Pollard Meadows

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

It is the mission of Pollard Meadows School staff to do whatever it takes to ensure the highest levels of learning for ALL students.  The culture we strive to develop, sustain, and nurture is one characterized by continuous, measured, and celebrated improvement.

We use 3 Big Ideas to guide our work:

A focus on learning (our concern is not whether we have taught it, but whether students have learned it)

A culture of collaboration (our actions are characterized by interdependence and mutual accountability)

A focus on results (we use student demonstration of learning to determine our effectiveness as educators and to guide our next steps toward improvement). 

In the weekly collaborative meetings our teachers engage in, the focus is always on Four Key Questions:

1. What do we want all students to learn?
2. How will we know if they've learned what we have intended for them to learn?
3. How will we respond if they don't learn what they are supposed to learn?
4. How will we deepen and/or extend student learning if they already know what we intend for them to learn? 

Our staff collaboratively design, implement, reflect on and refine assessment cycles to ensure timely, targeted, and tracked responses to the individualized needs of students.

The structural elements of a PLC we have put in place to effectively respond to all student needs is indicative of the school culture we have worked to cultivate. Ours is a culture where clarity in purpose is the conduit to high levels of learning, where interdependence is the prerequisite to professional improvement, and where collective inquiry is the precursor to an ever-improving reality for student achievement and citizenship.

 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

As a first step toward effectively monitoring student learning, staff at Pollard Meadows have engaged in a systematic process to prioritize our Provincial Program of Studies into a guaranteed and viable curriculum. In collaborative teams, we used the criteria of endurance, readiness, and leverage to reach consensus regarding which outcomes were deemed to be essential, and determined a common timeline for implementation. These ongoing professional discussions result in clarity among staff regarding what students must master to be successful, as well as commitment from all staff to provide equity in access to experiences that will lead to mastery of these outcomes.

In order to have timely, ongoing collaborative conversations about student learning, teachers co-created common formative and summative assessments based on the essential learning outcomes they had collectively identified. All students from the respective collaborative teams take part in the same assessment within the same time period, so that teachers can analyze the resulting data together and compare student results in order to come to conclusions about learning needs. The data that emerges from common formative assessments provides rich information in a variety of areas and leads to a number of pertinent questions that refine both teaching and learning:

  • what are the specific strengths and challenges of each student in relation to their demonstration of mastery toward essential learning outcomes (data generated shows individual results of students by name and by need)?
  • what feedback is required to be provided to each student and what practice must they engage in so they can improve toward demonstrating mastery of the learning outcome?
  • how should students be grouped for the provision of additional time and support?
  • what does the data reveal about the effectiveness of our teaching practices (what worked well and for whom), and how will these findings help organize intervention support?
  • how will we measure whether our prescribed intervention has the desired effect and how much additional time and support will be required before students have another opportunity to demonstrate their understanding?
 
A strategy that has worked particularly well is our process of intervention where all students from a grade level are distributed among all collaborative team members based on their specific area of need. Students receive additional time and acute support from a teacher who is best suited to provide this support, using the practices that have been determined through data analysis to be the most effective. Students then have an additional opportunity to demonstrate their learning and programming is again refined as determined by the data obtained.   

 

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

Pollard Meadows staff employ a tiered intervention system to provide students with equitable access to the best practices in teaching, and an environment characterized by additional time and support for learning in areas of need. 

Tier I
Our staff engaged in a process of collective inquiry, including a collaborative study of John Hattie's 'Visible Learning', to help define the conditions and practices that have the most significantly positive effect on student learning. From these conclusions, we committed to providing all students with the following Universal (Tier I) Interventions:

  • Daily access to and interaction with explicitly stated learner outcomes, presented in student-friendly terms

  • Targeted vocabulary Instruction of critical terms Using Robert Marzano’s 6-step process

  • Meaningful activities that target 5 Pillars of Reading acquisition

  • Descriptive teacher and student generated feedback opportunities

  • Interleaved practice in basic, foundational learning activities, in accordance with the Law of the Vital Few

  • mulitple and varied opportunities to demonstrate learning of essential outcomes through formative and summative assessment

 
Through our collective commitment to the school wide implementation of these Tier I interventions, we are addressing equity in access to a high quality learning environment for all students. 
 
Tier II
Staff, together in collaborative teams, engage in regular analysis of student demonstration of learner outcomes deemed to be essential. Results from this analysis determines which students require additional time and support to demonstrate learning targets, which students are proficient in their understanding, knowledge and skills, and also identifies which students require opportunities to deepen, extend, or accellerate their learning. In this way, learning paths for students are determined and refined by name and by need.
 
