Krahn Elementary

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

From "Me" to "We":  The  Krahn Journey to GREATNESS

The PLC journey at Krahn began as tumultuous and ended where we are today…rewarding.

Krahn Elementary began the evloution to its new self in the Fall of the 14-15 school year.  The PLC process was in its infancy and change was in the air.  A basic schedule was created and teachers met regularly. Yet, the real work was still to be done.  There was a change in leadership during the Spring of 14-15 semester and PLC became a focal point for change, renewal, and growth.

At the start of the 2016 – 2017 school year, there were several opportunities for improvement related to culture, specific ways to maximize student growth and improvement and improving the capacity of all instructional agents. The leadership team collaborated and devised an action plan centered on these important questions:

  • How can we alter the PLC culture?
  • How can we target student growth more effectively?
  • How can we maximize teacher capacity?

Culture

“True change requires a focus on creating school culture that supports academic, social, emotional, and character development of children”

~Maurice Elias, PHD

Unfortunately, the prior culture of the Krahn PLC was not reflective of the above quotation.  “Housekeeping” announcements would occur and sidebar conversations would commence. The general flow of the meeting would resemble something like a twisted roller coaster with conversations rolling here and there.

The first revision came with the establishment of a PLC facilitator (that was not the principal) who was charged with creating an agenda that was focused entirely around student learning. The agenda was concise and clear. Teachers were asked to create their PLC norms and stick to them with a visual reminder hanging in close proximity in case gentle redirection was necessary. Over time, the flow of the PLC morphed from the rocky roller coaster into a smooth monorail with its culture focused completely on the academic, social, emotional and character development of its children. Real conversations took place followed by targeted actions plans that could be monitored, assessed, modified and monitored again. By focusing first on creating an effective PLC culture, other revisions could follow.

 

 

Targeting Student Growth

“The person who does the work is the only one who learns.”

~Harry Wong

Student growth is the foundation for why we do what we do. Whether it be measureable student progress or a year’s worth of growth, hard questions needed to be asked and time for reflection and deep thinking needed to occur before important decisions could be made. These essential practices began to take place each and every week in PLC. Data was the key. Whether it be data from a MAP(Measure of Academic Progress) online diagnostic assessment, a CCA (Campus Common Assessment) created by teachers or a BA (Benchmark Assessment) created by district specialists, the assessments were desegregated and analyzed standard by standard, TEK (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills)  by TEK. As a result, individualized action plans were created for each and every student. These action plans were then actively monitored in terms of their effectiveness. If a student showed lack of progress, collaboration occurred within the team and changes were made. Teachers learned to trust each other within the team and really value the instructional input from each other. Instructional specialists became key contributors as their wealth of knowledge and experience influenced instructional decisions. Teachers, who once sat and listened to conversations led by the principal, became the ones graphing, tracking, analyzing, planning, and reflecting.

Maximize Teacher Capacity

“The greatest effects on student learning occur when the teachers become learners of their own teaching and when students become their own teachers”

~John Hattie

One of the key conversations that occurs consistently during PLC surrounds classroom instructional practices in terms of what is working and what is not. Collaboration is at its finest as teachers openly share the practices being used in their own classroom. The Krahn Model Classroom allows teachers the opportunity to observe other teachers in direct instruction environments. Feedback, both positive and constructive, is offered to the teachers and thoughtful conversations take place. The communication is open and honest so that reflection can take place in how to offer the best instruction possible. Teachers are comfortable sharing experiences, both positive and negative, so that all can learn and improve their craft. Teachers discuss professional development sessions and lead conversations on how they have applied this new knowledge to their instructional practices. Through vertical team planning, where subject specific areas meet to align, conversations are had regarding where students are either strong academically or are in need of intervention so that teachers can begin to make modifications in their classroom immediately rather than continue teaching the way they always have. The goal is to create a completely aligned campus so that the students can transition with fluidity from grade to grade and only build upon their skills rather than experience a deficiency. 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

The strategies used to monitor student learning on a timely basis at Krahn Elementary are numerous. Our approach in looking at student learning and its opportunities for growth is collaborative and involves input from a variety of stakeholders. With this shared “your student is my student is our student” approach, student growth is placed as a priority. 

