Jersey Avenue Elementary School

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

Professional Learning Communities (PLC) are an integral part of the daily schedule, data reflection sessions (DRS) and intervention models at Jersey Avenue Elementary School. This model is the foundation for student success and is the driver of instructional practices, of interventions, and of professional development. While the PLC model has been implemented over the past eight years at Jersey, targeted and intensive refinement of the model have been the focus over the past two years. PLCs drive core instruction, are the basis for bi-monthly data reflection sessions, and dictate the interventions that will take place for all students. This targeted approach leads to a 3-tiered model for intervention, which increases access to the core curriculum for all students at their level of need.

Targeted instruction at Jersey Avenue Elementary School is a 3-tiered academic approach. All students participate in the school-wide intervention model. Tier 1 includes participation in the core academic curriculum for all students. This includes English Language Arts, Mathematics, History/Social Science, Science, and Writing. All students participate in these classes and they take frequent benchmark and common assessments to gather data on performance. This data is reviewed twice a month with specific focus given to English Language Arts, Writing, and Mathematics. During the data reflection session, students are placed in quadrants based on achievement (Challenge, Benchmark, Strategic, and Intensive). These quadrants then determine student placement in targeted interventions (tier-2). The targeted interventions have two goals: preview the content for struggling students, and fill gaps that otherwise could not be filled during core instruction. Teachers and interventionists meet during DRS to discuss what will take place during intervention classes. All students participate in the 2nd-tier intervention program. For our most struggling students, a 3rd-tier intervention is provided during the school day. This is sometimes referred to as “2nd dose RtI”. These students are far below grade level. The focus of the tier-3 intervention classes is to fill “gaps” in learning that may be impeding students from grasping the grade level curriculum.  Along with providing targeted support for struggling students, the RtI model allows for students working at and above grade level to receive “challenge” instruction. These “challenge” classes develop students’ reading, writing, mathematic skills with a focus on extending learning. All interventions, tier 2 and tier 3, work to support the core curriculum, and therefore, are aligned to the State Board of Education academic content and performance standards, known as the new California State Standards.

This model program is a direct response to state and local assessment scores.  Further, targeted populations benefit from the 3-tier intervention model as specific skills can be addressed in small class size settings (6 to 1 for our most intensive interventions). With this being a school-wide program, significant resources are needed to support and implement the model. The materials, resources, and staffing that are needed for the DRS / Intervention model to succeed include the following: release time for teachers during the school day (1.5 hours per grade level). This is achieved through the “Arts for All” program. Students participate in art, music, and physical education while teachers are released to meet with the principal and with the interventionists. The interventionists are certificated teachers that work with all grade levels for 45 minutes at a time. This creates a smaller class size ratio for 45 minutes four days a week where targeted instruction can take place. For example, there are 80 students in fourth grade. With three fourth grade teachers, the class size average is about 26:1. For 45 minutes each day, three interventionists come in creating an environment where the 80 students are divided amongst six teachers, lowering the class size ratio to 13:1. Further, the benchmark and challenge groups stay around 20:1 so that the intensive groups do not go higher than 6:1. This allocation of resources allows Jersey to target interventions based on the specific needs of each and every student. Further, all materials are directly aligned to the pacing guides of each grade level, and therefore, aligned to the new California State Standards. All materials purchased are directly aligned creating a guaranteed and viable curriculum.

The DRS / RtI model program benefits all students, but gives specific focus to unique populations within the community. This is achieved through the quadrant model (Intensive, Strategic, Benchmark, and Challenge). Intensive students receive 6:1 ratio instruction with specific focus on filling gaps that exist between their current level and grade level standards. Strategic through challenge groups are slightly larger (ranging from 10:1 to 20:1), yet they provide targeted support for all subgroups (English Learners, Students with Disabilities, and Socioeconomically Disadvantaged). These students are targeted during data reflection sessions and specific strategies are put into place to support them during instruction. Further, the social-emotional and behavioral well-being of students is addressed during data reflection sessions. The school counselor frequents the data reflection sessions to provide support and strategies for teachers. Also, teachers can create referrals for students to see the counselor during data reflection if needed.        

The goal of DRS and RtI is to provide laser-focused and targeted instruction based on the most current data available to us at the time of implementation. This is accomplished by asking and answering four questions each time we meet to discuss data:

  • What do we want students to learn?
  • How will we know when students have learned it?
  • How will we respond if they do not learn it?
  • How will we respond if they already know it?

Further, the goal is to provide enrichment, targeted support, or tier-3 intervention for every student at Jersey Avenue. The outcome of the model addresses the needs outlined by analysis of state and local assessment data. Parents and guardians also appreciate that students’ needs are being met during the school day. Gone are the days of sending more work home, to be done by the parent. At Jersey Avenue, we have created a model to support the needs of all students during the school day. Finally, teachers are able to target specific needs, parents know their student is receiving extra support during the school day, and the community at large appreciate the focus given to support all students at all times (every student, every day).

