Madison Elementary School

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

Close to twelve years ago, Sanger Unified School District was in need of a change. We had sought to find a solution that would not only change achievement scores, but change systems, beliefs, cultures, and make a lasting impact on our institution. We began the PLC journey. Slowly, yet steadily and efficiently we moved forward. We went to trainings, sent teachers and staff into the field to learn and grow, and we opened the door to the current system that has changed the way every fiber of our site operates. Over the last eight years I have had the privilege of leading Madison Elementary School. We have shaped our culture and belief system around PLC concepts, so much so, that we have become a site of independent and driven collaborative teams who move the group through any instructional challenge that we may face.

 While educators are in constant search of a silver bullet approach, Madison has stayed true to simplifying our missions and vision, and we have centered our entire platform around the four PLC questions as they guide us through our daily work. In order to ensure all stakeholder input, our staff has created the “Madison Best Practices Policy” where we collectively commit to instructional practices that we know are effective and know will give us high yield. Our PLC minutes, agendas, conversations, and outcomes are all centered on what we agreed upon as a staff, and we continue to make all decisions together around what’s best for kids. Teams are given protected time to meet in collaboration. Each team is given the freedom to produce products that are meaningful to their specific group. While each groups minutes, agendas, and data review sheets may differ, they are all set with the outcome of allowing teachers to work together to share best practice, plan, study results, and get better.

 We are data driven and data centered. As a leadership team we help move our teachers not only by reviewing school wide indicators such as CAASPP, BAS, DIBELS, and district assessments, but also by assisting and reviewing common formative assessments with our teams. We consistently engage in conversation around change, watch each other teach in order to reflect, have a deep fundamental understanding of the instructional rounds process, and have a focused effort on responding to those who “get it” and those who need “additional support.”

So what makes Madison different? What makes our culture second to none? Our answer lies in the ability to gain high levels of trust amongst staff and our ability to confront and push each other to be better teachers every day. We believe in constant dialogue and feedback. When staff give administrators data reviews and minutes, we return them with feedback and guiding questions. All members of our staff engage in PLC conversations, from RSP, to the school psychologist, speech pathologists, curriculum support provider, and literacy specialist. We all play a role in this protected time where we expect teachers not only to plan, but to grow, learn from one another and review their practices systematically. Our state-wide data has improved every year and our local data shows the same trends. Students reading on grade level has increased dramatically throughout our journey, math scores have improved, and we are seeing students more prepared for the challenges that await them. 

We have created a system that can be sustained. A system that any new teacher can walk into and play a role. We work as collaborative teams but also thrive as a school wide PLC. It has taken time to earn the trust and reciprocity amongst everyone, but we are now at a point where we can sit whole staff, point out a hole or trend we see in data, and together in that moment come up with a team approached solution. We are comfortable sharing, disagreeing, celebrating, and critiquing one another, all to make sure we keep getting better. Our embodiment of the PLC model school is reflected in our site vison, created collectively by Madison teachers: “We will utilize our passion to instill a love of learning across all subject areas. We will accomplish this through a continuous collective commitment built on instruction, reflection, and accountability.” These words guide what we do daily, and ensure we do the best for every child, every day, whatever it takes.

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Monitoring of student progress is emphasized from leadership as the most critical component to ensuring growth. The site's administration team reviews all district level assessment data for each of the six grade levels at the site. The team uses this summative data to help identify overarching trends and serves as a way to focus instructional initiatives within the PLC teams. 

Grade level collaborative teams design their common formative assessments after identifying essential standards within their curriculum. Each team reviews their assessment data in weekly PLCs, scheduled on the district's minimum day. Data review allows teams to dive deeper into item analysis, student subgroup performance, and drives the conversation about what strategies will be necessary to support struggling students and enrich for high achieving students. Teachers own their data based instructional decision and report to administration through their weekly PLC minutes.   

