Turn Data Tables into Interactive Dashboards

Visuals are important when you need a quick glance at the data.  Your staff and community stay engaged longer when information is easily retained and accessible.  

Let me share with you how I went from a plain chart to a dashboard that updates in real time!

It is easy to take a simple google spreadsheet and transform it into an interactive chart that updates in real time.

Step 1:  Open any existing Google Spreadsheet.  

We are currently tracking COVID19 cases in the district.  However, you can use any spreadsheet that you currently have in your google account.

2.  Open Data Studios

  Click Choose Create Report (top left of the screen/dashboard)

3.  Choose Add Data

4. A selection of GOOGLE CONNECTORS will appear.  Click Google Sheets (if applicable to your data source)

5. Locate your spreadsheet from the list.  

For me, I chose School ISD COVID Tracker.

6. Use the text fields to draw text boxes and select fonts and color options.

7.  Select Your Data to Place in your Chart.

Here is the part that can be a bit tricky to figure out.  From the Available Fields section, drag your data into the type of graph you previously selected.  For example, I wanted to graph Active Student Cases and Active Staff Cases.   Therefore, I selected these two and dragged them onto the dashboard and right into the bar graph I selected.  If the graph does not satisfy your needs, simply delete it and pick another type of chart or remove some of the metrics/dimensions.

8.  Share Your Report

I wanted my report to be a "live" document on the district's website, so I used the link option to share it. Please note that if you download it in a PDF the document is not live.  However, if that is not a problem for you, PDF is a great choice.  

I am also thinking about the Schedule Email Delivery option for the future.  For some projects, it would be great to see the data either at the beginning or end of each week to see how it changes.

I hope you have enjoyed this short tutorial.  


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Checklists to Guide School Leaders: COVID-19

We have been in school for 3 weeks, and it has been a very good start to our non-traditional method of teaching.  We have students both in remote and on-campus.  Parents get to choose their pathway.  Even though some students are designated remote and some on-campus, we have students flowing from remote back into the classroom and vice versa depending on their home situation.  For the most part, students will stay in remote for the grading period.  However, if a face-to-face student is quarantined, they will then become a temporary remote learner.  

This process can be very difficult to keep organized.  

Even though we have so much already in place to keep the lines of communication flowing, tracking students and staff for days in quarantine, and following all the checkboxes in our heads, we knew we needed a solid protocol in place so no task is left unchecked.  

After several Google searches and trying out a few other methods, we discovered Monday.com


We have protocols in place if students/parents report off campus symptoms and a checklist if they report symptoms while on-campus.

How this works:

We created a Student Protocol template.  As students are added into our system via a self-reporting form, we simply copy the template and rename it for each student in the process.  

1.  Assign a team member or members to complete the tasks.  They oversee that all of their tasks are completed for each student.   

2.  One of the best features of Monday.com is that you can add text and files for each student you are tracking.  We added links to our Google Drive to access the exact letter aligned to the task.  We can also attach files.  You can attach the letter directly or you can upload a file.  This comes in handy to keep the student's documentation of lab results or parent communication.
This section below shows the image of the checklist for a student moving into quarantine or testing positive.  As you can see we have color-coded all the levels/sections of the template.  


The staff checklist functions in the same fashion as student's checklist except there are a few changes for returning to work and Human Resource needs.

I highly recommend some system if you do not have a tracking protocol in place.  We realized this helps us with accountability to be sure all areas were completed.  We certainly don't want to have an oversight in releasing a student or staff member back on campus without the procedures in place.


Create an active and nonactive folders to house all of your checklists.  This is a huge time saver!  Close out those cases/checklists that are no longer active, so they are not taking up space in your list.

There are a lot of templates available on Monday.com.  We couldn't find one for our needs, but there are a lot of ways to utilize this platform at your school.  


I know this system can become highly automated and send emails for you.  We aren't there yet in our setup.  If our needs change, we can always learn how to use this feature.  Everything can also be downloaded into a spreadsheet (shown below).  The possibilities are endless.

I hope you found this helpful.  If so, please let me know!



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Mentoring Action Guide for New Teachers

After receiving many requests, I'm excited to share my school's Mentoring Guidebook with you! You can, of course, download it for free and edit it for your school. 

The goal of the guide is to enhance new employee performance and retain early career teachers in the profession or new to the district.

Here are just a few things that the program contains: 

  • Program overview and purpose
  • Roles and responsibilities for the mentor, principal, and coordinator
  • Confidentiality Agreement 
  • Monthly Mentor/Mentee checklists
  • Pre and Post-Observation questions
Mentor guidebook for educators
Mentor guidebook for educatorsMentor guidebook for educators


At the beginning of the year, I conduct an orientation with the mentors and mentees where they learn about the school's vision. If your school doesn't have a vision or if it is in need of an update, I've got you covered. My school uses the strategic plan outlined in the Transform Your School course. In a nutshell, the course is where you can learn the process our district implemented to excel our student and teacher growth from being low performing to achieving a Blue Ribbon Award.

transform your school online course


Additionally, each month we have "Coffee Chats" which is when we discuss Learning by Doing. I highly recommend this book! 

Learning by Doing


I recently wrapped up a week of sharing back-to-school resources in response to COVID-19. Each day I posted my school's resources and other helpful content. If you are looking for something in particular, you can probably find it in one of these posts: 

Day 1: My school's Return-to-School Plan and 14 other documents that you can edit by downloading 


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