Jefferson Elementary

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

Jefferson Elementary was put into school improvement 2008.  We were considered a failing school, and had to give our parents the option to have their children bussed to another school in our district that wasn't failing.  We then began our journey to figure out how to meet the needs of our students.  Our first trip to Lincolnshire to attend a PLC confernce was in 2009 and we have sent a group almost every year since.  The first team realized that we needed a "sense of urgency", collaboration time needed to be built into our school day, and we needed to focus on four guiding questions.  We started by creating a Master Schedule that would allow for this collaboration.  We created norms, and began with the four guiding questions. We attended Lincolnshire again to gather more information.  Mike Mattoes gave us some great ideas on RTI and we carved out a 30 minute time block so that we could begin intervening on essential skills. We began using common formative assessments and we monitored student learning.  Students who were put into Tier 2 after Tier 1 instruction.  The grade level teachers, along with Title teachers, and Special Education teachers intervened while support staff flooded to the grade level to take the students who had mastered the skill to provide an enrichment activity.  Teachers were learning what the misunderstandings were and grew from their work in small groups.  Our high stake assessment scores rose and we were not in school improvement any longer.  Every year we sent a new group to the PLC with one or two common teachers and each year we refined, added more data to collaboration time, and have improved all Tiers of instruction.  Our school was an "A" school in 2015-16 and 2016-17.  We have had some of the highest scores in our county, and have the most growth with our poverty students.  The collaboration time allows for data analysis, professional development, discussion of instructional strategies, and analysis of state instructional standards.  We have an Instructional Coach who works with collaboration teams and helps us to implement a School Wide Plan where we create SMART goals that drive our instruction.  The Instructional Coach attends most collaborations working with teachers on Tier 1 improvement, data analysis, and supporting the teams with the latest research that will improve our instruction.  We have created data walls, use data spreadsheets to monitor growth, and according to NWEA assessments our school has a higher percentage of growth per student than typical.  Last year, every grade level met their projected growth on the NWEA assessments.  When compared to state averages, our school is meeting or exceeding the averages.  Scores have grown each year.  We attribute all of our success to PLC's and Interventions.  We know we have more to learn and will continue to be reflective in all we do so that we can give our students the best opportunity for success.    

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Jefferson Elementary began the journey to becoming a PLC in 2009-10 after devastating scores in 2008-09.  We began by adding collaboration time to the school day.  In our first year, collaboration time was spent creating common formative assessments, choosing essential skills, and looking at data.  We built collaboration time into our school day.  Each grade level had 90 minutes of collaboration once a week.  Five grade level teachers and the instructional coach were in attendance.  

After attending breakouts with Mike Mattos we then built in an intervention time block.  We began implementation of an RTI system that would ensure all students master the essential skills. We created pre-assessments, post Tier 1, post Tier 2, and Tier 3 formative assessments.  We used the Tier triangle percentages to determine how well we did in Tier 1.  We asked the question, did we reach 80%?  If not, we asked the question, how can we improve our Tier 1 instruction? 

Students who do not master the skill in Tier 1 are grouped by the grade level teachers and we begin Tier 2.  Staff members flood to the grade level while the teachers work with Tier 2 students.  Staff involved are Special Education teachers, English Language teachers, Title teachers, and para-professionals.  The instructional coach and principal fill in when needed.  Another assessment is given after Tier 2.  Any students not mastering the skill enter Tier 3 with one on one/one on two support until the skill is mastered.  

We start the unit with a pre-assessment, after 3 to 4 weeks of instruction another formative assessment is given.  If we have 80% of our students mastering the skill then we group for Tier 2.  If not, we make instructional changes and then assess again.  Tier 2 begins after teachers have analyzed the data and determined individual student needs.  Tier 2 usually runs 2-3 weeks.  Students are assessed again, and regrouped to enter Tier 3.  Students stay in Tier 3 until the skill is mastered.  Each quarter at least 4 essential skills run through all 3 Tiers, two language arts skills and two math.  We do assess other areas to monitor student progress also, and teachers are responsible for differentiating for skills not entering interventions.

