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Forum Curriculum for Improving Education Data
NCES 2007-808
May 2007

Lesson: Developing a Data Calendar


Data Steward/Coordinator


This lesson introduces the purpose of a data calendar and the factors that should be accounted for in creating a data calendar.


  • Define the role and importance of a well-designed data calendar.
  • Develop an effective calendar for data collection and reporting for the district.

Instructor Preparation

  • Determine if your state department of education has developed a data calendar. If so, determine the URL for the information or download the appropriate file for printing and/or electronic distribution to participants.
  • Create a reference sheet with the URLs for the state data calendar, if one exists, and the Education Data Exchange Network (EDEN)1 data calendar and make copies for all participants.
  • If you collected the Data in School forms at the end of the Data Flow and Data Cycles lesson, have them ready to distribute to the appropriate participants.
  • Make a copy of the following lesson resources (the first two of which can be found in the Lesson Resources column at the top of this page) for each participant:
    • Collected Data Items
    • Data Calendar Planning Form
    • State data calendar (download from the state department of education)

Essential Learnings

  • Developing a Local Education Agency (LEA) data calendar should take into account any state data calendars and the EDEN data calendar.
  • Developing a data calendar should take into account not just deadlines, but conflicts with other school events, the amount of time people will need to query data and make corrections, etc.
  • Developing a data calendar should be done in consultation with all key staff members who either produce or apply education data.
  • District leadership should be aware of the importance of the timely delivery of quality data and the importance of enforcing the data calendar in achieving that delivery.


1 A set of K-12 statistical reports gathered from state agencies by the U.S. Department of Education.