Students are grouped according to need and targeted intervention based on the identified need is provided by teachers who, it has been determined through data analysis, are best suited to provide that additional time and support. Following a period of intervention, students engage in an additional common assessment to determine if the intervention provided has resulted in improved learning. 
 
Tier III
 A higher tier of intervention is provided for students whom despite the implementation of our universal interventions, as well as additional time and varying forms of support, struggle to demonstrating success in mastery of learning outcomes. Tier III intervention caters to the specific needs of the individual student. Types of intervention include acute support to build foundational skills, specialized assessment to determine additional information for programming purposes, and social support in partnership with external agencies.
 
Daily intervention, planned and implemented by supportive grade level teams, is designed to meet the needs of all learners. This school wide response to intervention ensures that all students receive what we refer to as the 3 T's: Timely, Targeted, and Tracked support.
 

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

Our journey toward becoming a Professional Learning Community began with the establishment of collaborative professional learning teams. Each team has developed and implemented norms that guide our professional interactions, including norms to ensure all voices are heard as well as norms to reach consensus.

Members of collaborative teams meet for at least an hour each week to engage in a process of collective inquiry, responding to four fundamental questions:

1. What do we want all students to know?

2. How will we know if they have learned it?

3. How will we respond if students don't learn what we have intended?

4. How will we deepen, extend, or accelerate learning when students already know what we have intended for them to learn?

As collaborative team members, we hold ourselves mutually accountable to focus solely on these four questions during collaborative time, thereby ensuring we are focused on the right things, and as educators, committing to being the biggest learners in the building.

To respond to question number one, grade level teams collaboratively identified essential learner outcomes. By using the criteria of endurance, readiness, and leverage, they established a guaranteed and viable curriculum.

To support mastery of essential learner outcomes, teams also established critical term vocabulary lists. They engaged in professional conversations, using the same criteria of endurance, readiness and leverage to create critical term lists for every grade and subject. As collaborative learning teams applied Bob Marzano's six step process for effective vocabulary acquisition to guide their teaching, they addressed the issue of equity by building background knowledge for terms that matter most; leveling the playing field for all learners. Lists of essential learner outcomes and associated critical term vocabulary lists are revisited and reflected on by teams, revised as necessary so that they continually facilitate the most relevant learning experiences for students.

To effectively respond to question two, teaching teams engage in the development of common formative assessments. These assessments are created collaboratively before the process of teaching has begun, so that both faculty and students have a clear conception of the intended learning targets, and to provide equity in access to opportunities for students to demonstrate mastery of essential learner outcomes. As teaching teams meet weekly, they compare formative assessments to gauge student growth toward being able to successfully demonstrate their learning.  

Following the implementation of common formative assessments, collaborative teams engage in a process of collective data analysis. This process is intended not only to identify the specific strengths and challenges of students, but also to identify effective teaching practices, to capitalize on the strengths of the teaching team, and to shore up identified deficits in teaching practices.

To address questions three and four, professional learning teams cooperatively plan their responses to intervention. This intervention provides additional time and support for all students in the particular areas of need. For students who have already demonstrated proficiency related to learning outcomes, opportunities are presented for them to deepen, extend, or accelerate their learning. Through identification of professional strengths and through collaborative inquiry into researched best practices, teams use the expertise of members and of other practitioners to delivery the best intervention strategies for students.

Professional learning teams at Pollard Meadows demonstrate a level of interdependence that reflects a high level of collaboration and performance. Through practices such as the redistribution of students among team members to facilitate targeted intervention, through engaging in reflective processes to collectively assess, refine and improve teaching practices, and by engaging in collective inquiry to identify, implement, and reflect on quality teaching practices, staff at Pollard Meadows exemplify a culture of continuous improvement.

Functioning as a Professional Learning Community is a primary reason for our continued improvement and success as a learning environment. Our unwavering focus on high levels of learning for all students through a collaborative response to the individual needs of our learners has helped us to thrive, despite challenges such as increasing numbers of English Language Learners and higher transiency rates.

