Green Meadows Intermediate Elementary

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

Green Meadows Intermediate Elementary School is one of three elementary schools in the community of Frankfort, Indiana.  Comprised of third through fifth grade students from a diverse population, Green Meadows strives to meet the needs of all of our students each and every day.  The PLC framework has allowed us to carefully analyze our students’ needs and respond appropriately in a timely fashion.

In Spring of 2014, our school was disheartened to find out we had received an “F” rating from our state.  This monumental moment inspired us to begin our path of improvement by embracing the PLC framework. From spring 2014 to summer 2016 staff members toiled over creating a common curriculum, summative assessments, and pacing guides based completely on the state standards.  This was a great start, but we felt more was needed to give us a focus and direction of where to take our next steps. So, staff members attended the PLC at Work Institute in St. Charles, MO, during the summer of 2016. Additionally, the majority of school staff participated in a book study of the PLC anchor text, Learning By Doing.  This conference, and literature, set us up for success as we began to craft common formative assessments to drive our instruction; thereby allowing us to better discern the needs of our students.  The four questions became our guide and conversations began of not only how to improve our student achievement but to truly improve our practice.

In the past, our teams viewed our collaborative meetings as a time to “sit and get” professional development; however, we have now reached a point where we truly embrace the definition of collaboration.  Our collaborative teams use each other as powerful resources in order to ensure all students are provided the learning opportunities they need to be successful. Each week, teachers meet not only during the 85 minute time block that has been allotted by our master schedule, but also for 30 minutes outside of their contract hours.  Our teachers have made this commitment because they know it is best for our students.

Our staff continues to delve deeper into the PLC framework by creating five task force teams to better understand how to support the needs of our students and families.  This process will encourage cross-curricular collaboration among the entire staff and allow the strengths and passions of our staff members to shine. This strengthens relationships, community, academic rigor, and student growth.

Prior to the introduction of the PLC framework, we were working very hard without the right vision and hoping the results would be there when state testing came around. Yet, we were never satisfied with the results. It was clear we were lacking in a true vision of what it took to transform our school. Now, we know we are doing the right work and seeing positive results among everyone, in every way, each and every day.

 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

We utilize the Indiana College and Career Readiness Standards to implement a guaranteed and viable teacher-created curriculum to focus our plan of instruction. We work in grade-level collaborative teams to ensure that all students receive the same curriculum through appropriate scaffolding and make certain that individual student needs are met. We focus on three subgroups that we monitor closely to ensure student growth: gifted and talented, English language learners, and special education students.

Our school has moved to an informed collaboration model where our special education teachers are co-teaching with our general education teachers to ensure that our students with the highest academic needs are being exposed to grade level content and being supported at their present instructional level. A key focus at Green Meadows is to maintain high expectations for all students regardless of their abilities.

Our student learning is monitored through a variety of different avenues. We utilize classroom checks for understanding, common formative assessments, common summative assessments (district benchmarks), NWEA, and state assessments. Prior to participating in the grade-level collaborative teams, all teachers upload their classroom data into color-coded spreadsheets. Then, at collaborative team meetings, all data is displayed and analyzed by all members of the team. The team then creates intervention and enrichment groups weekly. This time is called Pack Time, where students are in fluid groupings to help address immediate content misunderstandings, skill gaps, and enrichment. Student pack groups meet four days a week for 30 minutes with an all hands on deck approach from paraprofessionals, general education teachers, specials teachers, EL teachers, special education teachers, and interventionists. Our grade-level collaborative teams highly value this time as they have seen significant student achievement growth from formative to summative assessments.

Specifically with NWEA data, we monitor student learning three times a year; fall, winter, and spring; to determine if students are meeting their projected growth. As a school, we compare fall to fall, winter to winter, and spring to spring to track student growth and confirm that all students are growing and learning. Students have their own individual data binders in which they are responsible for tracking their own NWEA data and seeing their progress towards their projected growth goal.

As we are always seeking to improve our practices, we have implemented standards-based report cards at Green Meadows so students and families can specifically see their mastery on the Indiana College and Career Readiness Standards.

All staff members at Green Meadows share the commitment to ensure that all students are continuously learning at high levels.

 

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

Green Meadows triangulates data such as NWEA, Fountas and Pinnell benchmark assessment, WIDA, and standards-based report cards that align with the common formative and summative assessments.  This provides a holistic picture of the entire student population that helps teachers align interventions for groups of students based on needs. Essential standards were identified two years ago through teacher collaboration with district personnel for support and are reviewed annually.  

During collaborative team meetings, teachers analyze common formative and summative assessments to plan for flexible and fluid grouping using research-based interventions. Teachers make informed decisions about instructional practices to remediate or enrich our students based on their analysis.  The intervention time, Pack Time, is built into the master schedule for 30 minutes, four days per week for each grade level to supplement core Tier I instruction. This ensures students do not miss Tier I core instructional time. Groupings include enrichment, English Language Development, Tier II and III interventions with purposeful planning focused on a specific essential standard.