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

Additional targeted instruction over time guarantees a student's access to a guaranteed viable curriculum. At Madison, intervention is a collaborative effort where students are looked at in the context of a multi-tiered system of support. Every student receives RTI, as it is a 45 minute block built into the schedule of every grade level team. Teachers service their tier 1 and tier 2 students while support staff provide targeted, program based instruction to the small percentage of students in tier 3. Both push-in and pull-out services are planned with all stakeholders in order to protect instructional time and guarantee a subject matter connection between intervention and core. This ensures that students are receiving the support that they need, whether that be fluency, comprehension, decoding, or multi-step problems, from an individual keenly aware of the student's needs. Each of these needs are addressed after careful data review and monitoring. Staff meet regularly to progress monitor, discuss best practice, and to measure the progress of each individual student. In addition, teachers play a large role in access to core and ensuring that students' RTI carefully matches the interventions by design. Whether a researched based program, or a PLC teacher deployment, each intervention is done with fidelity with the understanding that each need must be met and student progress evaluated using a team approach. 

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

Madison's collaborative teams meet at least twice weekly during protected time during the school day, courtesy of infrastructure provided by the district. Sanger Unified has instituted an elementary physical education program wherein certificated PE teachers provide instruction to classes for 40 minute blocks twice a week. Teachers are given release time during these blocks to meet with their teams, and have additional time to meet during a weekly minimum day; a day when students release an hour and a half early. On these days staff meetings are kept to a minimum as our belief is that the majority of time must be dedicated to the efforts of the collaborative teams.  Teachers have been trained in and use guiding questions surrounding the instructional core to extend conversations beyond the planning stage of the PLC. Over the last eight years, teachers have refined the PLC process, having courageous conversations regarding instructional strategies, methods of assessment, and data analysis. Systematic focus on key instructional areas, such as High Leverage Team Actions (HLTA), have led teams to question, reflect, and build capacity in areas such as formative assessment. 

The mission of Madison's leadership team is to foster a sense of ownership, honesty, and trust in the school-wide PLC, as well as in grade level collaborative teams. We have collectively agreed in the end goal of improving academic achievement for all students. How each team reaches that end goal is up to them. We have bought into the ideas of accountability, fidelity, and have committed to a continuous cycle of reflection and improvement. There is not a teacher on our campus who would want to function without a team, as the team has made Madison what it is.   

Additional Achievement Data

Students meeting or exceeding standard in 2017

Madison Elementary

Sanger Unified School District

SUSD Similar Schools

State of California

3rd Grade

CAASPP ELA

49%

45%

38%

43.9%

CAASPP Math

56%

51%

43%

46.83%

4th Grade

CAASPP ELA

45%

45%

34%

45.06%

CAASPP Math

41%

41%

30%

40.45%

5th Grade

CAASPP ELA

43%

46%

38%

46.54%

CAASPP Math

25%

31%

19%

33.83%

Students meeting or exceeding standard in 2016

Madison Elementary

Sanger Unified School District

SUSD Similar Schools

State of California

3rd Grade

CAASPP ELA

48%

42%

35%

43%

CAASPP Math

56%

50%

40%

46%

4th Grade

CAASPP ELA

38%

43%

31%

44%

CAASPP Math

29%

37%

25%

38%

5th Grade

CAASPP ELA

35%

47%

36%

49%

CAASPP Math

15%

29%

16%

33%

Students meeting or exceeding standard in 2015

Madison Elementary

Sanger Unified School District

SUSD Similar Schools

State of California

3rd Grade

CAASPP ELA

40%

37%

29%

38%

CAASPP Math

53%

44%

34%

40%

4th Grade

CAASPP ELA

34%

39%

26%

40%

CAASPP Math

23%

31%

19%

35%

5th Grade

CAASPP ELA

34%

40%

24%

44%

CAASPP Math

15%

22%

10%

30%

Bonner Center for Character Education Award, February 2018

Calfornia Gold Ribbon School Award 2016

Title One Academic Achievement Award, 2016

Fresno County PBIS Gold Award 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Fresno County PBIS Platinum Award 2018

PG&E Bright Ideas Grant Winner, 2013

Exemplary Program in Physical Education Award

California Business for Education Excellence Award 

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