Performance-based Student Management System
The Dayton Early College Academy (DECA)
A hosted, web-enabled, student information system.
The Dayton Early College Academy (DECA) was established in 2003 under the Bill and Melinda Gates, Early College High School Initiative, with support from the Cincinnati-based, Knowledge Works Foundation. DECA was opened as a public school, the result of a partnership between the University of Dayton and the public school district. It was re-organized as a charter school in July 2007 and is located on the campus of the University of Dayton. DECA needed a customized student data management system to track and manage student progress, based on an independent DECA-developed curriculum, using a non-traditional grading and assessment system. In addition, they were interested in a hosted, web-enabled student information system that would provide DECA administrators, teachers, students and parents, real-time access to online information. A student information system was customized for DECA, using the SysInterface Performance Enhancement Management System (PEMS). PEMS is based on the hypothesis that, if every activity a teacher and student is engaged in can be tracked at the primary performance indicators (PPI)level, then student achievement standards can also be electronically monitored and linked to performance accountability. Teacher and student performance can be tracked on a per-course, or per-learning activity level. Administrators are able to keep track of very specific PPIs that may identify standards that are especially challenging to achieve. The system needed to address improving communication for DECA with all its constituencies and be scalable to adapt to DECA’s future growth and needs.
The SysInterface Approach:
To customize a DECA student information system and effectively integrate student progress, based on an independent DECA curriculum that encompasses a non-traditional grading and assessment system. SysInterface conducted an assessment of data elements, practices and procedures across the school and its partners. The assessment identified their required system data elements. SysInterface used the assessment results to customize and build the DECA student information system.
The Dayton Early College Academy (DECA) software application is now an exemplar that is being exhibited across state and national audiences. The system is successfully managing and tracking data for DECA, helping them communicate the data on a real-time basis. The highlights of the DECA student information system are that it provides capabilities for entering student test and assessment scores (through an electronic grade book), building student schedules, tracking student attendance, and managing many other student-related data needs in the academy. School administrators are also able to get a more granular picture of how teachers and students are doing on required standards. Administrators can see how students are performing on standards-based material and which teachers are more or less effective at providing instruction, related to the material. Rather than waiting to see how students will perform on standards-based assessments, with detailed data in their hands, administrators can be ahead of the game in planning for student success. It is reinforcing that a system that can engage teachers and students throughout the evaluative process, results not only in student achievement, but also in teacher rewards and retention.