How Real-Time Data Impacts K-12 Student Support

By German Freiwald | March 30, 2021 | , , | Education, K-12 Education

In a recent conversation with leaders from Hayward Unified School District (HUSD), they shared how they support students holistically with Education Cloud for K-12. Here are three key ways HUSD uses technology and real-time data to impact student support.

1. Digital Transformation Helps Connect People, Processes, and Data

HUSD serves nearly 20,000 students in the San Francisco Bay Area, with more than two-thirds qualifying for free and reduced-price lunch. “Our primary focus is on connecting students with the necessary support and resources they need to be successful in school and in life, which aligns with the district’s mission of promoting educational excellence,” says Yelitza Peña, Student and Parent Support Programs Coordinator.

The district has been on a transformational journey to connect people, processes, and data to support students holistically. HUSD relies on a multi-tiered system of support framework and, as part of this approach, integrated Coordination of Services Teams (COST) Specialists across the district. These multidisciplinary teams coordinate academic and social-emotional success efforts in schools, connecting referred students to a range of services including mental health, nutritional support, and more. 

It became clear the team needed a connected platform to help serve students holistically and more equitably. The district turned to Salesforce.org to develop a case management solution that could better organize all of its data.  

“Prior to Salesforce, we were doing everything on paper and it was challenging to piece together a very complex puzzle,” says Heather Reyes, COST Specialist. “Thankfully we began using Salesforce before the pandemic hit and now have key data points at our fingertips,” adds Reyes. “We can quickly put that puzzle together and diligently ensure we support our students both academically and emotionally.”

Two men smiling on campus

HUSD connects people, processes, and data to support students holistically.

2. Eliminate Paper Silos to Collaboratively Track Interventions and Progress

Reyes explained how breaking down silos provides access to real-time data that drives student support continuity and fosters staff collaboration. COST teams comprise many individuals — from principals and counselors to teachers and attendance clerks — who work together on a daily basis to best serve HUSD students. 

“This work takes a village and my COST team is that village,” says Sheree Conway, COST Specialist. “Because of Salesforce, I can securely access student information in one centralized place and use that data to easily collaborate with the broader team. I can then take notes directly in Salesforce and quickly set up a plan for interventions.”

“Real-time data is impactful for several reasons,” adds Reyes. “We’re able to see how many students are referred for certain services and monitor that progress. And we can transfer information from school to school which is an enormous benefit for a child once they enter middle school, for example, because we’re able to continue with the services and interventions that are working.”  

HUSD can collaborate efficiently, understand students more deeply, and continuously improve processes by leveraging technology and data. COST Specialists saved an estimated 5,000 hours since using Salesforce. This time saved goes directly into supporting students and families, resulting in an additional 120 service requests processed with integrity this school year alone. 

Two women talking

HUSD collaborates to track interventions and student progress.

3. Identify Key Trends to Expand Student Support Districtwide 

Additionally, HUSD leverages reports and dashboards in Salesforce to identify key trends by COST request reason, like academic, mental health, family dynamics, and more. Going beyond student outcome data, the district uses operational data to monitor service delivery and build the case for more services. 

“We’re able to share this data with various stakeholders including school administrators and district leadership to help drive decision making, and identify gaps in resources, trends in services requested by school, and future funding opportunities,” shares Peña. “Our district also has an intentional focus on anti-bias, anti-racist work and we’re able to use this data with an equity lens.”

COST Specialists also review data with their school site teams to identify key trends and opportunities for additional student support. Connecting different services and tiers of support with students’ needs is key to HUSD’s success. 

To hear the full conversation with leaders from Hayward Unified School District, watch the on-demand webinar

All of this collective work is made possible by funding from Hayward Promise Neighborhoods, Learning Communities for School Success Program, and Full Service Community Schools. 


About the Author

German Freiwald
Germán Freiwald, K-12 Industry Solutions Director, Salesforce.org

Germán Freiwald works to find and understand unmet needs in schools and districts. He then guides his team through a process of developing human-centered solutions that use Salesforce’s world-class technology to best serve schools.