About Engage with Data
I started my career as a middle school social studies teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools.
It was a humbling experience, to say the least.
I learned about the challenges and rewards of working in schools and also just how critical families’ relationships with schools are for the academic and social success of their children.
I also figured out where I fit best in education.
Once I left teaching, I combined my love of data with my passion for supporting schools and families.
I got my doctorate in K-12 Education Leadership and Policy from Vanderbilt University and spent years working in different roles in and around Baltimore City’s schools.
I founded Engage with Data (formerly Structured Solutions) in 2015 and haven’t looked back.
My goal is to help schools, districts, and non-profits maximize the results of their family engagement work by using data to guide their work.
It all started with a spreadsheet...
Engage with Data was founded in 2015 as Structured Solutions.
At the time, I was a Community School Coordinator in Baltimore City, and I needed to find a better way to track the attendance patterns and family engagement trends at our school.
I got creative.
I built a series of easy-to-use, pre-formatted spreadsheets that allowed our team to regularly monitor data and collectively enter information about our efforts.
We started to see improvement in the attendance rates of our chronically absent students, and we built a strong culture of engagement at our school.
My spreadsheets got noticed by peers at other schools, and I began to conduct trainings on my tracking methods.
I realized that many of my colleagues had never had an opportunity to really learn about data – how to collect it, what to use it for, and frankly, how to even interpret it.
Despite systemic mandates for schools and organizations to become entirely data-driven, no one had helped educators and staff build capacity in this area beyond reviewing test score data.
Engage with Data began out of the idea that there are cost-efficient and simple ways to track and use data in schools that can transform our work and provide more targeted and effective supports to students and families.
Even more importantly, every member of a school community is capable of doing this work.
Since 2015, I have worked with schools, districts, and non-profit organizations across the country to tell their story by building their team’s capacity in collecting and using data, establishing a culture of data, and effectively measuring their impact.
Here are some of the organizations I've helped:
“[Engage with Data] has worked with our organization to create custom Excel trainings for our funded partners. Amanda is very thorough and really sought to understand how Excel was being used, so she could tailor her content to fit participants’ needs. A good portion of the training was dedicated to hands-on application and allowed participants to practice what they learned. In addition to adhering to adult learning principles, Amanda is a joy to work with and is communicative, kind, and open to feedback.”
Family League of Baltimore
“[Engage with Data] has been a valued partner and program evaluator for the Engagement department for Baltimore City Public Schools by developing systems for an administrative evaluation of our partnerships and volunteers programs. She is collaborative in her approach and dedicated to setting goals and objectives to meet the desired results. Her analysis and recommendations helped to inform our decisions around resource allocation and capacity building activities as we worked to refine the focus of our partnerships and volunteers strategy.”
Baltimore City Public Schools
Get started with tracking your data, for free!
This step-by-step guide will walk you through how to start tracking your own family engagement data in Microsoft Excel.
You'll get all my favorite tips and tricks to make your tracking sheet functional and eye-catching.