River Grove Elementary

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

At River Grove Elementary, our Professional Learning Community (PLC) journey began three years ago when staff attended its very first PLC Institute with Solution Tree.  The messaging at the institute resonated with staff, and we have since sent additional staff to institutes the past two summers.  We plan to go again this coming summer in an effort to eventually have all staff trained at an institute.  Our district now has protected PLC time for teachers through early release Thursdays, which is reflected in our master calendar.  In addition, we have set aside School Improvement funds dedicated to PLC training, collaboration time for teachers (above and beyond early release Thursdays), and peer coaching training for our Specialists.  Team Leaders have been established at every grade level to serve as a liaison between the team and Principal regarding the PLC work teams are engaged with.  Team Leaders also attend, and inform, monthly Leadership Team meetings to touch base on PLC work and other school-related issues.  In addition, our Specialists have an established calendar indicating when they will meet with grade level teams during PLC time. 

Along with PLC training, staff have also attended Response to Intervention (RTI) training with Solution Tree.  Engaging in the PLC process has allowed us to move our RTI efforts forward.  We are constantly referring back to the four key PLC questions:

1. What do we want students to learn?

2. How will we know they have learned it? 

3. What will we do for students who do not demonstrate proficiency? 

4. What will we do for students who demonstrate proficiency and are ready to move beyond? 

Question 1 has helped us focus on identifying essential learning standards at every grade level and ensuring a guaranteed and viable curriculum.  Question 2 has helped us refine our assessment practices - using common formative, interim, and summative assessment data to inform our future instruction.  Question 3 has helped us identify students of concern who need interventions and frequent progress monitoring.  Question 4 has helped us provide enrichment opportunities for students who are ready to apply their learning in deeper ways; it has also led to a higher level of collaboration with our Talented and Gifted (TAG) Coordinator.  

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Grade level teams administer common assessments (formative, interim, and summative) to gain valuable information about their students' proficiency levels on essential learning standards, particularly in English language arts and math.  Our grade level teams create the common formative assessments, which usually take the form of exit tickets or short quizzes.  These are administered on a weekly basis and are reviewed during Thursday early release collaboration time (our district has established one hour of collaboration time for teachers/teams each week on Thursdays).  For our interim assessments, we use DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills), BAS (Benchmark Assessment System), and SMI (Scholastic Math Inventory); these are administered two to three times per year.  Finally, the summative assessment data we review includes the Smarter Balanced Assessments for English language arts and math.  Smarter Balanced Assessments are administered once per year.  All of this data is shared and analyzed during early release Thursday PLC sessions.  Also, we have monthly Data Team meetings where we bring in roving substitute teachers to provide release time for teams and Specialists to extend their PLC work (beyond their Thursday early release time).  In addition, our Specialists (RTI Coordinator, Instructional Specialist, and Title I Coordinator) manage a "Data Farm" for the entire school (K-5), which helps us allocate resources and support staff equitably throughout our school.  These Specialists, along with our Special Education Specialists and English Language Development Specialists, meet with grade level teams on a rotating basis during Thursday early release time (a weekly, rotating calendar has been created) or on an as-needed basis to help progress monitor and intervene for their shared students.  All of the data we review helps us understand which students need to be progress monitored on a more frequent basis.  When we identify students who need intervention, we will try an intervention for 6-8 weeks.  When we check in on the progress at the end of the 6-8 weeks, we will make adjustments as appropriate.  If we find that the intervention was not effective, the team will look to provide a different intervention to meet the student's needs.  

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

Through the PLC process, teachers create flexible groupings so that students can be met at their current readiness levels.  Teachers in the same grade level, and even at grade levels above and below them, share students so that students' needs can be met.  We have scheduled RTI time (or "What I Need" - WIN Time) throughout the week.  During this time, students identified to be in the "Red Zone" get targeted instruction/re-teaching from the most qualified staff member available.  Students identified to be in the "Yellow Zone" receive reteaching on certain concepts because they are almost proficient, but not quite.  Students identified to be in the "Green Zone" work on enrichment opportunities to apply their learning in deeper ways (because they have already demonstrated proficiency).  Even during parts of the day when teachers are not sharing students, there is still a great deal of differentiated instruction taking place.  Specialists, Educational Assistants, and even parent volunteers push-in to the classroom to assist and compliment Core instruction.  For example, classroom teachers will often bring a group of approximately six students with similar needs to a kidney table to explicitly target specific skills while the other adults in the room either work with other groups (who are working on similar skills) or help monitor students during their independent learning time.  We work to ensure that all students receive Core (Tier 1) instruction.  Strategic (Tier 2) instruction takes place through either push-in or pull-out support.  Intensive (Tier 3) instruction/intervention usually takes place through pull-out support.  However, it is important to note that we do not pull students out of the classroom during Core (Tier 1) instruction - all students must have access to this.  If through our progress monitoring efforts, we find that students are still struggling despite multiple general education efforts and interventions, students will be referred to our Intervention Team (I-Team) to explore further interventions, and possibly a referral for a special education evaluation.  If students qualify for special education services, they receive additional support (on top of what they were already getting).  If students referred to I-Team end up not qualifying for special education services, the I-Team then collaborates with the grade level team to explore other interventions that had not yet been tried (and continue to follow up with progress monitoring).  

