The 2019-20 school year was an anomaly in so many ways. The pandemic sent all of our students home and changed the way schools regularly collected and monitored behavior data during the day. To ensure the accuracy of the data entered in SWIS, it is critical for all SWIS schools to update school days to reflect the number of days during the month where behavior data was collected. Here’s why.
Comparison Across Months
In any other school year, the number of days you collected behavior data would equal the number of days students were engaged in instruction. Last year was not like any other year. Between March and June 2020, most schools pursued distance learning and put their referral process on pause indefinitely. The number of days of instruction no longer equal the number of days they collected data.
If you leave the number of days equal to instructional days, it now appears as though a school continued to monitor student behavior every day. The only way to account for the dramatic reduction in referrals is through some kind of magic intervention, when we all know that isn’t the case. For end-of-year reporting to be accurate, it’s critical for the number of school days in SWIS to reflect the number of days you actively collected and monitored student behavior.
Accuracy in the PBISApps Annual Report
Not only does updating your days per month make your end-of-year reports meaningful, it also makes the annual report PBISApps issues more accurate.
At the end of every school year, PBISApps issues a report summarizing all of the referrals entered in SWIS. We create the report based on referral data from schools opting into sharing their information for research purposes. The report includes averages for major and minor office discipline referrals, suspensions, expulsions, and the trends over time. There are lots of ways these averages are used.
- SWIS displays these annual averages in the Average Referrals per Day per Month graph. Schools use these averages to determine whether their referral rates are higher, lower, or on par with other schools their same size.
- Organizations conducting grant funded research around student behavior and PBIS reference these averages as a way to determine an intervention’s effectiveness.
Without the edits to each individual school’s number of school days, these annual averages will not be accurate.
Impacts to Grant-funded Research
When schools opt to share their data, their referrals go into the PBISApps research database. Grant-funded organizations use the database to analyze referral trends over time. Through these efforts, schools have been able to create more equitable spaces for all students. Without changes to individual school days, the 2019-20 dataset becomes anomalous and challenging to insert into more than a decade-worth or trends.
For all of these reasons, it is critical for every SWIS school to update their school days information to reflect the number of days they were able to collect student behavior data during the 2019-20 school year. Here’s how.
Update the Number of Days per Month in SWIS
For some schools, updating school days will mean zeroing-out the school days for specific months. For some schools, it will just mean adjusting the number to a partial month. Here’s an example:
Let’s say students were in school, receiving referrals as usual until March 19. Starting March 25, students were home and no one wrote a single referral through the middle of May. By the last week in May into June, teachers started entering some referral information in SWIS. Then the year was over.
In School Settings, the school would update School Days to look like this:
- 14 days in March
- 0 days in April
- 5 days in May
- 5 days in June
- 0 days for the remainder of the school year
To edit school days in your school’s account:
- Head to Tools and click on School Settings.
- Click School Days.
- Click to expand the 2019-2020 school year.
- Enter the number of days in each month where student behavior data was collected.
- Click Save.