How engaged are students in the classroom? Parents send their children away to school each day, but how do we know if they are getting the most out of their education? Not surprisingly, this is a common concern across the Nation. The City Heights Educational Collaborative (CHEC) realized that in order to make a positive change in classrooms, they needed to be more present in those classrooms.
The CHEC was formed to redevelop educational and community projects in the San Diego Unified School District. Partnering three schools (Hoover High, Monroe Clark Middle and Rosa Parks Elementary) with San Diego State University School of Education, San Diego Education Association and Price Charities, the CHEC strives to help inner city children achieve educational excellence. In addition, the three schools operate as “community schools” providing health and social services to students and their families.
When the CHEC first began, 30 classrooms a week were visited. They wanted to observe how often students were participating, how involved teachers were, if classrooms were displaying student work, and so forth. Each classroom visit, even though they were relatively short, would result in a lengthy data entry process. “We knew it was important to get in classrooms and give feedback to the teachers, but unfortunately, it wasn’t a very easy process with paper and pencil,” explained Thomas Liberto, Principal of Monroe Clark Middle School. Liberto described the old process as “archaic.” The Principal would be required to code the data, write comments on their paper forms, scan the forms, and then enter the data electronically. It could take up to eight hours to electronically enter the collected data.
“The beauty of iFormBuilder is that it cuts through the data entry process and gets us right into reporting,” said Michael Corke, Ph.D., Director of Evaluation. Corke explained, “We’re really in the business of making the schools places where families want their students to be.” He continued, “We engage community partners and provide services beyond the normal school.” The CHEC provides health centers, extended day programs, and additional learning opportunities that students wouldn’t typically receive.
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