaways from the presentation include:

  • With remote learning, schools must innovate in many different ways, including the way they take attendance
  • Behavior management and monitoring presents new challenges when students are remote. DPA is applying Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBiS) in novel ways in a distance learning environment.
  • Family engagement is really important at DPA and became even more important with COVID. Their data shows that teachers and school leaders made it a priority to over  communicate with families once the pandemic hit. 
  • Transparency with parents and families is also important to keep them engaged in their scholar’s learning. With the new Schoolrunner mobile app, families can see how their scholar is performing at any time without any surprises.

In addition, Alexis and Charlie highlighted many important ways schools are using Schoolrunner and Google Classroom together to enable a more efficient and effective remote learning environment. 

It’s impressive to see how much Alexis and the DPA team have learned and adapted their approach to prepare for an engaging and successful year of distance learning. We plan to keep our audience updated as DPA and other Schoolrunner partners continue to innovate during this unprecedented time. Stay tuned for updates!  

Click here to view the webinar in its entirety. 


Lee D.

School Partnerships and Operations Manager

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