- Number of Students: 518
- Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: 80%
- Percent of Limited English Proficient: 25%
- Percent of Special Education: 8%
- White: 16%
- Black: 8%
- Hispanic: 72%
- Asian: 0%
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 0%
- American Indian or Alaska Native: 1%
- Multiracial: 3%
- Other: 0%
Freeport Intermediate School: The Place Where Great Things Happen
A tiny gem hidden amongst the petrochemical plants on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, Freeport Intermediate School is home to 518 students with 80% of the student body identified as low socio-economic, 25% ELs (English Learners) and almost 10% SPED; the reality is that these numbers are higher. To the unsuspecting eye, FIS should be assumed low-performing and behind other schools in the state; however, a Texas Education Agency "B" rating and 3 Academic Distinctions certainly shine for themselves. The schools feeding into Freeport Intermediate have recently been rearranged due to Improvement Required status for multiple years. Yet, in that same time period, with the same students, Freeport Intermediate has maintained a “Met Standard” status and has earned several distinctions from the state. This has not been a simple task, but it has been made easier by having a strong PLC process back in place. Freeport Intermediate was no stranger to the PLC process, with its origins dating back to the early 2000's under the campus leadership of Clara Sale-Davis in which time FIS was named a National Blue Ribbon School and a National School To Watch with the implementation of the PLC process.
Fast forward to the summer of 2015 at a PLC at Work Summer Institute, when we began our current PLC journey of academic growth. That summer a guiding coalition was created to help with decision making and leading this transformational change we would embark on. Our common goal and direction was to do what was in the best interest (including best practices) for all our students and their learning at high levels. A master schedule was designed to include common planning periods for content departments to collaborate during the school day. That year our campus had embraced this process as not another meeting, but as what will become the heart and soul of our school.
The next two years of implementation we continued to grow and develop our processes to include, Common Formative Assessments, refined agendas, clarification on the process and a strengthening of our tier 1 instruction. Taking off with the third year, we knew that we were ready to take bigger steps which would help us shift our decision making, teaching styles and learning strategies to have an even greater impact on our students’ learning. We had sent two teams of teachers to the Summer PLC Institute, our leadership team was bigger, better and more knowledgeable. Our focus shifted to having a master schedule that accommodates RtI/enrichment time for all students. During year three we designed and implemented our flexible intervention period we call Primetime. A built in period during the day to meet the needs of our students. In order for that period to be successful, our teachers had to have a strong understanding of formative assessments and data disaggregation. Both are essential to to insure you are doing the right work on the right things. As the year progressed our Teams were able to utilize the data to make data driven decisions for ALL students and had the ability to meet the need their needs during the school day.
Teachers began year four with the end mission in mind. Over time, the campus focus has shifted to consistently embody the three big Campus Commitments 1) ALL students will show academic growth, 2) FIS will close the Academic Achievement Gap and 3) Staff “wants” do not supercede Students “needs”. With our focus on high levels of learning for ALL students, we continue to use our collaboration time to focus on student learning through data grouping. We direct our attention to the high priority learning standards and work with students in groups based on learning standards not just passing/failing .To support this new challenge, we use software programs such as Global PD and Eduphoria to provide us with accurate data analysis of assessments. The data drives the creation of intervention/enrichment support sooner with an emphasis on rigor and mastery of the high stakes learning standards. As year four progresses we have shown a consistent level of growth in all subjects and grade levels.
1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.
In order to have growth in student learning we begin with the creation of our guaranteed and viable curriculum, to do so every subject begins with their TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) our state standards. Prior to the school year, staff look at several key factors to determine the amount of time needed to teach each learning objective.
Is it a Readiness Standard?
Essential for success in the current or future course work
Supports college and career readiness skills
Warrant rigor and in-depth instruction
Is it a Supporting Standard?
A standard that will be reviewed in current class, may have been taught in previous classes
Introduce a new standard that will not be emphasized until subsequent coursework
How often is it assessed on the STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness)?
Once the significance of each TEK is determined, PLCs will use a scope and sequence for the year to insure the proper amount of time is used to achieve the rigor needed to reach student mastery.
What do students need to know?