Provincial Achievement Test (PAT) Grade 6

Language Arts

Grade 6

%Acceptable Standard Pollard Meadows

% Acceptable Standard Province of Alberta

% Standard of Excellence Pollard Meadows

% Standard of Excellence Province of Alberta

2011-2012

 

92.3

91.0

26.9

19.6

2012-2013

 

94.7

90.9

27.6

18.0

2013-2014

 

95.1

90.6

35.8

19.5

2014-2015

 

96.2

91.3

44.3

21.5

2015-2016

 

98.6

91.5

42.9

22.6

 

Math

Grade 6

%Acceptable Standard Pollard Meadows

% Acceptable Standard Province of Alberta

% Standard of Excellence Pollard Meadows

% Standard of Excellence Province of Alberta

2011-2012

 

90.4

81.9

32.7

18.2

2012-2013

 

94.7

79.8

43.4

18.0

2013-2014

 

95.1

80.7

42.0

17.0

2014-2015

 

87.3

80.4

36.7

15.3

2015-2016

 

90.0

79.0

37.1

15.2

 

Science

Grade 6

%Acceptable Standard Pollard Meadows

% Acceptable Standard Province of Alberta

% Standard of Excellence Pollard Meadows

% Standard of Excellence Province of Alberta

2011-2012

 

90.4

85.8

51.9

31.5

2012-2013

 

92.1

85.4

52.6

29.0

2013-2014

 

95.1

84.6

48.1

28.2

2014-2015

 

84.8

84.8

57.0

28.8

2015-2016

 

97.1

86.1

55.7

30.8

 

Social Studies

Grade 6

%Acceptable Standard Pollard Meadows

% Acceptable Standard Province of Alberta

% Standard of Excellence Pollard Meadows

% Standard of Excellence Province of Alberta

2011-2012

 

90.4

81.0

42.3

22.4

2012-2013

 

89.5

80.7

36.8

21.6

2013-2014

 

92.6

78.9

28.4

19.2

2014-2015

 

94.8

78.0

54.5

21.0

2015-2016

 

97.1

79.4

44.3

25.3

 

 

Highest Level of Achievement Test (HLAT)

District Measure of Students Writing at or Above Grade Level

 

Grade 1

% Reading at or Above Grade Level Pollard Meadows

% Reading at or Above Grade Level Province of Alberta

2013-2014

 

91.8

82.4

2014-2015

 

92.8

80.5

2015-2016

 

94.3

78.7

 

Grade 2

% Reading at or Above Grade Level Pollard Meadows

% Reading at or Above Grade Level Province of Alberta

2013-2014

 

94.5

81.9

2014-2015

 

88.6

79.5

2015-2016

 

91.4

76.7

 

Grade 3

% Reading at or Above Grade Level Pollard Meadows

% Reading at or Above Grade Level Province of Alberta

2013-2014

 

92.4

81.8

2014-2015

 

92.9

77.7

2015-2016

 

85.7

78.5

 

Grade 4

% Reading at or Above Grade Level Pollard Meadows

% Reading at or Above Grade Level Province of Alberta

2013-2014

 

93.7

81.8

2014-2015

 

95.6

76.2

2015-2016

 

98.6

77.0

 

Grade 5

% Reading at or Above Grade Level Pollard Meadows

% Reading at or Above Grade Level Province of Alberta

2013-2014

 

96.4

80.2

2014-2015

 

94.7

78.0

2015-2016

 

96.6

76.6

 

Grade 6

% Reading at or Above Grade Level Pollard Meadows

% Reading at or Above Grade Level Province of Alberta

2013-2014

 

96.3

82.1

2014-2015

 

96.3

76.4

2015-2016

 

97.1

77.6

 

 

The Province of Alberta conducts surveys of educational stakeholders every year as a measure of how each school is performing; our results are below.

 

Accountability Pillar

Pollard Meadows School

Safe and Caring School

Education Quality

School Improvement

Provincial Achievement Test Acceptable Rate

Provincial Achievement Test Standard of Excellence

2011-2012

 

Excellent

Excellent

Excellent

Excellent

Excellent

2012-2013

 

Excellent

Excellent

Excellent

Excellent

Excellent

2013-2014

 

Excellent

Excellent

Excellent

Excellent

Excellent

2014-2015

 

Excellent

Excellent

Excellent

Excellent

Excellent

2015-2016

 

Good

Good

Good

Excellent

Excellent

 

 

Accountability Pillar Legend

 

Achievement

Improvement

 

 

Very High

High

Intermediate

Low

Very Low

Improved Significantly

 

Excellent

Good

Good

Good

Acceptable

Improved

 

Excellent

Good

Good

Acceptable

Issue

Maintained

 

Excellent

Good

Acceptable

Issue

Concern

Declined

 

Good

Acceptable

Issue

Issue

Concern

Declined Significantly

 

Acceptable

Issue

Issue

Concern

Concern

 

Our province does not recognize individual school excellence however, our school consistently performs significantly above provincial averages in both standards of acceptance and standards of excellence on standardized provincial tests.

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