Developed by Education Analytics in collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Education and CORE Districts, the Rally Analytics Platform provides actionable wellbeing and academic data for teachers and administrators to better understand and provide support for students to enable greater success.
Spartanburg County School District 4 in South Carolina utilizes Rally and its free wellbeing survey to provide teachers and administrators in their district with insights about student social and emotional wellbeing.
Spartanburg 4 utilizes Rally’s wellbeing survey to:
- Identify students who are at an increased risk of needing wellness or mental health support
- Provide student data to principals and their social-emotional learning (SEL) mentors, who are staff that have volunteered to check-in on students
- Help SEL mentors determine if a referral and further support is needed
In tandem with Rally’s wellbeing survey, Spartanburg 4 works with principals in the district to identify staff members in each school who are willing to serve as SEL mentors for students. These mentors meet yearly to review and discuss the survey in detail. Spartanburg 4 focuses on survey questions that ask the frequency at which students feel happy, sad, hopeful, and safe at school during a given week. Equipped with results from the survey, principals in the district reach out to the SEL mentors to meet with students who are identified as high risk. If, during that conversation between the mentor and the student, the student needs additional support, a referral can be made to a guidance or mental health counselor. Counselors can then schedule continual support rather than just holding a one-time meeting.
Rally has enabled Spartanburg 4 to be proactive about supporting student wellness before a severe mental health incident occurs. To get a better understanding of how Rally helps administrators and teachers at Spartanburg 4 make data-driven decisions about student wellbeing, we sat down with Director of Special Services, Rachel Traynham, and Director of Testing and Accountability, Jennifer Turner.
How Spartanburg 4 implements Rally
At Spartanburg County School District 4, students in the fourth grade and beyond are provided with a two-week period to complete the Rally wellbeing survey. After collecting survey responses, Rachel and Jennifer work with Ben Dederich, EA’s Development Strategist, to review the data to determine which students require personalized follow-up.
“[Rally] is a great support tool and a way to be more proactive in helping to identify student needs they won’t talk about on their own,” Jennifer said.
For many districts like Spartanburg 4, the compelling advantage of Rally is that each district can identify which questions are most important along with the ability to develop their own procedures around how they will implement the survey.
Questions in the Rally wellbeing survey include:
Rally in Action
Rally is typically used by districts to serve as a proactive measure for assessing where students are at with their mental health and to provide students flagged as moderate and high-risk with the necessary support and resources to address their struggles.
During the initial stages of Spartanburg 4’s survey administration, the district had a critical wellness incident with a student. After the incident, administrators and teachers reviewed the results of that students’ wellbeing survey and found that several of their responses indicated that they were at an elevated risk of experiencing mental health issues.
The district was new to using the wellbeing survey, so there wasn’t a solidified support process in place to follow-up with students after collecting survey results. This incident served as a turning point for the district to recognize that they had the data — they just needed to determine a system of reviewing survey results. In this instance, if the student’s survey responses had been reviewed sooner, administrators and teachers might have been able to provide support to the student before the incident occurred.
“There have been several instances where the survey has identified a student situation that is ongoing,” Rachel said.
An example of how Rally facilitated a proactive approach to addressing an ongoing student wellbeing situation in the district was when a student’s survey responses indicated that they were struggling during their parents’ divorce. This student was then given additional support through a guidance counselor, and they could participate in a group environment where they could talk with other students going through similar challenges. Having access to an outlet to discuss their struggles made a difference for this student and helped them feel less alone. Without having the data to inform them about this student’s wellbeing, teachers and administrators might have been unaware of what this student was going through.
Spartanburg 4 is just one of several districts that have been able to better understand, connect with, and support their students, both academically and emotionally, through Rally Analytics Platform. Rally takes the guesswork out of collecting, interpreting, and analyzing student academic and wellbeing data so that administrators and teachers can focus their efforts on helping students who are struggling with academics, mental wellness, or both. We hope to continue bringing Rally to the districts, administrators, teachers, and most importantly, students, who need it.
“As the Rally Analytics Platform continues to evolve, we hope to be a part of more stories where educators use Rally data to more efficiently support their students,” Development Strategist Ben Dederich said.
Driven by our focus to constantly improve Rally to meet the ever-changing needs of educators, Rally users can look forward to additional dashboard features tracking metrics like attendance, grades, and behavioral incidents to be available on the platform in February 2024.
If your school district or state education agency is interested in making the Rally Analytics Platform available to your educators, reach out to email@example.com to schedule a guided demo of the platform and learn more about how you can participate.
If you already have Rally, contact us to set up the FREE wellbeing survey.