Teachers begin unit planning with the breakdown of each unit TEK that will be taught in the unit by restating each TEK in student friendly verbiage so students know the learning objectives and the expectations. As the TEK is unwrapped, it will be determined the exact skill or fact to be taught and how it will be taught / modeled.
How will we know if they learned it?
Teachers begin with the design of their unit assessments. During this process teachers examine multiple sources to understand how the learning standards were assessed in previous years and will be assessed this year. PLCs will look at the following for each standard.
What was the format of the question? (graph, open ended, essay etc)
What skills are needed to be considered mastery? (level of rigor)
How will we spiral in the Supporting standards? (warm up, short power lesson, etc)?
Are there prerequisite skills needed to be successful? (readiness standards)
What will be our Formative assessments be throughout the unit?
Once teachers have collected the needed information for each learning standard that will be taught throughout the unit they begin designing assessments that will be used throughout the unit. Starting with the Summative assessment and then creating formative assessments that will provide checkpoints throughout the unit.
With a focus on backward design that uses common and more frequent formative assessments, live scoring, and teacher observation data, teachers have been able to produce higher quality data points that support decision making. Teachers take advantage of the time to build content rich lessons and activities which reflect the curriculum and skills needed in order to be successful. Vertical and horizontal alignment take place to be able to fill in learning gaps. Teachers understand that student data drives their planning and other decisions. Our focus is no longer “all students will pass the standardized test”, but “all students will learn and show growth.”
What will we do when a student requires Intervention or Enrichment?
Through a continuous improvement cycle, Freeport Intermediate staff is able to monitor student learning and make adjustments within 24 hours of student assessment. Teachers use multiple data points weekly to determine what intensive, specific instruction a student will receive. Once a teacher assesses a desired learning target, they meet with their grade level PLC and determine where they will go for follow up instruction.
First, they evaluate each teacher’s strengths and weaknesses to determine who will be teaching the Enrichment, then how the Intervention will be addressed. Second, the Enrichment and Intervention curriculum is planned to target each student and TEKS. Last, our teachers populate their Primetime rosters according to the PLC determinations. Teachers are able to pull students into their Primetime period on the same day the assessment was given. Having this ability allows for ongoing intervention and enrichment for ALL students.
After summative assessments, teachers are given time to complete data disaggregation in Eduphoria or Global PD to dig deeper into learning outcomes by student. Once teachers have broken down their data, they will complete a POA (Plan of Action) to determine how they will provide Enrichment and Intervention to ensure student success.
2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.
Our RTI Tier 2 System is centered around our Primetime period: at 42 minutes long, it is placed before the last period of the day. Students begin each semester in a “Stable” Primetime. Stable Primetime is our version of a homeroom class and gives the campus a homebase for more flexibility.
Primetime is designed to meet all student needs, in addition to campus needs, while taking the following into consideration:
A need for built-in time DURING the school day with 100% captive audience for 42 consecutive minutes.
Teacher autonomy gives educators time during the day to address their curriculum needs on a day-to-day basis as they change for each and every student.
A systematic way to track students.
A process to address the needs for ALL students throughout the school year.
Systematic way to assign and draft students to prevent “double booking” or losing a student in the shuffle.
Must be time-efficient and easy for everyone.
Address question 3 and 4 of the PLC process
#3What will we do if they don’t learn? (systematicinterventions)
#4What will we do if they already know it? (extended learning)
(DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, Many, 2010)
The Solution-A Google Workbook in Sheets
The workbook is shared with every staff member on campus and allows everyone full time access from anywhere they have internet.
A tab for every day of the week (Mon-Fri tabs )
Students’ Schedule tab
Teachers’ Schedule tab
On each day, every staff member (instructional paraprofessionals, counselor, behavior
specialist, librarian, Community In Schools liaison, ect) has a roster to assign ANY
student in the building to their class for Primetime. Each roster has 25 slots with a
dropdown menu of every student enrolled. Once a teacher selects a student for that
day, the student will no longer be available on the drop down menu for other teachers. NO MORE DOUBLE BOOKING of students. To the right of each student’s name is a column for the teacher to take attendance and allow the campus to document where students were
located at all times. At the top of the tab is a Student Schedule search bar that helps
speed up the process of a teacher scheduling a student during the week. Our Teachers
select a student from the campus enrollment dropdown and it displays his current
assignment M-F. The teacher then can decide what day to assign him or if the student is
already chosen they can contact the teacher and ask if they can change them into their
Student Schedule tab
The first column has the campus enrollment list by alpha, the next five columns represent Mon-Fri. and displays a student’s current assignment for each day. If a student is not drafted on a given day, it will display the given uniform assignment we want for the students on that day. Ex. Study Hall, D.E.A.R.(drop everything and read), ALEKs (online math curriculum), etc.
