Thursday, May 9, 2019

Student Placement with a Google Sheet and STAR

I’ve been steadily making improvements to my Student Placement system and thought others might find it useful. It is a juiced up Google Sheet that integrates with the STAR RTI screener. We have been using it for years and the time spent on student placement has been cut in half. You will find two sheets linked below - a blank template and a demo file with some fake data added to provide context.

The system calculates student data automatically, both from data recorded with the STAR RTI screener and from teacher reporting. Data can be exported from STAR and easily added to the sheet. Then teachers add their own feedback - filling in services, behavior, attention to task, reading, math, and writing observations. The placement team organizes students into different classes for the upcoming year. Classes can be analyzed using different data points which can be changed dynamically using the controls all the way on the right of the class roster sheet sheet.

The system has several dashboards and can record two sets of placement, just in case a grade level is close to splitting or contracting. The dashboards include a class roster view, a chart view, an in focus page, and a numbers dashboard. We most often use the class roster and chart views during placement. The in-focus page can feed photos automatically, too, if you have a photo DVD from your photographer that uses student ID to name files.

I created an instructions page for administrators and teachers to help make this easier to set up and use. You can take a look at the posts written for the previous versions, too. They work in a similar way and some of the posts went into greater detail. Let me know if you try it. You can ask me questions or provide feedback here or on Twitter. Thanks!


  1. We are getting ready to use this next week. It is a thing of beauty. Well-designed and easy to use.

    1. Thanks so much, l-gun! I'm really glad you're finding it useful...

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  4. This is a great spreadsheet. Thank you for sharing!!! Is there a way to edit the student services?


  5. Thank you for sharing! I have copied and edited to meet our needs but can't figure out how to add a 4th teacher to the previous teacher column on the variables tab (so it will link to the dashboard).

  6. Hi John,
    Thank you for creating this tool--it is masterfully done and to be quite frank, a work of genius. Our school has been using it for the past 2 years and it makes things very easy. With COVID-19, our school is expanding sections on many grade levels and we had to re-balance our classes. I was able to change the variable for the class drop down to add sections but I am not able to populate the data to the class roster tab. Is there any chance that you were considering an expansion to include additional class sections? Thanks again.