The Evaluation Core Component provides a window into whether, why, and how School2Home achieved the goals the School Leadership Team established.  Evaluation results also help ensure that limited resources are used efficiently to produce the highest possible impact.  If done thoroughly, the evaluation process results provide useful qualitative and quantitative information that the School Leadership Team and partners can use to make decisions, clarify options, identify strengths and weaknesses, and enhance implementation fidelity to support continuous improvement.  Additionally, the evaluation can provide useful information to district leaders as they continue to develop and refine their Local Control and Accountability Plans.  And the results can be helpful to grant writing and other fund development efforts.

Implementation Process

While all School Leadership Team members are involved, one individual should guide the evaluation process and put all the results together in a useful format. This individual, who should be skilled in data collection and analysis, could come from the school, the district, the County Office of Education, or through a contract with an independent contractor. The recommended steps are as follows:

Identify your Research Questions

Identify your Research Questions. The first step in program evaluation is to define what it is you hope to learn. Some obvious questions relate to the implementation: Did we reach as many parents as we intended with our Parent Workshops? Did targeted teachers receive the Professional Learning Modules? Other questions may address qualitative and quantitative issues related to impact and outcome. Below is a variation of the Research Questions that School2Home has used in its evaluation, which might stimulate some ideas. Some sample questions are listed below:

  • To what extent and with what fidelity did our school implement the School2Home Core Components we set out to accomplish?
  • To what extent have we engaged students with technology, involved parents as learning partners, and shifted the school culture to an inclusive digital learning environment?
  • To what extent have parents increased their use of broadband technology at home to improve communication with the school and to support their child’s learning?
  • Have we met the academic and non-academic goals we established in our plan?
  • Has there been a change in our school and district policy and practice to close the Achievement Gap and the Digital Divide? What changes should be made in the future.

Identify Data Sources

Identify Data Sources. Several tools have been developed to help with the evaluation process, as shown below. However, the school has other data to help assess School2Home, including usage of the Parent Portal, districtwide school climate surveys, and the results from the California School Dashboard.

Administer Pre- and Post-Surveys

Administer Pre-and Post-Surveys. Assessments should be conducted early in the year. School Leadership Teams should strive to obtain a high response rate from students, parents, and teachers.

Conduct Leadership Team Reflection Session

Conduct Leadership Team Reflection Session. The Leadership Team should find time to reflect on the year to identify what worked well and what could be improved.

Prepare Final Report

Prepare Final Report. All of the data should be compiled into a Summary Evaluation Report at the end of the year. This Report could be organized around the research questions or around the specific goals that schools set for students, parents, and teachers. It is essential to focus on the most critical findings and incorporate findings into ongoing implementation efforts.

Use Data for Continuous Improvement

Use Data for Continuous Improvement. The School Leadership Team should share the Summary Evaluation Report with the entire school staff and encourage them to provide their comments and feedback. The evaluation data can be part of the school continuous improvement process. To build ongoing support for School2Home, the principal might consider presenting the Evaluation Report to the school board and other education leaders and partners.