Collecting Data in Year 4

Our Vertical PLC is doing things a bit differently for this coming school year (16-17). I've written about what we did in Year 1 (13-14), Year 2 (14-15), and Year 3 (15-16) as well as a presentation at the 2016 Iowa Bandmasters Association Conference. Part of our decision to change in the coming year was out of a desire to better communicate student progress in Infinite Campus to students and parents. Our district has also set the following goal for high schools:

By September 2017, 100% of staff will have aligned their work with academic standards for the course as measured by standards/skills-referenced organization in course gradebooks.By September 2017, 100% of staff will have aligned their work with academic standards for the course as measured by standards/skills-referenced organization in course gradebooks.

Infinite Campus

Our district uses Infinite Campus as a student information system, and I have written about how we have used it in the past. To prevent multiple times of entering data, we are going to forego the use of the Google Form we have used in the past and solely use Infinite Campus. Here is the Google Form we used in the past:


We are taking these pieces and turning them into categories and assignments in Infinite Campus. The categories and assignments with slashes denote differences between the Wind Rubric and Percussion Rubric.

  • Standards

    • Time Signature

    • Key Signature

    • Tonal Center

    • Takadimi Example

    • Scale

  • Tone Quality/Basic Technique

    • Breath Support/Body Position

    • Tone Quality/Stick Motion

  • Technique/Advanced Technique

    • Fingerings/Grip

    • Note Length/Placement

    • Register/Sticking

  • Rhythm

    • Rhythm

    • Tempo

  • Articulation/Style

    • Articulation/Style

  • Expression

    • Expression

  • Posture

    • Posture

  • Preparedness

    • Preparedness

Each assignment has an inactive (formative) 6 Week, 12 Week, and 18 Week iteration. The assignments in Categories 2-6 also have an active (summative) Overall iteration. Teachers will use the most recent information from the 6-, 12-, and 18-Week assignments for the Overall assignment. Here are some screenshots from Infinite Campus:

Pros to this Approach

  • We can sort the grade book in a few different ways:

    • Sequence/Category: in order displayed above

    • Due Date: puts 6-Week assignments together, then 12-week, 18-week, Overall

  • Communicates progress to teachers, students, and parents

  • Better aligns with standards-referenced grading practices

Cons to this Approach

  • Many more Categories (8 vs. 1) and Assignments (57 vs. 3) then previous years

  • Difficult to copy all Assignment information across classes in different buildings

  • Need to export data to Excel and in to Google Sheets to use AwesomeTable

  • Unsure of how Infinite Campus will deal with multiple teachers logged into the same Grade Book

We are looking forward to testing this out in the next few weeks! We will keep you updated with how this works in practice, how it changes our response to student data, and any changes we make.


Burton Hable

Burton Hable is an instrumental music educator from Central Iowa. In 2013 he helped open Centennial High School in Ankeny, the first time in forty years that a school district in Iowa expanded to two high schools. He served there through 2018 as Assistant Director of Bands: conducting the 10th Grade Symphonic Band, directing the varsity Jazz Collective, co-directing the Centennial Marching and Pep Bands, teaching music theory, and providing individual and small group lessons to brass students in grades 6-12 at Prairie Ridge Middle School, Northview Middle School, and Centennial High School. During his tenure in Ankeny, enrollment in band grew from 450 to nearly 700, the jazz program expanded from four to seven ensembles, and ensembles under his direction were invited to perform at Iowa State University, Harper College, and the Veterans Day Parade in New York City.