To begin, teams ranging from kindergarten through fifth grade are provided 90 minutes weekly to meet with their team which consists of grade-level colleagues, administrators, the counselor, the special education support staff and the case manager to share, analyze, and collaborate on student data, both formative and summative, qualitative and quantitative. Conversations are deep as both teacher and student factors are evaluated. Student growth plans are then collaboratively created with each student’s strengths and weaknesses taken into consideration. Teachers and administrators work cooperatively with each other to construct SMART goals in which specific students are identified as one of the three options:

  1. GREEN .  Students that will benefit from extended learning opportunities.  They are on track to reach or exceed the state standards.
  2. YELLOW .  Students that will need some form of intervention to reach state standards.
  3. RED . Students neeeding intensive interventions to reach state standards and will show growth for the school year.

These SMART goals are discussed and revised after each assessment, whether campus or district, and conversations are held to tailor the student growth plan that is created for each student. 

Secondly, three times per year, students at Krahn take part in assessments titled Making Academic Progress or MAP testing. These online assessments assess skills in math, language, reading and science. Teachers use the data from these assessments to confer and discuss with their team to create small groups who will receive thirty minutes of intensified instruction daily. Weekly data is shared and discussed during PLC to determine if groups needs to be adjusted or instruction needs to be modified. Children are “shared” amongst all grade-level teachers in an effort to offer differentiated instruction on a daily basis.

Finally, large data trackers are utilized in the campus PLC room. Individual student cards are created with stickers placed on them to indicate special programs. After each assessment, data is written on the index cards and placed appropriately in order of averages. Teachers then work collaboratively to analyze data-rich spreadsheets. Each question is organized by TEK along with the percentage of achievement. Teachers and specialists discuss strategies that can be used for opportunities of improvement. The team collaborates to determine instructional levels of groups for the upcoming week. Teachers continue to reflect upon the data and track student progress during each PLC session. 

In conclusion, data drives the PLC process so that authentic and accurate conversations can take place. Data helps remove the emotion from the situation, as numbers are numbers. With student growth and achievement being a primary concern, the break down and analysis of data allows the necessary actions to take place. 

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

Cardinal “Flight Time”

We created “Cardinal Flight Time” to address the needs of all learners at Krahn. Cardinal Flight Time is a designated intervention period which occurs for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon. All instructional personnel, including music teachers, art teachers, and PE teachers participated in the intervention periods by providing small group instruction to their assigned group of students.

By gathering and analyzing data from campus common assessments, district common assessments, online Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing, and daily formative assessments, teachers collaborate by respective subject and assign students in small groups that address skill specific instruction. During the PLC teachers plan their research-based instruction, determine the assignment of groups to specific teachers, and prepare materials.

Discussion amongst teachers, administrators, reading and math specialists occur during weekly PLC meetings to review student progress, align and target specific instruction, and re-assigning students to the fluid groups. Discussions are based upon a review of student progress with the use data charts compiled with information from curriculum based measures.

Our teachers shared their students across the grade level to ensure we were reaching all learners at their own individual levels through re-teaching, enriching, or extending their learning. Each grade level team created goal-setting charts for their students, tracked intervention activities, and monitored student progress to help guide our belief that all students are capable of achieving at high levels of learning. Every three weeks each grade level conducted checkpoints to ensure that the interventions were valid and to ensure that students were progressing towards academic growth. Beyond the designated intervention times, teachers were provided with specialized intervention groups for students to participate. The specialized groups that students can participate in are the Dyslexia Intervention Program, English as a Second Language program, and tier 3 intervention programs. Additional intervention supports were provided through small group instruction provided by the reading specialist and instructional specialist. The teachers and specialists would discuss specific intervention strategies and student progress regularly. Student needs and achievements are reviewed and utilized to determine appropriate grouping for intervention. Administrators provide support through data analysis, providing resources, and instructional ideas. A collaborative effort among teachers, administrators, instructional and reading specialists are crucial in the successful implementation of the campus’s “Cardinal Flight Time” and student achievement/growth. 

