The eSchool Media K-12 Hero Awards, sponsored by Trox, highlights inspiring examples of education during the COVID-19 pandemic

Turning data into action during COVID


The eSchool Media K-12 Hero Awards, sponsored by Trox, highlights inspiring examples of education during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and that means educators across the globe are still finding inventive and innovative ways to support and teach students in classrooms, during hybrid instruction, and in virtual settings.

The eSchool Media K-12 Hero Awards program, sponsored by Trox, recognizes the determined and dedicated efforts of educators throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Never before have educators been challenged and tested as they were, beginning in March 2020 and up until today, and never before has their resilience been more apparent. Administrators, technology leaders, classroom teachers, and educators in all roles have persevered as they taught each and every one of their students during a global pandemic.

Here, eSchool News highlights the Wausau School District–one of its K-12 Hero Awards finalists. Keep reading to discover how this district keeps learning going in the middle of a global pandemic.

Nominee: Wausau School District

Nominated by: Illuminate Education

What makes this nominee a hero?

Wausau School District has undergone a ‘paradigm shift’ in how educators use data to drive improvement. Response to Intervention (RtI) Specialist Julie A. Oehmichen and her team of dedicated educators worked tirelessly throughout this past year to meet the needs of every learner in every type of learning environment–analyzing student information and turning data into action.

In Wausau, educators use a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) that focuses on three levels: improving universal instruction for all learners (Tier 1); delivering targeted, small-group intervention for students who need additional support (Tier 2); and providing intensive, individualized interventions for those who need further assistance (Tier 3).

As a district, they utilized their Illuminate resources to systematically reach all students and pivot when the need arose, whether in-person or remote. Julie has stated, “In many districts, data is used as a hammer to punish teachers and schools. We think about data not as a hammer, but as a flashlight. We want it to help us shine a light on what’s working and how we can improve instruction to increase the success of our students.”

Additionally, their administration requested and participated in a unique learning opportunity this past spring with Illuminate’s Learning and Development Team. They learned how to look at their data with an equitable lens and created action plans to ensure their practices and programming are meeting the needs of all students, no matter their ethnicity, gender, or disability.

The mission of Wausau School District is to advance student learning, achievement, and success, and the district does this by focusing on the whole child, with a strong focus on educational equity. The district’s efforts are focused on creating personal and academic success for each child, because it recognizes that it is creating learners and leaders who will take us forward into a time of incredible change and progress.

Laura Ascione

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