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SSUSD expected to renew Illuminate contract

Sulphur Springs Union School District administrative offices. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

In an effort to analyze students’ needs and tailor instruction to their growing demands, the Sulphur Springs Union School District is expected to renew its contract with Illuminate, a data management system designed to streamline and simplify the jobs of teachers.

The district has used Illuminate in the past, board President Ken Chase said, and after finding success with the program, the district is excited to continue the partnership.

“Illuminate allows us to evaluate specific programs and make decisions on the best course for students,” Chase said. This allows the district to “focus on what works and doesn’t work and make adjustments.”

By using data based on district benchmarks and teacher-created assessments, the board meeting agenda report states, teachers will now be able to better determine which students would benefit from enrichment, reteaching, intervention or additional support.

Illuminate serves more than 1,600 school districts and allows teachers and administrators to access a myriad of tools that assist with everything from assessments to report cards, gradebooks and parent communication, according to its website.

“It’s one system to do it all,” meaning teachers can quickly create standards-based assessments, instantly scan or upload paper tests and analyze data, which makes it easier for teachers to provide daily personalized instruction.

Specific subgroup data is also available through the program to assist school sites with the monitoring of student growth throughout the school year, the website states. As a result, district and site-level educators can analyze trends, instructional leaders can shape curriculum and teachers can make improvements to provide transformative instruction.

“Education is undergoing a transformation with changing standards, a boom in assessments and the need to track performance at all levels,” Illuminate’s website says. “We understand these challenges and passionately work to address them,” which is why the company will provide professional development for administrators and teachers during the 2018-19 school year.

If approved at Wednesday’s district meeting, the contract will take effect Thursday and last for three years, according to the agenda. It can be terminated with a 60-day notice at the end of the school year.

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