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

  Creating a stated Shared Vision of the Krahn Elementary was essential to establishing collaborative high performing teams.  The Krahn faculty and staff established a shared vision based on what could be, images of desired states, valued aspirations, and scenarios of more appropriate futures. As a staff, we sought to bring together the stakeholders—community, staff, and students—to form visions of what a desirable education and school organization could be. We also set in motion a process to assess the alignment with and progress toward achieving that vision. At Krahn, we emphasize the value of assessment—an assessment frame of mind—that pervades all levels of the organization. The vision is shared and valued via a process of assessment that provides feedback about the degree to which the vision is being achieved.  We recognize that an entire organization consists of many parts. It is an intentional relationship between parts and whole.

Krahn Elementary provides 90 minutes of PLC each week.  This is accomplished by utilizing the specials (P.E., art, music) class time required by the district. There are six 45 minute sessions which require one day for students to be outside of the core instructional class for 90 minutes.  It is during this time that PLC ocurs for core instructional staff. The Krahn Daily PLC Schedule is posted in RESOURCES.

Collaborative Teams are structured in two ways at Krahn Elementary:  The Grade Level Teams and The Schoolwide Vertical Teams.

The Grade Level Teams consist of all teachers assigned to that level, instructional specialists, the special education case manager, special education teachers, counselor, and the administrators.  All are present at the meeting to provide input.  These teams formally meet for 90 minutes each week.

The Schoolwide Vertical Teams consist of content related teachers. Both the Math/Science team and the English language Arts Team meet monthly and are comprised of teachers from PreKindergarten to fifth grade.  A campus opportunity for growth is identified and addressed through all its incarnations at each level.

Establishing the need for consistent strong initial instruction forms the basis for reviewing instructional practices in PLC. Teachers are clear about what the content and language objectives are for the day. Learning outcomes are based on standards with concepts appropriate for and age and educational backgrounds of students. Grade level expectations and evidence outcomes are taught to mastery level. 21st Century Skills are in place (critical thinking and reasoning, information literacy, collaboration, self-direction and invention.) to support student learning.  During PLC, proficient work samples and exemplars are shared with criteria and measured against a rubric and standards.  The Teaching and Learning Cycle is practiced daily to help measure student learning toward mastering standards on an on-going basis using formative and summative assessments, progress monitoring, and pre and post assessments. Data is collected frequently and used to make instructional decisions. Teachers are consistently checking for students’ understanding of the learning by using a variety of assessment methods. Assessment data used to differentiate instruction for students.

  In order to make the most of valuable time during the school day, PLCs have been equipped with protocols to analyze data, review instructional practices, build common assessments, and weekly planning.  Through a culture of success and achievement, the faculty and staff is more energized and more interested in participating in the change process. Having a caring heart or the “Heart of a Cardinal” when approaching school improvement represents a major shift from traditional school reform.  The approach where the responsibility for change lies in the hands of a few individuals is fundamental to our approach to GREATNESS.  This assertion is that meaningful and sustainable school improvement is more likely when teachers and other school-community stakeholders are excited about the changes they want to make, have a clear plan for action, and the confidence that they can be successful.   In this design, we use both qualitative and quantitative methods to collect data to generate information on structures, procedures, and practices that support student success. What makes this data appropriate and useful for school improvement is that it can be easily tested reliability.

 

Krahn Elementary Comparison Data

During the 2014-2015 schol year, Krahn Elementary was still in the initial stages of PLC development despite several attempts of PLC on campus.  During the Spring semester, a new principal was chosen to lead the campus placing a new emphasis on PLC practices and processes.  It was through this initial reinvigoration of PLC, student achievement was able to stablize.  It was also during this school year that the Texas Education Agency updated and changed several grade level standards in math.  Thus, math scores were not reported out as a pas rate.

Below, are the results of a very transformative year for Krahn Elementary.  Please be aware that the % Met Standard also includes the % Advanced as part of the total. 

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness 2014 2015

3

Campus

District

State

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

85%

31%

92%

24%

83%

24%

85%

20%

77%

 

NA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Campus

District

State

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

79%

29%

73%

21%

81%

28%

83%

24%

74%

 

NA

 

Writing

Campus

District

State

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

67%

5%

73%

8%

70%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

Campus

District

State

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

80%

33%

76%

25%

86%

32%

86%

25%

87%

 

NA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science

Campus

District

State

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

68%

8%

79%

14%

72%

 

 

As the 2015-2016 school year began, PLCs developed data analysis protocols, SMART goal implementation, collaborative planing and instruction, and teacher observation rounds.  Practicing all of the aforementioned models with fidelity enabled grade level teams to produce high student achivement resulting Krahn receiving all six Distiction Designation Awards from the state of Texas. Below, are the results of a renewed focus on data analysis and instructional practices in PLC.

