In California’s Twin Rivers Unified School District, Data Tells Students’ Unique Stories
Located 10 miles outside of Sacramento, CA, Twin Rivers Unified School District (TRUSD) serves an ever-changing group of students and families from different countries, socioeconomic backgrounds, and cultures.
Many of the district’s students are transient and/or from low socioeconomic backgrounds. The district also has a large English Learner (EL) population. Out of its 24,093 K–12 students, 6,859 are ELs.
Meeting the learning and social-emotional needs of such a diverse population presents many challenges, but TRUSD leaders have developed systems and practices that facilitate student learning growth while celebrating the unique assets students and their families bring to the district.
What They Did
By collecting data and housing it in a single comprehensive dashboard, TRUSD educators are able to create rich profiles for every student and their learning and social-emotional needs. TRUSD’s data aggregation is so robust that educators—Christine Flok, TRUSD MTSS coordinator, explained—can see students’ “stories” at a glance. The student dashboard, which integrates information from Ellevation®, a comprehensive EL program management product that TRUSD implemented in 2021, enables education leaders to not only track the progress of the district’s ELs but also answer questions quickly (e.g., What’s the student’s home language? Is the student a refugee? How can we use ELPAC scores to support instruction? Has the student’s family participated in an information session recently?).
Insight into Students’ Learning Needs
Data from i-Ready Assessment, a comprehensive, standards- aligned, formative assessment program, is a key component of every TRUSD student’s data story. With increased access for district groups such as principals, parent committees, and EL Subject Area Committee, the district started regular data chats with students, translating into student ownership of their learning.
Monitoring and Reclassification
With Ellevation Platform, the EL team brought monitoring and reclassification processes online, allowing them to support continued student growth and ensure compliance quickly and effectively - with far less paperwork.
Professional Development for Educators
Part of the district’s professional development mission is to “increase human capital through research-based professional development.” Using Ellevation Strategies - a module-based professional learning resource that equips teachers with intentional research-based practices - the district is enhancing educators’ ability to effectively support all of their ELs in any content area classroom.
TRUSD educators stay connected to families through regular surveys and communications in multiple languages. The district also offers families opportunities to connect with educators through the Family and Community Engagement team, District English Learner Advisory Committee, School Site Council, and volunteering.
What They Accomplished
TRUSD’s community-building efforts and fidelity to data best practices were instrumental to continued learning when COVID-19 caused school buildings across the country to close.
When, for example, Ellevation’s data dashboard showed that 1,000 ELs were not attending remote classes, eight TRUSD educators called all the students’ families within a week. And when Jisel Villegas, EL director, recently got word that the district would be enrolling a new wave of refugees from Afghanistan, she was able to approach planning for the influx with confidence and compassion. “Each data point is another opportunity for our teachers, administrators, and really anyone to take a look at a student a little more in depth,” Villegas said.