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

Our district has set aside one hour of collaboration time for teachers and staff every Thursday afternoon by instituting early release for students.  During early release Thursday collaboration time, our Instructional Specialist and Special Education Staff works with our grade levels on a rotating basis.  A calendar is established so that teams know when our specialists are coming (although, this calendar can be adjusted on an as-needed basis).  In addition to horizontal articulation through grade level teams, we work to provide opportunities for vertical articulation as well (so that grade level teams understand - and can support - the expectations of the grade levels above and below them).  There are also a variety of other teams/committees at our school that collaborate to focus efforts on improved student learning.  Some of our current teams include: Leadership Team, Intervention Team (I-Team), Specialists Team, Reading Cohort/Literacy Plan Team, Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) Team, Talented and Gifted (TAG) Team, Spanish Immersion Team (we are the district's only Spanish Immersion school), Equity Team, Innovation/STEM/STEAM Team, Positive Behavioral Intervention Support (PBIS) Team, Proficiency-Based Assessment/Report Card Committee, Science Committee (focusing on the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards - NGSS), and Math Pathways Team.  As you can see from the list above, there are a number of initiatives we are trying to address.  The only fighting chance we have to address all of these initiatives is if we place our collaborative PLC process as the umbrella over all of it.  Nobody can do this work alone.  We rely on each other, and trust the members of the teams/committees listed above to report back important information about each initiative to the Team Leaders and grade level teams so that we can stay on the cutting edge of best practice.    

Another key for us is allowing teachers to visit and observe each other in action.  Teachers have learned a lot from each other through peer observation and non-evaluative feedback.  We are in our third year of conducting Instructional Rounds (within our school and with other schools throughout the district).  For each set of Rounds, we work through a Problem of Practice (POP).  Our most recent POP was: Are Learning Targets present and communicated in student friendly language?  Do students know what they are learning and why?  Focusing on Learning Targets school-wide has allowed us to more effectively take our agreed upon essential learning standards and break them down so that they are accessible at the student level (perhaps even breaking the standards down into chunks since there may not be time to address the entire standard in one lesson).  The overarching theme is that we have found each other to be our most powerful and valuable resource.  

Additional Achievement Data

Percentage Meeting/Exceeding on State Assessments in English Language Arts:

2014-15 - School: 76.4%, State: 51.1%

2015-16 - School: 82.1%, State: 52.4%

2016-17 - School: 79.5, State: 49.6%

Percentage Meeting/Exceeding on State Assessments in Math:

2014-15 - School: 72.4%, State: 44.8%

2015-16 - School: 83.9%, State: 44.9%

2016-17 - School: 79.8%, State: 43.6%

Percentage Meeting/Exceeding on State Assessments in Science:

2014-15 - School: 86.8%, State: 66.8%

2015-16 - School: >95%, State: 66.5%

2016-17 - School: >95%, State: 66%

*(>95% is displayed when the data must be suppressed to protect student confidentiality)

Percentage of 3rd Graders Meeting/Exceeding on State Assessments in English Language Arts:

2014-15 - School: 74.6%, State: 45.6%

2015-16 - School: 81.2%, State: 47.4%  

2016-17 - School: 78.9%, State: 45.2%  

Percentage of 4th Graders Meeting/Exceeding on State Assessments in English Language Arts:

2014-15 - School: 73.9%, State: 49%

2015-16 - School: 82.3%, State: 49.9%

2016-17 - School: 79.6%, State: 47.7%  

Percentage of 5th Graders Meeting/Exceeding on State Assessments in English Language Arts:

2014-15 - School: 81.4%, State: 53.6%

2015-16 - School: 83.3%, State: 56.5%  

2016-17 - School: 79.6%, State: 52.9%

Percentage of 3rd Graders Meeting/Exceeding on State Assessments in Math:

2014-15 - School: 73%, State: 45.6%

2015-16 - School: 88.1%, State: 47.5%

2016-17 - School: 80.3%, State: 45.8%

Percentage of 4th Graders Meeting/Exceeding on State Assessments in Math:

2014-15 - School: 71.7%, State: 43.7%

2015-16 - School: 82.3%, State: 43.5%

2016-17 - School: 83.9%, State: 43.3%

Percentage of 5th Graders Meeting/Exceeding on State Assessments in Math:

2014-15 - School: 72.9%, State: 40.8%

2015-16 - School: 80.2%, State: 40.4%

2016-17 - School: 66.2%, State: 39%


*Niche Best Public Elementary Schools in Oregon (last three years) - Overall Niche Grade = A

*Level 5 Rating (highest possible rating) on State Report Card (2015-16) in Overall Academic Achievement, English Language Arts Achievement, and Mathematics Achievement

*Level 5 Rating (highest possible rating) on State Report Card (2016-17) in Overall Academic Achievement, Overall Academic Growth, English Language Arts Achievement, Mathematics Achievement, and Mathematics Academic Growth

*Recognized as an Oregon Green School in 2016-17