Berks County Intermediate Unit's (BCIU) mission is to provide high-quality resources, innovative services and programs, and responsible leadership to enrich the educational and social services needs of (Berks County, Pennsylvania) children, families, schools and the greater community.
BCIU achieves that mission by providing programs and services to public school districts, nonpublic schools, and other human service organizations. BCIU also serves as the liaison agent between the schools and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Michael Imburgia, Statewide School Improvement Dashboard Manager for BCIU, supports schools designated as Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) institutions throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Eligibility for this designation is based on a three-step process:
Preliminary designation based on academic achievement and academic growth Pennsylvania will initially categorize schools as eligible for designation based on performance in two domains:
The percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced on state assessments in English language arts and mathematics combined over two years (2016-17 and 2017-18 for the Fall 2018 round of designation); AND
Academic growth as expressed by PVAAS-reported Average Growth Index, indicating if the school met the PA Standard for Academic Growth over two years (2016-17 and 2017-18).
Final designation based on additional academic and non-academic indicators. Next, Pennsylvania will examine the performance of schools designated in Step 1 on the remaining accountability indicators. Schools designated in Step 1 will be designated for CSI if they:
Fall below state-designated performance levels on high school graduation rate or English learner proficiency; OR
Fall below state-designated performance levels on both regular attendance and career readiness indicators. See Appendix C for examples of the interplay among Step 2 indicators for purposes of CSI designation.
Designation of additional high schools with low graduation rates. In addition to steps 1 and 2, ESSA requires that states designate "all public high schools in the state failing to graduate one third or more of their students." Pennsylvania will designate any such schools, regardless of Title I status, through evaluation of the four- and five-year adjusted cohort graduation rates.
In 2019 IPC Global worked with BCIU to develop a series of intuitive Qlik Sense dashboards leveraging the Qlik associative engine for intuitive data discovery and automating the transformation of data into commonly accepted Key Performance Indicators identified by the organization. The QlikSense platform is be hosted on AWS making the solution highly scalable and secure.
IPC Global would rapidly deploy three servers on EC2 (Qlik Sense, Domain Controller, OpenVPN) with EBS volumes attached, with DR snapshots backed up to S3, all running within a secure VPC (Virtual Private Cloud). The solution would include Application Load Balancers (ALB) and a Web Application Firewall (WAF).
Michael, who previously used a series of dis-aggregated data sources and a combination of tools and software that were labor-intensive and susceptible to human error, now uses the power of AWS and Qlik Sense to enforce a centralized data governance strategy, greatly simplifying internal data processes and enhancing end-user analytic capabilities. This has created business outcomes that were previously not possible.
"Having all of this run on AWS, while automating data cleaning and the implementation of business rules... there is no doubt we're going to be able to make better-informed decisions more quickly as an organization," Michael said.