Hidden River Middle School

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

In 2013 the dedicated staff at Hidden River embarked on our PLC journey.  Frustration at was at an all-time high and our annual climate and culture survey data was lower than ever in almost every category.  In a school with roughly one fourth the number of students as our feeder high school, we had twice the number of students failing.  Team meetings at that time consisted mostly of nuts and bolts items and logistical to-do lists, rarely focusing on student learning.  Our Building Leadership Team meetings were largely complaint sessions, with each represented department submitting their frustrations around student disrespect, gum chewing, hats in the building, and lunchroom behavior.  Student performance on our state assessment that year was abysmal, especially when analyzing student growth.  In short, we had an amazing group of well-intended staff members with no direction or common goal. As frustrations boiled over, our brave staff began to get real with our data and our circumstance, realizing that something needed to be done, but not sure what the answer was. That year a small team of teachers and administrators attended an RTI workshop in San Diego with Mike Mattos and so began our journey.

Our first step was to create Hawk Time, a 25 minute intervention period at the end of the day for struggling students.  Carving time out of the master schedule was easy, but using it effectively wasn’t.  Hawk Time was basically a study hall, but we were proud that we had taken steps in the right direction.  Coming into year two of our journey, our leadership team realized that we needed to lay the foundation for why we exist at Hidden River and a plan for where we were headed.  Our team spent a day with Bruce Brown from Proactive Coaching that summer, thinking about our core values and how we would behave as a staff to create the type of school that we would want for our own children.  As our staff came together in August, we agreed upon our core values and we outlined our mission and vision for the school we wanted to be.  This was huge for us … we were now on the same bus, heading in the same direction, and the amazing talents and skills of our staff could be unleashed to do great things for kids. 

In year two our teams began to define their essential standards, getting clarity on what kids have to learn and giving ourselves permission to cut things out that weren’t essential.  We also started our lunch-time ZAP (Zeros Aren’t Permitted) intervention, communicating to the students that we are no longer allowing them to fail.  Our master schedule began to evolve and we added common preps for some of our teams as well as Tier 2 push-in interventions for reading.  

In year three, momentum started to build.  Our teams began to create common formative assessments together and set growth goals for our students.  Those goals, posted in our staff room and in each classroom, focused our work and revealed a level of intentionality that was new for us.  As our teams became more focused and began analyzing their data, we realized that Hawk Time wasn’t as effective as it could be.  Our staff, in an amazing water-shed moment early in the year, gathered together one evening around a pot-luck dinner and we ironed out a new plan for Hawk Time.  We moved it to the middle of the day and we created a plan that allowed for fluidity, sharing of students, and allowed our teams to serve kids as a team.  Hawk Time was now a true Tier 2 intervention where students could receive the extra time and support they needed to master essential standards.  

In year four we’ve taken tremendous steps forward towards fulfilling our purpose as a school.  To start the year and in a leap of great courage, we placed all students with IEPs, for the first time, back into grade level classes in reading and math, getting rid of our former resource room model completely.  This was extremely challenging as our teachers and teams quickly realized how big the learning gaps were for these students.  Yet, in keeping to our commitment to ensure ALL, we rolled up our sleeves and learned together how to provide these students with the same access to grade-level standards.  These students proved to us, and as a staff we proved to ourselves, that when we truly believe in them, they can do it.  Our master schedule has continued to evolve, providing intentional Tier 3 supports for students in reading and math.  We formalized 3 guiding coalitions this year to monitor and guide our PLC work, our interventions, and our behavioral supports.  

Slowly but surely we are achieving our purpose to ensure that “ALL students learn the essential academic, social, and citizenship skills to be successful in middle school and beyond”.  Our failure rates have decreased steadily since we started this journey and, inversely, the number of students on the honor roll has risen each year.  Our staff culture and climate data is at an all-time high.  The performance of our students on the state assessments has improved, especially with regards to the level at which our students are showing growth on those assessments in comparison to other schools in our state.  This year several schools around our region have either visited or reached out to learn about the great things we are doing for kids. What’s exciting is that, as far as we’ve come and in light of the great strides we’ve made through unsurpassed collaboration, we’ve still got tremendous room for growth on behalf of our students.  As Mike Mattos often reminds us, this is exremely difficult work and if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.  Our staff truly is committed to it and the difference that it has made for our students is remarkable.  

 

 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Collaborative teams have identified essential standards for each class, at teach grade level, and this year have begun the process of unwrapping those standards in to learning targets, create clarity around success criteria. Teams set quarterly SMART goals for their students around their essential standards, based on prior student performance.  Teams administer common formative assessments and every week during their hour-long team time, submit their plan for re-teaching students during their priority day the following week for Hawk Time.  Our Math team has taken the lead in this area and tracks every student in the school, by the skill, by the standard.  They shuffle students fluidly between classes, based on student performance, intervening for those that haven’t mastered it yet and extending the learning for those that have.  Through a google doc, our entire staff tracks student behavior, daily, tracking the number of student reflections in each class, allowing us to use that data to create specific behavior contracts and check in/check out plans in a timely manner for students that need it.  As a building we monitor student progress using STAR and move students in and out of our Tier 3 interventions based on their performance on the STAR assessments. During the months of April and May our master schedule team analyzes student performance data to place students, one by one, into the schedule for the following year so they start the year getting the level of support they need.  

