High-Tech Walk Throughs Gathering Data For School Administrators

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One school district is using technology to make sure students are getting the best education.

It's called a Power Walkthrough.

Grand Island Public Schools started the program just this year.

"We visit classrooms informally to get a snap shot of learning and what's going on in the classroom everyday," said Barr Middle School Principal Jeff Gilbertson.

The information they find is documented in a program on each principals' phone.

"We're a data driven school system and it's yet another piece of data that we can utilize to get better," said Gilbertson. "That is the point."

At Wasmer Elementary it's a laptop instead of a smart-phone, but the result is the same.

"It's a really valuable and easy thing to do. You'd be amazed that you can pick up all this information in three minutes," said Principal Betty Desaire.

Principals take down information on how the class is being conducted and even what students say they're learning.

Desaire says the program allows her to focus on specifics during her classroom visits.

School officials say it's a way to see what methods are working by focusing on the students, not the teacher.

"It doesn't make you more nervous or worried when [the principal] walks in the door," said Deb Gnuse, a fourth grade teacher at Wasmer. "It just kind of gives you a little mental reminder of all those things that you try to do in every lesson."

"This process isn't about evaluation," said Dr. Vernon Fisher, assistant superintendent of student learning. "This process is about what are we noticing, engaging in conversation on what's effective, reflecting on what we've discussed, and the going about our own personal growth."

Administrators say they're looking at themes across the district to help improve student's learning.