Teacher Schedule tab
This is the tab that controls the Staff names and displays our campus agreed upon days for the staff to have priority over student drafts. Each staff member has been assigned the following days:
Red Day “1st Priority”
Teacher/subject has 1st choice of all students. If a student is chosen the Red Day teacher has academic priority.
Blue Day “Special Pop”
Teacher / subject has priority over students who receive additional support or may require small group instruction. (504,SPED, LEP etc.). This allows teachers the ability to pull additional support staff to address the needs of students. It also allows the teacher a day to have laser like focus on who they pull and addressing those students needs.
3 Green Days “Choice Day”
Teacher / subject has choice of activity and will work around the Red/Blue Teachers rosters. Choice days allow for the teacher autonomy needed to address the needs of students on ALL levels not just students who are unsuccessful in their first attempt at learning.
The Primetime Process-Completing Rosters
During grade level department PLCs, staff will interpret student formative and summative data to determine students needs as well as the department needs for rigorous instruction at high levels for ALL students. In the PLC staff will decide an instructional plan and focus for their Primetime period.
Each department will develop a plan that will address the following:
Reteach from a alternate staff member for a new perspective for the student instruction (completed during regular school day and Primetime “student swaps”)
Special Population plan to insure ALL students needs are met
Once, the PLC collaboratively creates a plan, teachers will complete their daily rosters. Changes to rosters can be made up until lunch time each day, allowing for expedient and timely enrichment and intervention. During lunch and 6th period all students look up their daily assignments through a live link to our Students Schedule Tab. Since we are a 1:1 campus this process was made easy by having all students enrolled into a Campus Google Classroom that has a live link to the “Student Schedule Tab” that auto populates and refreshes every 5 minutes. The link is a “View Only” doc, to prevent any unauthorized changes to be made.This allows us to give students ownership and responsibility to our students for their learning. If a student is not drafted for that days Primetime period, the Student Schedule will automatically display the given default assignment ex. Study Hall (students report to Cafeteria to complete assignments, read, or work online with campus enrichment programs) At completion of each day the rosters are wiped and the process of drafting rosters begins for the next week.
When a student shows to be unsuccessful in growing academically through our Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions, then they will be referred to our RTI Team for evaluation. FIS RTI Team includes campus Administration, Counselor, Reading and Math Intervention and the students core teachers. If the team determines it necessary for student success they will place the student into a Semester long Intervention class. At the end of each semester our RTI team meets and discusses progress of each student and evaluates all assessment data including results from intermittent screener assessments that are completed beginning, middle and end of the year. Once a student has grown to the point of being “On Grade Level”, the team exits the student from Intervention class and is monitored to insure there is no regression.
3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.
At Freeport Intermediate we have built our master schedule to maximize collaboration time between staff members. It starts with students being Teamed into two different hallways per grade level. The first hall has four core teachers, two SPED Co-Teachers (Math and ELA) and two SPED Paraprofessionals. The second hall contains four core teachers, ESL Co-Teacher, RtI Interventionist, and two ESL Paraprofessionals. This teaming setup allows for our campus to maximize our support for Student Special Populations and teachers to differentiate their instruction for the specific needs of the students they serve. Student Teams meet every grading period during Primetime to collaborate on shared students and then meet with the student to discuss Team concerns.
To maximize collaboration time during the day, we have scheduled each content department a common planning time during the day. Grade level departments meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while Campus departments meet on Wednesday. If additional time is needed, then staff can also meet on Monday and Friday.
Achievement Data Files
Additional Achievement Data
2017-2018 Texas Educaton Agency Distinctions
- Top 25% Comparative Academic Growth
- Top25% Comparative Closing The Gaps
- Academic Achievment in Social Studies (Q1 in student Mastery Level)
- "B" Rating
2016-2017 Texas Educaton Agency Distinctions
- Top 25% Comparative Academic Growth