In 2014-15, we decided to rework the schedule to make collaboration two times a week for 60 minutes, both within the school day.  One day we focus on data and the other is planning and Tier 1 instructional discussions.  Teams use Exel to sort data, formulas automatically determine class percentages, and grade level percentages.  Data discussions allow us to share our strengths and teachers use these comparisons to determine weaknesses.  Instructional changes are then made. 

NWEA Growth Assessment was added 2014-15 to give us more information on our student needs.  We drill down to individual students to determine needs.  Excel sorts allow us to group students according to those needs.  Each year we grow and will continue to grow in the PLC/Intervention process.  Our school has become very reflective in our practices and we get better and better at using data to drive our instruction ensuring all students have the opportunity to learn.  

 

 

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

An intervention time block was built into our schedule so that we could give students more time to learn, while students who have mastered the skill do enrichment activities.  Each grade level has a 30 minute intervention time block everyday that has staff flooding to support it.  Tier 2 intervention groups have less than 6 students, and Tier 3 is one to one.  Our goal is 100% of the students master the essential skill.  We believe all students can learn, it just takes longer for some, but we are driven for student success.  Flooding staff (Title teachers para-professionals, Special Educaton teachers, the librarian, PE teacher, Art teacher, Music teacher, and back up support from the Instructional Coach and Principal) ensure small groups. Students who have mastered the skill are in enrichment groups. Teachers learn a lot about misunderstandings and are able to differentiate to the student's needs.  Interventions have become a part of what we do at Jefferson Elementary.  Our PLC's are becoming more efficient and effective in improving Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 instruction along with meeting all student's needs.  We have become more diverse in our interventions.  We are able to target what students need and are intentional about the lessons.  We attribute interventions to the high rate of growth we have at each grade level, along with the support of coaches monitoring PLC's to ensure they are effective and efficient.  We have become a data driven school where teachers reflect on their practice, and ensure student success.    

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

Each grade level at Jefferson has two collaboration times a week built into the school day.  The Instructional Coach, Special Education teacher, EL teacher, and Title teachers that work with that grade level attend the collaborations.  Every year our collaboration teams become more efficient.  We consider all of the students our students.  We set yearly goals for each team and the teams work together to accomplish those goals.  Each teacher has a role.  (facilitator, minutes, data, communicator, teacher in the coaching cycle, and guiding coalition member) We are able to use NWEA data to identify learning gaps, we also use the common formative assessments, and we compare other sources of data to determine student needs.  We use all sources of data to make the decision on what students need in interventions.  Teams discuss ways to improve our Tier 1 growth, we also desegregate our data to ensure our sub-groups are growing.  We discuss individual student needs, along with classroom needs.  Seven years ago, our teachers didn't work together and no one knew what went on in other classrooms.  Now teachers are aligned, we monitor the essential skills, we set agendas to keep us on task, and our goal is to give each student the opportunity to go to college by filling learning gaps leading to student success.  College flags hang in our building as a reminder of our expectations for each student.        

Jefferson Elementary PLC/Intervention Growth

ELA and Math 2008-09 Fall 2008-09 SPR 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2015-16 2016-17
Jefferson Elementary 45.60% 65.50% 77.30% 74.90% 78.10% 78.30% 87% 72% 70%
State Avg. 64% 67.50% 72.60% 73.20% 75.60% 76.20% 75.40% 54% 53%
                                           No PLC         PLC        PLC/Int.         Test Change  

 

ELA 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17  
Jefferson Elementary   88.90%   66%   77.10%  Testing   changed        in
State Average   88.40%   69%   69.40%  2015-16
         
Math  2014-15  2015-16  2016-17  
Jefferson Elementary   92.60%   75%   79.20%   Testing   changed       in
State Average   80.80%   57.80%   60.10%  2015-16

In the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years Jefferson met and/or exceeded grade level projected growth in math and language arts, on NWEA testing in all grades except 1st grade reading in 2016-17 which fell just under.  The only state testing we have is for 3rd grade only.  This is our second year using the NWEA Growth Assessment.  When compared to other schools on NWEA our grade level overall growth is well above the expected level.

We haven't received any rewards, but have gone from the lowest scoring school in our district to the highest scoring school.  We celebrate staff and student successes.  Each year our goal is to increase the score on our state testing.  We were awarded an "A" for our school letter grade this year, and will continue to grow our percentage of students passing high stakes assessments.  

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