Osio is the first in the state to invest in technology to create a shared space for area school data

Osio Area Schools is the first school in the state to invest in a school technology program that will create a “data lake” for the district.

“The data lake brings all of our data into one common place, everything from academics to attendance to behavior reports, to really understand how our students are doing through our systems,” said Anthony Padernos, executive director of technology at Osio Area Schools. How are you doing inside?

The district contracted a few years ago with PowerSchool, which provides cloud-based software programs for schools.

A PowerSchool spokesperson said the Osio Area School is the first school in Minnesota to pool various technology programs into a central system, so that data across all platforms can be better analyzed.

“For many years, education has been data-rich but information-poor,” Padernos said. “We have a lot of data coming in and we never quite get to the point of ‘Okay, now what do we do with all that data?’ Be able to hold a conversation like that.”

Osseo Area Schools serves approximately 21,000 students at 31 school sites.

“Over the years, we’ve been collecting in a lot of different ways, sometimes putting it in spreadsheets and these other different databases that don’t necessarily talk to each other,” Padrenos explained. “So the data has always been there, it just hasn’t necessarily been used in an effective way.”

A PowerSchool program called ‘Student Analytics’ will now compile data from enrollment to state test scores to individual student grades and create colorful dashboards with graphs and charts.

A teacher or administrator can filter each data set based on anything from gender to language.

“We can look deeper down to the school level, down to the classroom level and down to the individual student level,” Padernos said. “You no longer have to be a data scientist to be able to pull out some quick reports and understand what’s happening in your classroom.”

Padrenos said teachers can use the data to see where students are struggling and quickly identify which topics may need more support.

For example, you know, third grade teachers will get together and talk about, ‘Hey, I’m seeing it around this particular thing in my data. What strategies will you, as colleagues, be using to help students?” Padrenos said. “And then they can plan instruction or intervention that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each of our scholars. That’s really what we’re driving home and what we’re talking about is the humanization of data.”

PowerSchool told 5 Eyewitness News that they are starting to set up data lakes in a few other districts across the metro, including Stillwater Area Public Schools and St. Louis Park Public Schools.

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