Data Sharing – A Future Perspective!

danya-pastuszekby Danya Pastuszek
Senior Director, Continuous Improvement

My son – a Promise South Salt Lake resident – is less than nine weeks old, so it is hard to believe that, in fewer than five years, he will start kindergarten.

If things go as planned, he will have participated in a range of high-quality early learning opportunities (including high-quality preschool) before ever stepping into his kindergarten classroom.

Most likely, my son will excel at certain skills – and struggle with others. As he travels throughout his academic career, wouldn’t it be helpful if the teachers and other professionals working with him could share specific information about him with one other, in order to coordinate services and support his academic success?

What if his preschool teacher could tell his kindergarten teacher about how long my son was in preschool, how often he attended, and how he performed on various assessments? This information would help the kindergarten teacher plan instruction for him. What if, in return, his elementary school could give feedback to the preschool about my son’s progress? The preschool could use that information to improve their services for children like him. And – once my son starts to participate in enriching out-of-school time programs – what if the professionals working with him during the school day could know which programs he attended and to share information on his academic progress with them? The out-of-school time providers could plan their time with my son to reinforce the learning he was doing in the classroom.

United Way of Salt Lake and dozens of Promise Partners who work directly with children have carefully built a data-sharing infrastructure that makes these hypothetical situations real. In other words, through the responsible sharing of individual-level data between schools and out-of-school time service providers, we are helping early learning, afterschool, and mentoring programs to align their work with what individual students most need.

Because we take privacy seriously and we want to be transparent about what student information we are collecting, who it is being shared with and for what reasons, and how it is being protected — we have developed a series of resources on individual-level data sharing. Visit our website for more information.

By sharing individual-level data and living the other principles of Collective Impact, we can help every student in the Promise Partnerships to start kindergarten ready to learn, excel in their education, graduate high school, complete a degree or credential that leads to financial stability, and live a healthy, happier life.

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