At an education conference last fall, I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff McCoy, the Associate Superintendent for Academics at Greenville County Schools.
Greenville serves over 75,000 students in South Carolina and is famously known for “OnTrack Greenville,” a proprietary early warning response system that rapidly identifies students requiring academic intervention and helps them get back on track in a timely manner. Of course when I met Jeff, I had no idea this was Greenville’s bread and butter.
Over four years ago, we started Kiddom to enhance the classroom experience for teachers and learners. As we listened to teachers to refine and improve our product, we discovered a an alarming information gap between classrooms and their respective administration bodies.
To learn more, we conducted hundreds of interviews with school and district leaders. The result of this research led to Kiddom Academy, our K-12 school operating system to measure and act on classroom intelligence. Rest assured, we’re never going to stop listening to and learning from the folks we serve.
After the demo, he smiled and said, “What you have here is an early warning response system. We built it five years ago.”
In the spirit of lifelong learning, I wanted Jeff’s take on Kiddom Academy, and he was kind enough to sit through a short demo of our K-12 school OS. After the demo, he smiled and said, “What you have here is an early warning response system. We built it five years ago.”
As it turns out, in 2014 the United Way generously committed $9 million over three years to help Greenville build the software, train staff, and launch the program. I was thrilled to learn the research and work we were doing at Kiddom was putting us in the right direction.
The Components of an Early Warning Response System
To be clear, education technology is one of three components that go into running an early warning response system. It requires an intervention framework like RTI or MTSS, coupled with professionals to take the achievement insights and act on them.
This article explains what went into Greenville’s program. It’s a great example of humans using software to make sense of data in an actionable way to ensure all students succeed.
Early Warning Response Systems: What we Hope to Learn
Next week, Kiddom’s School Success Lead Melissa Giroux and I have the wonderful opportunity to visit Greenville, South Carolina and watch their early warning response system in action. The purpose of our visit is two-fold: (1) identify and understand the classroom intelligence metrics and indicators Greenville County professionals track and (2) identify the essential human processes and protocols necessary to take action on the data to support students.
Greenville County was able to build their early warning response system thanks in large part to a generous $9 million donation by the United Way. At Kiddom, we recognize most districts aren’t that lucky. I look forward to learning from the experts at Greenville County Schools and bringing this knowledge back to the Kiddom community so schools and districts can afford to ensure all students receive the supports they need, when they need it.
At a typical Kiddom school, hands are in the air, there’s a buzz in the room, and teachers and students are energized. Kiddom was designed to help improve teacher retention and increase student performance and graduation rates.
For the first time, the most important parts of teaching and learning are connected and simplified in Kiddom. Curriculum lives in one place and is easily measured and refined, instruction is personalized to meet the needs of each student, and data serves as a powerful system of support for every member of the learning community to keep students on track.
What People Are Saying
“I can see where my class and any student is at any moment in their educational journey. This way, I can take action to assist them to work towards mastery.”Mr. Albrecht, High School Teacher
“Kiddom is great for assessing data and then assigning appropriate work based on individual student performance. I love that it's very easy to attach standards and rubric to every assignment.”Jackie Curts, Middle School Teacher
“Using Kiddom has made me stop and ask, ‘Am I just letting this student repeat what they already know, or am I really challenging them?’”Ann Leghorn, High School Literacy Specialist