Throughout the day, students in need of intervention may receive an additional Tier III and/or EL service. Tier III services range from 20-30 minutes, four days a week focusing on reading comprehension, decoding, and written response; as well as a word study component. EL services include language, listening, and speaking skills in English to bolster academic language and nuances in the English language for our EL learners, all focused around grade level standards and work.  These services also include targeted interventions that focus on WIDA skills and growth for those students that score low each year.

In addition to academic need, we recognize that our students have social and emotional needs.  We implement a Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program to highlight positive behaviors while providing supports for those students who lack the ability to self regulate or make positive behavior choices.  Staff is encouraged to utilize our RtI system in regards to behavior concerns as well. In order to try and enhance our staff understanding, one of our task forces focuses on trauma-informed care. We understand that just as academic instruction is differentiated, so must be behavioral instruction.

Our school is an inclusive learning environment which supports all students through informed collaboration.  Special Education staff members (teachers and paraprofessionals) co-teach, co-plan, and co-assess all students within the general education learning environment.  Through informed collaboration, teachers provide services within the students least restrictive learning environment on a daily basis. Our district also implements Universal Design for Learning for all students to access grade-level standards and to remove education barriers of learning.

 

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

Our grade-level collaborative teams; comprised of grade-level teachers, reading interventionist, EL teachers, and special education teachers, focus on four essential questions to drive improvement in student learning.

  1. What do students need to know and be able to do?

Our teachers have determined essential standards for each grade level establishing the framework for our instruction. These essential standards are used to determine pacing allowing each team to collaborate on resources and materials we are using during our daily lessons.

    2) How will we know when they have learned it?

Teachers have created common formative assessments to determine if students have mastered the content. Common formative assessments allow us to determine the level of proficiency of each student in regards to the essential standards we are currently targeting. These formative assessments gives us a snapshot of the skills lacking for each student, as well as the students who have mastered the skills.

   3) What will we do when they haven’t learned it?

Grade levels collaborate to form Pack Time student groups using data collected from common formative assessments in both reading and math. The student groups are small and targeted to one specific skill. Grade level teachers collaborate with all staff involved in Pack Time to ensure all students are getting high quality intervention. Pack groups are fluid and change with the needs of the students as each formative assessment is given.

  4) What will we do when they have already learned it?

When students have already mastered the skills and standards, they go into a high ability pack group, where they receive enrichment in both reading and math. Also, teachers provide students with small group enrichment during their reading and math blocks.

Two other types of collaborative teams at Green Meadows are the Success (Leadership) Team and our task forces.  The Success Team is comprised of the administration, instructional coach, reading interventionist, special education staff, EL staff, special areas teacher, school counselor, a district representative, and two teachers from each grade level.  Each summer, the Success Team meets to develop the Green Meadows Playbook (school goals and improvement plan) for the next school year and then meets at least once a month to review goals and the progress made towards them through analyzing various data sources and feedback from staff.

This school year, we have developed five tasks forces directly related to the Green Meadows Playbook.  These task forces focus on the following areas: Trauma-informed Education, English Language Learners, Parent Involvement, English Language Arts: Guided Reading and the Reader’s Notebook, and Math: Problem Solving and Fluency.  Each task force is teacher-led and teacher-driven. Staff members choose to volunteer on these task forces based on individual interest and/or need. Each task force has created a purpose statement with goals and action steps and will provide professional development on their focus to all staff during weekly collaboration times.   

 
 

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

The attached document, Green Meadows Intermediate Achievement Data (ISTEP+ & IREAD3), includes our school's data from ISTEP+ (which will be replaced with ILEARN starting in Spring 2019) and IREAD3 over the past four years.  It is broken down by grade level as well as by our school's demographics.  The following links will take you to the IDOE website where explanations of each assessment and the data can be found:

Explanations of assessments - https://www.doe.in.gov/assessment

ISTEP+ & IREAD3 data by grade level -https://compass.doe.in.gov/dashboard/overview.aspx?type=school&id=1015

ISTEP+ & IREAD3 data by demographics -https://learningconnection.doe.in.gov/GrowthModel/GrowthChart.aspx?cid=380&sid=2436&ay=2017&sem=1

*Demographic data for the English Language Learner subgroup is inaccurate for the 2016-2017 school year.  The number of students tested for this subgroup is not correct (approximately 55-65% less than the number of students who actually tested).

Due to our proficiency and growth data on ISTEP+ over the last several years, we have improved from an F to a C rated school by the Indiana Department of Education in the last four years.

NWEA trend growth data documents are uploaded in the Resources section and include our school's growth data from 2013-2018.  Our students take NWEA three times a year: Fall, Winter, & Spring. 

Green Meadows has improved from an F to a C rated school by the Indiana Department of Education in the last four years.

Recognition from the Indiana Department of Education in 2016 for effectively implemeting the Promising Practice of the Independent Reading Initiative (attachment found in Resources section) 

Indiana Bankers Association Community Commitment Campaign - Reading Champions https://vimeo.com/273566575

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