John Marshall Mid-High Enterprise School

  1. PLC Story
  2. PLC Practices
  3. Achievement Data
  4. Awards
  5. Resources

Our district, Oklahoma City Public Schools, gave faculty paid PLC time in 2012, in addition to the one period for conference/planning that had been the norm up until that year. At first, we struggled with the model of Professional Learning Communities, and didn't implement them correctly: we didn't have a set agenda to look at what we wanted students to learn, what we would do when they didn't show mastery and what we would do when they did (the 3 essential questions of PLCs around student learning), according to the Dufours. Once we began to work with our coach from Solution Tree, Dr. Sharon Kramer, in 2013, we delved deeply into the work of looking at data, standards and student learning. Our coach helped us break down the standards for each core area, set a calendar for formative assessments, remediate by standard for small groups of students and identified the indicators that we, as a leadership team, needed to monitor. The strategic implementation and fidelity to the PLC model brought us measurable growth and academic success for our students!

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Through our data summits with Dr. Kramer, which we held 10 times per year, or roughly twice quarterly, we (administrators and teachers) tracked and monitored student learning. More importantly, students used trackers in each core class to monitor their own growth by standard. With 80% as our agreed-upon percentage indicating mastery, we had valuable conferences with students about exactly where they needed to be remediated. Oklahoma City Public Schools had converted to a continuous calendar, with remediation during the fall, winter and spring breaks. John Marshall enjoyed approximately 30% of students attending this non-mandatory remediation time, called intersession, when their peers were out of school on vacation. We were the only school in the district that had such high attendance for our students on these optional days, and it was due to the value that the students realized through strategic remediation based on the standards where they individually needed assistance, not mass "tutoring for all". Students were informed of the pass rates they needed for the mandatory end-of-instruction assessments required by the state for graduation. They became very focused, informed, and we all celebrated their gains!

2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.

Using Title I funds (John Marshall has approximately 80% of students qualifying for free/reduced lunch) we paid teachers for their extra four hours per week for tutoring. We also are able to pay for transportation, which through qualitative data via student and parent surveys and conferences, turned out to be the greatest obstacle to our students' tutoring attendance. Along with intersession, after school tutoring, biweekly Saturday School for 3 hours and even pull-out PLC tutoring time, we were able to get all students who needed remediation through these avenues. We realized that only after-school tutoring would not be enough--therefore, we had to use Saturday mornings, and for students who are caretakers for younger sibilings after school, or have to work to help their families, the move to PLC pull-outs meant we could get those students the assistance they needed during the school day: the one time we knew we could see them for sure.

3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.

Our data summits, which the coaching and guidance of Dr. Sharon Kramer, were critical to our success and held us all accountable until our PLC work became habit and just "how we do business at John Marshall". Agendas were sent to the staff with detailed instructions at least 3 weeks in advance, and teachers and staff were informed of the importance of these summits. All other events were rescheduled to ensure that all core educators, special education teachers, remediation teachers,counselors and administratorswered present to present their data for the group's analysis and discussion. Everyone projects their data on formative assessments via Mastery Connect, STAR or Achieve 3000, showing were students began, which students needed remediation, which had shown mastery and which were on the "bubble", meaning with a little extra support, we could move them to mastery. 

To hone our craft and create high-performing teams, the John Marshall leadership team, consisting of the administrators, counselors and department chairs, created the weekly agendas for the PLC teams. All meetings have agendas, tasks, notes and sign in sheets. These are kept in electronic form in Google Docs and/or a hard copy binder for review by the leadership team and central office. We included days for sharing best practices, discussion on lesson planning and problems of practice, effective remediation strategies, review of student work and celebrations. 

 

JM  Student Achievement Data

 

 

12-13

13-14

15-16

English II

73%

72%

78%

English III

70%

74%

84%

Algebra I

42%

60%

60%

Algebra II

22%

33%

54%

Geometry

26%

51%

68%

Biology

24%

49%

44%

US History

69%

65%

60%

 

 

 

12-13

13-14

15-16

8 Reading

46%

52%

60%

8 Math

29%

38%

41%

8 Science

20%

26%

18%

8 US History

30%

27%

15%

7 Reading

 36%

69%

44%

7 Math

36%

41%

15%

7 Geography

N/A

30%

21%

 

 

 

 

 

In 2015, Solution Tree used the growth of John Marshall students in the catalogue of professional development. The case study was a great source of pride for the school and the community. Students celebrated their growth and the district recognized John Marshall for across-the-grades growth on the state end-of-instruction exams. 

Due to the tremendous improvements in academic success, we have students who are are being recruited by Ivy League schools for the first time. Additionally, we have grown from offering one advanced placement class in 2012 to thirteen AP classes in 2016! Nationally, AP classes have been dominated by White and Asian students; however, at John Marshall, we have predominantly African-American students enrolled in AP courses, and many athletes, as well, which is a rarity. We offer extra supports, as learned through our PLC work, in order to help all students with potential be successful in these advanced courses.

The NBA OKC Thunder played a game in the John Marshall gymnasium, and created a replicated Thunder Alley in the school in the fall of this year to recognize the academic improvements of the students! This was a very unique and special opportunity--all the students attended, along with dignitaries and special guests from the city and state!

This year, we applied for and were accepted in the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools in Washington D.C.! We are continuing to address equity for our students through the recent acquisition of wifi hotspots for checkout (like library books) for students who do not have internet at home. Along with our 1:1 technology initiative, we are striving to give all students access to opportunities that will enable them to succeed in today's competitive college and career playing field.

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