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness 2015 2016

3

Campus

District

State

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

80%

35%

82%

38%

77%

28%

80%

22%

73%

 

75%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Campus

District

State

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

90%

25%

93%

41%

82%

23%

81%

26%

75%

 

73%

 

Writing

Campus

District

State

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

84%

12%

73%

17%

69%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

Campus

District

State

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

84%

37%

91%

32%

89%

32%

91%

19%

81%

 

86%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science

Campus

District

State

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

75%

20%

80%

20%

72%

 

 

 

For the 2016-2017 school year, refinement and spotlighting R.T.I became the emphasis for PLC.  We began the practice of addressing every student by standard to form instructional groupings. The staff was tasked with making sure that each student achieved at least one year's progress as well as level up in terms of pasing rates.  Advanced level 3 students received as much attention as those requiring serious intervention.  Below are the results of a standards driven school year.

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness 2016 2017

3

Campus

District

State

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

82%

45%

85%

38%

77%

33%

81%

31%

???

 

???

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Campus

District

State

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

85%

42%

94%

60%

74%

29%

83%

34%

???

 

???

 

Writing

Campus

District

State

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

84%

19%

62

12%

???

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

Campus

District

State

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

98

42%

95%

39%

87%

29%

91%

22%

???

 

???

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science

Campus

District

State

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

Met

Adv.

87%

24%

81%

24%

72%

 

Students in Kindergarten through second grade receive equal amounts of attention in PLC.  Their data below based on End of Year District benchmarks.

Kindergarten.       Math:  14-15   81%    15-16 97%     16-17  99%

First  Grade.         Math: 14-15  100%    15-16  100%   16-17 90%

Second Grade        Math:  14-15  68%     15-16   88%    16-17  75%

                             Reading: 14-15  69%   15-16  81%     16-17  72%

Additional data is included in the resource section is based on the online MAP assessment for all grades.  This data includes growth measures and reading levels.

 

Klein Education Foundation Grant.  “The Braille Bus”.  2015-2016

Lowes Education Grant.  “The Reading Garden”.  2015-2016

State of Texas Distinction Designation:  Academic Achievement in English Language Arts/Reading 2016

State of Texas Distinction Designation:  Academic Achievement in Mathematics 2015-2016

State of Texas Distinction Designation:  Academic Achievement in Science 2015-2016

State of Texas Distinction Designation:  Top 25 Percent:  Student Progress 2015-2016

State of Texas Distinction Designation:  Top 25 Percent closing the Gap 2015-2016

State of Texas Distinction Designation:  Post-Secondary Readiness 2015-2016

Pride of Texas Music Festival. “Superior Performance” rating.  Krahn Choir.  2016-2017

Coding Elementary District Champions.  Cardinal Coders.  Klein ISD.  2016-2017

Destination Imagination.  Regional Competition.  First Place. “The Crazy Scientists”.  2016-2017

Klein ISD Coding Competition.  Second Place.  Cardinal Fourth Grade Coders.  2016-2017.

Klein ISD Coding Competition.  Third Place.  Cardinal Third Grade Coders.  2016-2017.

Klein Education Foundation Grant.  “NearPod”.  2016-2017

Klein Education Foundation Grant.  “Kaleidoscope Reading”.  2016-2017

State of Texas Distinction Designation:  Academic Achievement in English Language Arts/Reading 2016-2017

State of Texas Distinction Designation:  Academic Achievement in Mathematics 2016-2017

State of Texas Distinction Designation:  Academic Achievement in Science 2016-2017

State of Texas Distinction Designation:  Top 25 Percent:  Student Progress 2016-2017

State of Texas Distinction Designation:  Top 25 Percent closing the Gap 2016-2017

State of Texas Distinction Designation:  Post-Secondary Readiness 2016-2017

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