RIDE: Rhode Island Strategic Planning System
To standardize and integrate school and district strategic planning across the state, AIR developed the Rhode Island Strategic Planning System (RI SPS) for the Rhode Island Department of Education. School districts and schools use this intuitive, user-friendly platform to create their state-mandated strategic plans, visualize their data, view their progress, and communicate directly with the state and other district and school administrators.
The State of Rhode Island recently introduced a requirement for strategic plans on the district and school level that provide specific information about the initiatives and actions a district or school intends to introduce within the next academic year (schools) or multi-year period (districts). The Rhode Island Department of Education needed a system that promotes collaboration between districts and schools, enforces a common format to plans, requires key information of districts and schools, and ties the goals of districts and schools to larger Rhode Island-wide goals.
AIR created a system that structures district and school plans based on RIDE’s own strategic plan framework, allowing the components of the district and school plans to be directly aligned with the state’s goals. District initiatives are tied to RIDE priorities and measurable goals, while school initiatives are tied to district priorities and measurable goals. Each plan creator describes the mission and vision, priorities, measurable goals associated with each priority, and initiatives and action steps for each measurable goal.
AIR built space for communication and collaboration into the system. Schools and districts can choose to share their initiative information with other schools and districts. This allows users to collaborate while a plan is in production. The system also provides comment sections on each page of the plan where the state can communicate with a district/school and a district can communicate with a school about specific aspects of their plans.
To help users better understand the data and assess their progress, AIR used a user-friendly data visualization tool called Superset to provides users access to their data within the application. This tool generates a visualization for the metric selected from the RIDE database for different annual target values.
Finally, to protect student and employee privacy, AIR designed RIDE as a multi-level and multi-user system. Access to any plan depends on the access level assigned to the signed-in user. Most users will be able to only view their district or school’s plan, and only a subset of those users will be able to edit the plan. This access restriction allows the necessary privacy protection for the student and employee data for each district and school while still encouraging communication up and down the education system.
The new Rhode Island Strategic Planning System makes it easy for district and schools to align their strategic plans with the state’s goals and encourages communication at all levels without compromising student or employee data.
Considerations for Equity and Algorithmic Bias
The availability and ease of use of multiple race and gender filters on the Superset data visualization tool encourages users to consider equity.