In today’s data-driven education landscape, having the right tools to accurately assess student learning, identify needs, and drive instruction is crucial. Illuminate Education is a leading provider of assessment, analytics, and collaboration solutions designed to empower educators at all levels. Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Irvine, California, Illuminate serves over 5,200 schools and districts across the United States. This comprehensive guide will explore Illuminate’s offerings in detail and how they help streamline multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) implementations.
What is Illuminate Education?
Illuminate Education is an education technology company that develops software and solutions to support data-driven decision-making. Their flagship product is a comprehensive, next-generation assessment and data platform that combines universal screening, progress monitoring, standards-based assessments, social-emotional learning (SEL) tools, and robust data visualization capabilities. This integrated system aims to provide educators with a complete picture of each student as a whole child.
Key Features and Benefits
Some of the core capabilities and advantages offered by the Illuminate platform include:
Research-backed assessments: Their tools are grounded in the latest educational research and designed by assessment experts to yield reliable, valid, and actionable insights.
Comprehensive data: The platform consolidates all student performance data from local, state, and third-party assessments to give a 360-degree view of learning.
Customization: Districts can build their standards-aligned assessments, customize reports, and extract raw data in various formats for external systems.
Integration: The system integrates with major SIS and LMS providers like CCSU Pipeline Login through open APIs for a unified experience.
Scalability: Illuminate supports implementations of all sizes, from single schools to statewide deployments, with high performance.
Actionable insights: Interactive dashboards and reports surface the right data at the right time to guide instruction and intervention decisions.
MTSS tools: Features like intervention tracking, goal setting, and progress monitoring help strengthen multi-tiered systems of support.
Ease of use: Intuitive interfaces optimize both administrator and educator workflows for minimal training needs.
Security: Robust data security practices ensure student privacy and compliance with regulations.
This comprehensive and integrated approach is designed to accelerate learning for all students through timely, evidence-based actions informed by high-quality, easy-to-understand data.
Illuminate’s Product Suite – An Overview
Illuminate Education offers the following core products and services to form a unified assessment, analytics, and collaboration platform:
FastBridge Learning – Universal Screening and Progress Monitoring
FastBridge Learning is Illuminate’s flagship universal screening and progress monitoring product. It includes computer-adaptive tests (CATs), curriculum-based measures (CBMs), and other formative assessments to continuously monitor student performance in reading, math, and social-emotional learning.
Universal screeners are brief assessments administered to all students at benchmark periods to identify those in need of additional support. FastBridge offers the following research-backed universal screeners:
- Reading CBM: Measures reading fluency and comprehension.
- Math CBM: Assesses math calculation skills and problem-solving abilities.
- Social-Emotional CBM: Screens for internalizing behaviors like depression and anxiety.
- EarlyReading CBM: Evaluates phonological awareness for pre-readers.
- EarlyMath CBM: Focuses on number sense for pre-K and kindergarteners.
To track response to intervention, FastBridge provides matching progress monitoring tools that are shorter and administered more frequently. Options include:
- Reading CBM: Measures reading rate and accuracy.
- Math CBM: Assesses math computation skills.
- Social-Emotional CBM: Monitors internalizing/externalizing behaviors.
All FastBridge assessments are supported by extensive research and yield reliable, valid individual student-level data. They also generate automatic reports and recommendations to guide instruction.
DnA – Custom Assessments and Reporting
DnA (Data and Assessments) from Illuminate Education is an integrated assessment authoring and delivery system. It allows districts to efficiently create, deploy, and score both formative and interim assessments.
DnA provides robust tools for building assessments manually or importing items from item banks. Educators can construct assessments with different question types including:
- Multiple choice
- Fill in the blank
- Hot spot
- Drag and drop
- Likert scale
- Open response
It also supports importing assessment content from external sources through open standards like QTI and LTI.
Once created, DnA assessments can be seamlessly delivered online or in print. It offers features like random item selection, timers, and review screens. Responses are captured in the Illuminate platform for scoring and analysis.
Scoring and Reporting
DnA streamlines scoring workflows by automatically grading selected response items. It generates detailed reports on standards mastery, including performance by item, student group, and over time. Reports are available on-demand through an interactive dashboard. This allows districts to supplement interim and formative assessments while spending less time on development and more on analysis to guide instruction.
eduCLIMBER – MTSS Collaboration and Data Visualization
eduCLIMBER from Illuminate Education is a specialized solution for MTSS implementation and data-driven decision-making. It brings together screening, intervention, and outcome data to track the multi-tiered process from a district-wide, school-wide, or student-level perspective.
