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Tom Lang

Tom Lang has spent more than 3 decades in the field of journalism and marketing, while always having a hand in public education. His father was a school teacher, his mom a school secretary, and his wife teaches high school English and Humanities. On his own, Tom worked his way through college as a school bus driver and today remains closely tied to education as a Board member of FIRST (Robotics) in Michigan. He has worked with high school coaches and athletes for nearly 30 years as a freelance sports writer at the Detroit Free Press, and for more than 10 years as a basketball referee. Bottom line -- help kids grow, learn and create productive futures.

Recent Posts

3 min read

How Mapping Home Locations is Critical to School Budgets and Planning

By Tom Lang on April 22, 2021 at 10:14 AM

Student headcount accuracy is the most critical factor effecting government-funded school district budgets; few would question that fact.

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2 min read

Contact Tracing Now Made Easy for Schools Nationwide

By Tom Lang on April 21, 2021 at 3:38 PM

Contact Tracing for Covid-19 infections – while difficult to do in most cases but proven to be effective in the fight to eradicate the virus – has recently become extremely easy and lighting quick for school districts nationwide because of a specialized plug-in for districts using PowerSchool as its Student Information System (SIS).

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4 min read

Approved COVID-19 Funding Sources for RealTime Reports

By Tom Lang on March 29, 2021 at 4:06 PM

There is no question that in the near future, oodles and oodles of cash will be flowing into local school districts nationwide thanks to recent federal legislation.

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3 min read

Using Data Buried in PowerSchool to Help At-Risk Students

By Tom Lang on March 15, 2021 at 11:45 AM

Teachers, principals and counselors genuinely want to help students who are at-risk.
To do so, the first step is identifying those kids – and now there is an easy solution for such an enormous task – called RealTime Reports.

RealTime Reports seamlessly pulls a districts’ stored data to track broad trends with easy-to-review graphics and charts, yet also find students who otherwise slip through the cracks to lead school personnel to those in need with detailed lists.

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4 min read

What is Mass Address Validation and How Does It Help School Districts?

By Tom Lang on March 15, 2021 at 11:13 AM

The cleaner the better.

There is perhaps no better mantra for every school district staff member who is involved with entering, managing and validating staff and student data accuracy for internal use, state reporting and federal grant funding opportunities.

For PowerSchool users who utilize Level Data, Inc. applications, the features of automated cleaning and easily-guided fixes in State Data Validation are widely known.

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3 min read

How Accurate Addresses Hold the Keys to All School District Funding

By Tom Lang on February 26, 2021 at 11:23 AM

Home Sweet Home.

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2 min read

Consistency: The Most Cherished Word in PowerSchool Data Management

By Tom Lang on February 15, 2021 at 2:24 PM

If fellow data management and IT directors were to challenge Jay Childers to describe in one word what he likes to see within his school district’s workforce and its expansive student database, that’s an easy one:

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3 min read

How this District Was Able to Go Online Overnight, Thanks to Proper Data Management

By Tom Lang on February 15, 2021 at 2:11 PM

As school districts nationwide scurried to implement full-blown online learning in the midst of COVID-19 shutting down virtually all school buildings in early 2020, Oxford Community Schools in Michigan was one of those in the best position of any district to make a seamless transition – a transition that is yet to be determined if it’ll be temporary or long-term on-line learning.

Oxford has roughly 8,000 students in multiple school settings. These include traditional seated students, plus Oxford Bridges, an alternative school for kids who would struggle to make it through a typical high school setting, and a program called Crossroads, for adjudicated youth.

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3 min read

Syncing-up Data Found Unused Curriculum for this School District

By Tom Lang on February 10, 2021 at 2:21 PM

If Level Data cannot do a needed data task for Farmington Municipal Schools, it probably cannot be done by anyone.

That is the conclusion of the district’s Chief Technology Officer, Robert Emerson, since teaming up with Level Data to help the district synchronize and automate its student and teacher data in PowerSchool with Active Directory, Google and its OneRoster service. Even in a very unique situation, school officials discovered a K-12 science curriculum that was inaccessible for several months, and Level Data quickly provided the necessary tools for Emerson's team to overcome this hurdle.

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2 min read

How this School District Went from Dysfunctional to Excellence for State Reporting

By Tom Lang on February 5, 2021 at 8:36 AM

Bad data reporting is no laughing matter to the IT staff of Kalispell School District #5.

Data Analyst Kyra Ocker said years of struggling with inaccurate data and ineffective information processes were a constant challenge the district grappled with until her district signed on for Level Data’s State Data Validation Suite. What had been a long running series of manual data-entry processes that allowed for ongoing human error – costing 1-2 hours a day manually cleaning data for state reports – has since become a spotless data point-of-pride for the 6,000-student school district. 

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