 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

We are able to monitor student learning through our systematic Data Reflection Sessions (DRS). DRS is the systematic solution to monitor each student at two-week intervals. Through this approach, student achievement is monitored and instruction is tailored to the specific needs of each learner. Results from each performance monitoring assessments (PMA), common assessment and district benchmark are taken from the data management system, Illuminate, and charted on a quadrant. All of these assessments are created by grade level teams at the district level. Each summer, a group of "lead teachers" from each school site are selected to create the assessments for the entire grade level for the district. This way, the assessments are truly common across the district for meta data reflection sessions held by administrators during admin meetings. The quadrant facilitates both a “big picture” understanding of student achievement and a case-by-case analysis. Students are color coded on the quadrant (yellow=EL, Green=SED, Pink=SWD, TT=Think Together, Orange=R-FEP, and *=Focus Students). Along with quantitative data analysis, student work samples are brought to look at qualitative samples of student achievement. The model allows teachers to look at sub-group data and to plan instruction based on the specific needs of each student in each sub-group. This summarized data is further explored through the use of a protocol quadrant with the four essential questions listed, one in each quadrant (“What do we want students to learn?”; “How will we know when students have learned it?”; “How will we respond if they do not learn it?”; and “How will we respond if they already know it?”). This approach is used for all students (kindergarten through 5th grade) twice monthly.

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

Targeted instruction at Jersey Avenue Elementary School is a 3-tiered academic approach. All students participate in the school-wide intervention model. Tier 1 includes participation in the core academic curriculum for all students. This includes English Language Arts, Mathematics, History/Social Science, Science, and Writing. All students participate in these classes and they take frequent benchmark and common assessments to gather data on performance. This data is reviewed twice a month with specific focus given to English Language Arts, Writing, and Mathematics. During the data reflection session, students are placed in quadrants based on achievement (Challenge, Benchmark, Strategic, and Intensive). These quadrants then determine student placement in targeted interventions (tier-2). The targeted interventions have two goals: preview the content for struggling students, and fill gaps that otherwise could not be filled during core instruction. Teachers and interventionists meet during DRS to discuss what will take place during intervention classes. All students participate in the 2nd-tier intervention program. For our most struggling students, a 3rd-tier intervention is provided during the school day. This is sometimes referred to as “2nd dose RtI”. These students are far below grade level. The focus of the tier-3 intervention classes is to fill “gaps” in learning that may be impeding students from grasping the grade level curriculum.  Along with providing targeted support for struggling students, the RtI model allows for students working at and above grade level to receive “challenge” instruction. These “challenge” classes develop students’ reading, writing, and mathematic skills with a focus on extending learning. All interventions, tier 2 and tier 3, work to support the core curriculum, and therefore, are aligned to the State Board of Education academic content and performance standards, known as the new California State Standards. 

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

High performing, collaborative teams are a focus during Data Reflection Sessions (DRS) as well as during a yearlong staff development. These collaborative teams consist of every adult that comes in contact with these students for core instruction, intervention, and even during the after-school program. During a DRS session the following groups are present: The entire grade level team, All four interventionists, The after school program coordinator, and the Principal. In addition, the Resource Specialist (RSP) and the School Counselor attend DRS sessions on a case-by-case basis when their expertise is needed. The RSP teacher and the counselor attend meetings at least once a month, but sometimes more often if needed. 

The content of the yearlong staff development is based on summative, state assessment data. For example, or most recent two years of CAASPP data have reveled that we have some deficiencies in the area of math. Further, our EL population continues to underperform. To address these two issues, a targeted and ongoing professional development series was created to support teachers in the areas of math and English Language Development. This professional development is carried out staff-wide during monthly staff meetings and biweekly, during DRS meetings. This model allows each grade level to receive targeted and specific training based on the needs of their students.  Through this process, teams of teachers work collaboratively to create lessons around Number Talks (the math strategy PD we are currently using). Through DRS, commitments are made and lessons are created. At the end of a two-week period, we check in during DRS, and we discuss what is working and what might need to change. This model of collaboration and professional development creates teams that are high performing, that are collaborative,  and that are laser focused  on student achievement. 

 

SCHOOL-WIDE: PERCENT OF STUDENTS MEETING/EXCEEDING PROFICIENCY

 

2014-2015

2015-2016

2016-2017

 

SCH/DIST/CNTY/ST

SCH/DIST/CNTY/ST

SCH/DIST/CNTY/ST

ELA

54/48/42/44

61/55/46/49

51/45/35/49

Math

32/29/31/33

41/36/35/37

46/41/40/38

GRADE 3: PERCENT OF STUDENTS MEETING/EXCEEDING PROFICIENCY

 

2014-2015

2015-2016

2016-2017

 

SCH/DIST/CNTY/ST

SCH/DIST/CNTY/ST

SCH/DIST/CNTY/ST

ELA

47/43/35/38

58/55/41/43

59/53/43/44

Math

47/39/38/40

45/50/45/46

57/54/47/47

GRADE 4: PERCENT OF STUDENTS MEETING/EXCEEDING PROFICIENCY

 

2014-2015

2015-2016

2016-2017

 

SCH/DIST/CNTY/ST

SCH/DIST/CNTY/ST

SCH/DIST/CNTY/ST

ELA

53/45/37/40

56/51/42/44

47/53/44/45

Math

26/32/32/35

40/39/36/38

39/48/39/40

GRADE 5: PERCENT OF STUDENTS MEETING/EXCEEDING PROFICIENCY

 

2014-2015

2015-2016

2016-2017

 

SCH/DIST/CNTY/ST

SCH/DIST/CNTY/ST

SCH/DIST/CNTY/ST

ELA

60/54/43/44

70/57/47/49

64/53/46/47

Math

23/22/27/30

37/37/31/33

46/38/33/34

 

2016 - California Gold Ribbon School

2009, 2011, 2012, 2016 - California Title I Academic Achievement School

2010 - California Distinguished School

2007 - 2011, 2013-2016 Campaign for Business & Education Excellence Award

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