Data Analysis and Support Academy (DASA)

Data Analysis and Support Academy (DASA) builds greater school accountability by enhancing educators’ understanding of how to use data when making instructional decisions for English learner (EL) students. The U.S. Department of Education, through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has a core goal that underscores the importance of understanding and using data:

To enable parents and other stakeholders to engage meaningfully in their local education systems, they need to have access to clear, robust, and ongoing information about how their students and schools are doing. (US DOE 2017) 

DASA assists schools in achieving this ESSA goal, continuing educational improvement and meeting the needs of Pennsylvania’s diverse students, schools and communities. Designed to help schools use their data to improve classroom instruction, school climate and educational outcomes related to student achievement, DASA works with you and your school to improve EL student achievement in customized ways.

Action Research & Data-Driven Decision Making

Schools collect a great deal of data but have difficulty analyzing and using it effectively. Through a year-long data-driven decision making process, DASA team members identify a specific educational issue to address, collect and analyze data related to that issue, refine solutions and improve instruction, leading to more effective teaching and improved student achievement.

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DASA has three primary goals:

  1. Develop educators’ knowledge of action research and data-based decision making.
  2. Build data collection and analysis capacity within schools.
  3. Improve educators’ and schools’ performance, thus enhancing students’
    academic achievement. 

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School teams form a yearlong supportive partnership with Center for Schools and Communities staff to identify and study a key issue related to student achievement.

Through a series of quarterly webinars, web meetings, conference calls and onsite visits, Center personnel guide teams through their DASA project. The academy begins with a two-day summer kickoff event that orientates team members to the data-driven decision making process. Members commit approximately four to five hours a month toward their school-based DASA project. Fourteen credit hours for Act 48 will be awarded to participants who complete all DASA components.

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School Team

Schools are asked to form a project team comprised of four to six school building faculty as part of the DASA application. Each team should receive application approval from their school building principal/administrator. Ideally, teams should include an administrator.

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Time Period Activity Time Investment
Summer DASA School Team kick-off event
Planning and identification of school-based data project
12 hours

Fall Webinar 1: Refining Your Questions
Gathering of school data
Refine school-based projects
Supportive online team technical assistance
1-hour webinar
12 hours of team activities

Winter Webinar 2: Finalizing Your Project
Project implementation begins
Collect data to monitor activities
and measure change
Supportive online team technical assistance
1-hour webinar
12 hours of team activities

Spring Webinar 3: Reviewing Data and Planning
Project implementation continues
Monitor activities, measure change and reflect on progress
Supportive online team technical assistance
Site visit to the DASA Team’s school
1-hour webinar
12 hours of team activities

Cost and Application

There is no direct cost associated with your school team’s participation in DASA. Schools must complete a short application to be considered for the limited school openings. Teams are chosen annually to participate in DASA.

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The Data Analysis and Support Academy (DASA) receives funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and is managed by the Center for Schools and Communities. The application deadline is May 18, 2018.