Comprehensive Data Views
All student performance and needs assessment results, whether from FastBridge, state tests, or other sources, populate interactive eduCLIMBER dashboards. Administrators can view aggregated or disaggregated data on academics, behavior, attendance, and more.
The platform allows for defining, tracking, and evaluating interventions school-wide or for individual students. Educators document goals, and service details, and monitor response over time. Automated workflows manage caseloads.
eduCLIMBER provides discussion threads, file sharing, and to-do lists to strengthen collaboration in student-centered problem-solving meetings like Student Support, Data, and RTI teams. Meeting minutes and next steps are documented for compliance.
Equity and Reporting
Comprehensive equity views surface any significant sub-group differences. While standardized and custom reports showcase MTSS implementation successes, gaps, and next steps for continuous improvement.
SchoolCity – Gradebook, Reporting, and Standards Mastery
SchoolCity from Illuminate Education is a comprehensive student information and reporting system. It serves as both a guidebook for entering and analyzing assignment scores as well as a platform for communicating standards-based progress to stakeholders.
Key capabilities for streamlining grading workflows include:
- Assignment creation and scoring rubrics.
- Online and offline grading of selected responses, essays, and file uploads.
- Automatic calculation of assignment, category, and overall weights.
- Comments and feedback attachment.
- Digital submission of student work.
SchoolCity transforms raw grades into meaningful performance updates aligned with state standards. It generates reports on:
- Mastery at the standard, subgroup, and student levels over time.
- Overall gradebook scores correlated to standards.
- IEP, 504, and ELL progress and achievement gaps.
Through a secure web interface, parents and students can access assignments, grades, attendance records, and standards-based performance reports in real time.
Content Library – Vetted Instructional Materials
The Illuminate Content Library houses thousands of high-quality instructional materials and formative assessments created by expert educators. All resources are thoroughly vetted and aligned to state standards. Materials include:
- Lesson plans: Detailed, step-by-step plans for delivering instruction on various topics.
- Activities: Engaging practice exercises, worksheets, projects, and labs for students.
- Assessments: Short quizzes and tests to check understanding of key concepts.
- Videos/slides: Multimedia content to bring lessons to life.
- Reading passages: Leveled texts for developing comprehension skills.
- Graphic organizers: Visual tools to help organize and retain information.
Teachers can search, preview, and add these ready-to-use resources to their Illuminate lessons and assessments for a cohesive experience. Districts also gain the flexibility to contribute homegrown materials for sharing across schools.
Training and Professional Development
Illuminate Education complements its technology with robust professional learning programs to boost assessment literacy and data-driven practices:
- On-site training: In-person workshops tailored to district needs and schedules.
- Virtual sessions: Live and on-demand webinars for flexible participation.
- Train-the-trainer: Certification programs to build internal expertise.
- Conferences: Attend national conferences for best practices.
- Consulting: Dedicated success managers provide long-term guidance.
- Resources: Online guides, videos, and a help desk support implementation.
This multi-pronged approach equips educators at every level to maximize the Illuminate platform and continuously improve student outcomes.
Illuminate’s experienced client services team handles end-to-end deployment from data conversion and configuration to change management. Key steps include:
- Needs assessment: Understanding goals to recommend optimal solutions.
- Data migration: Importing student records and historical results securely.
- Configuration: Setting up assessments, reports, permissions, and workflows.
- Training rollout: Coordinating professional learning across the district.
- Change management: Guiding cultural and process changes through adoption.
- Support: Dedicated go-live support and ongoing success management.
This comprehensive implementation approach helps districts overcome challenges and see results faster through the Illuminate system.
Pricing and Purchase Options
Illuminate Education offers flexibility in acquisition models to meet a variety of budget needs:
- Per-student pricing: Annual subscription based on student enrollment.
- Site licensing: Discounted rates for purchasing by school/district.
- Free trials: No-obligation trials to experience the full platform.
- Stimulus funding assistance: Help maximize COVID-19 relief dollars.
- Custom quotes: For configurations beyond standard pricing.
- SaaS or on-premise hosting: Options to self-host or outsource infrastructure.
The company also provides payment plans and partnerships with educational buying cooperatives for volume discounts. Overall, Illuminate aims to remove financial barriers to data-driven decision-making.
Illuminate Education provides a comprehensive next-generation assessment and data platform designed to empower educators at every level. By integrating universal screening, progress monitoring, custom assessments, data visualization, and collaboration tools – Illuminate helps strengthen multi-tiered systems of support to meet all students’ needs. Backed by robust professional development and implementation services, the Illuminate suite streamlines workflows while surfacing the actionable insights necessary to improve outcomes continuously.