School district plans ‘classroom dashboard’ for data

-A A +A

Student information won’t be stored off-site, however

By Daniel Laverty

Jeffco Public Schools announced plans to move forward with equipping teachers with a “classroom dashboard” to access student data at last Thursday’s school board meeting.

To the relief of many Jeffco parents, the plans didn’t include the words “inBloom” or “cloud.”

Since 2012, the school district has been planning a classroom dashboard for teachers, who use numerous systems and access large amounts of student data daily.

Matt Cormier, executive director of educational technology, told the school board that student data would be stored internally.

“Classroom dashboard data will not be stored on any cloud systems but will be hosted on Jeffco servers,” Cormier told the board during his presentation Thursday night. “And, again, we’ll only be looking at using data points for student achievement.”

The goal of the dashboard is to have all of the district’s systems and data points communicating and accessible. To make that possible, the district would need a singular location to store student information.

Jeffco Public Schools was steeped in controversy when it announced plans to use inBloom’s “cloud” to store data. Parents voiced concerns at board meetings last year about the safety and security of their children’s data, fearing information could be compromised.

The school board and district listened.

A parent opt-out was offered in September, and the Board of Education voted unanimously to scrap the program Nov. 7. Although the relationship with inBloom was severed, the district remained committed to providing a classroom dashboard to Jeffco’s teachers.

“If everything goes right, we’ll start this out in a handful of schools in January 2015,” Cormier said. “We want to make sure everything is perfect.”

Teachers from a second, larger group of schools would receive the classroom dashboard in August 2015, and all schools would have it by January 2016.

The board will have further discussions and a full update about the classroom dashboard, including the cost and how many schools will pilot the program, at a future meeting.

Contact Daniel Laverty at 303-350-1042 or Daniel@evergreenco.com.  Follow Daniel on Twitter @LavertyReports.