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

Our Pyramid of Interventions at Hidden River consists of three tiers of supports, both for academics and student behavior and our WD40 Guiding Coalition continues to lead our staff in building and perfecting this system of supports for students .  Tier 1 is our core program, what every students receives through initial instruction and school-wide consistency.  Tier 2 is our supplemental support for students that need extra time and support learning what is taught and expected in our core program.  Tier 3 is our intensive supports system for students that are well behind their peers, academically or behaviorally.   Currently we have over 20 targeted Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions to help support students in a timely manner.  We consider this our safety net for students and this has completely taken the place of our former safety net, which was to recommend students for Special Education when they struggled. Throughout our pyramid we are striving to be consistent in every classroom with our Tier 1 commitments, targeted and intentional in Tier 2 with our message to students that we will not let them fail, and tenacious with our Tier 3 supports so we can ensure that our students close the gaps with their peers.  Our Pyramid continues to grow and adapt based the needs of our students and the things that we learn as a PLC. 

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

We believe that student success is in direct proportion to how well our teams function and how interdependent they are in serving students together and not as individuals.  At the end of each year our collaborative teams meet with our administrative team to evaluate and assess the year and set goals for the follow year.  These conversations are wrapped around the concept of becoming a "10 team" that Mike Mattos introduced us to.  This year we used the PLC Current Reality Survey questions to drive those conversations.  This self-reflective practice has allowed our teams to continue to grow and learn together for the sake of our students.  

Our teams meet weekly during the contractual day, both on our early release Fridays and on weeks when we have extended staff meetings.  Our ELA teams also meet weekly on their common planning time.  Each year our teams are provided 1 or more full sub-out days to work together on re-assessing their essential standards, perfecting their common formative assessments, analyzing student data, and setting their quarterly SMART goals.  To start the year our teams have a road-map for the things they need to accomplish and the products they need to generate as evidence of their work.  This is a process that our PLC Guiding Coalition continues to hone and perfect.  

English Language Arts

Year

*2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

% Passed WA Assessment

 

 

 

6th Grade – Hidden River

73.2%

69.5%

68.4%

6th Grade – WA State

72.7%

54%

56.5%

7th Grade – Hidden River

72.3%

58.3%

70%

7th Grade – WA State

67.7%

56.9%

58.5%

8th Grade – Hidden River

65.8%

72.8%

67.2%

8th Grade – WA State

71.6%

56.9%

59.7%

 

Median Student Growth %

 *2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

6th Grade – Hidden River

46

44.5

62

6th Grade – WA State

52

50

50

7th Grade – Hidden River

53

48.5

52

7th Grade – WA State

49

50

50

8th Grade – Hidden River

47

62.5

62

8th Grade – WA State

58

50

50

All Grades – Hidden River

47

50.5

60

All Grades – WA State

52

50

50

* 2013-14 was the last year of our MSP state testing before switching over to the Smarter Balanced Assessments

                                                                                                                                                  Math                     

Year

*2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

% Passed WA Assessment

 

 

 

6th Grade – Hidden River

64%

60.9%

64.1%

6th Grade – WA State

63.6%

45.5%

48%

7th Grade – Hidden River

56.4%

56.9%

59.3%

7th Grade – WA State

57.8%

48%

49.8%

8th Grade – Hidden River

53.7%

51%

63.4%

8th Grade – WA State

55.9%

46.1%

47.8%

Median Student Growth %

  *2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

6th Grade – Hidden River

48

55

61.5

6th Grade – WA State

50

50

51

7th Grade – Hidden River

36

53

58.5

7th Grade – WA State

44

50

50

8th Grade – Hidden River

40

55

72

8th Grade – WA State

44

50

50

All Grades – Hidden River

41

55

64

All Grades – WA State

52

50

50

* 2013-14 was the last year of our MSP state testing before switching over to the Smarter Balanced Assessments

 

Science

Year

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

% Passed WA Assessment

 

 

 

8th Grade – Hidden River

76.3%

72.6%

76.7%

8th Grade – WA State

67.2%

60.7%

67.5%

 

Washington State Achievement Index Rating for Hidden River

Year

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

Proficiency Average

6.41

6.08

6.58

Growth Average

4.38

6.69

7.88

Overall Rating

5.19

6.45

7.36

Note: As expected, some of our teams are further along in this journey than others and the data does reflect that.  This year with our full inclusion of our students with IEPs into general education classrooms and with some re-shuffling of teams due to teachers that left, we do anticipate some stagnation in our scores for 2016-17.  However, our teams are fully committed to this work and we continue to head in the right direction on behalf of our students.

  • 2015 T.E.A.M Award (Together Everyone Achieves More) for Co-Teaching
  • 2017 Collaborative Teaching Award
  • Mount Pilchuck Music Educators Superior Band Award 2014,2016,2017

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