Martin Warren Elementary

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

Public elementary and secondary schools in Warrensburg are part of the Warrensburg R-VI School District. The district includes four elementary schools for grades preschool through fifth grade. Maple Grove and Ridgeview Elementary schools are for grades preschool through second grade while Martin Warren and Sterling elementary schools house students in grades three through five. Warrensburg Middle School serves students in grades six through eight and Warrensburg High School is for grades nine through 12. The district also operates the Reese Education Center. The Warrensburg Area Career Center specializes in vocational education for high school-aged students in Warrensburg and Johnson County.

Martin Warren became a school that has students in grades 3, 4, and 5 during the 2011-2012 school year.  It has previously housed students in grade 1, 2, and 3. A new building was opened that year. Elementary teachers were shuffled to form new teams at each elementary building.  Only one teacher that had previously been at Martin Warren remained.  It was at that time the new family was formed.  It took several years of hard work to build the trust necessary to achieve the status of Exemplary Professional Learning Community school.  We have continued to move forward with the growth mindset for students and are making positive gains in the education of all.

When we began our PLC journey eight years ago, there were so many ideas from every teacher that just didn’t match.  We had many meetings to determine what our mission, vision, goals, and beliefs would be for the future years. The PLC Leadership Team focused efforts to get the entire team working toward the same mission.  

Martin Warren’s Mission:  The Martin Warren Elementary staff will educate and empower all students to be confident and successful through engaged learning in a safe community.

Martin Warren’s Vision:  Our vision for Martin Warren is to be a model for student success in the global community.

Martin Warren Values:  We will create a positive environment where all students, staff and visitors feel welcome. We will study the individual needs, ability levels, and interests of each student to make the curriculum and instruction relevant. We will give students multiple opportunities to learn and to demonstrate their accomplishments. We will work together as a team of teachers, parents and staff with open and honest communication to ensure each child succeeds. We will be accountable to learn and implement the district curriculum.

Teachers began to have conversations to talk about the real focus of instruction. Teachers wrote SMART Goals for each student who was struggling academically or behaviorally. SMART goals are Strategic and Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results Oriented, and Time bound. Goals are individual based specifically on student need. The first couple of years were a struggle to maintain consistency and focus throughout the building. Since we have maintained a direct focus for many years, the Professional Learning Community terminology is part of our everyday vocabulary.

Building SMART Goal #1: 90% of Martin Warren students will be reading at grade level as measured by the STAR Reading assessment at the end of the 2018 - 2019 school year. 

Building SMART Goal #2: 90% of Martin Warren students will score at grade level as measured by the STAR Math assessment at the end of the 2018 – 2019 school year.

As our journey progressed, teachers prepared agendas for weekly collaboration that was built into the school day.  Nearly every Wednesday, students are dismissed two hours early to allow teachers to focus on student achievement. There is a team leader, a time keeper, a norms keeper, and a reporter at each meeting.  Time is given at the beginning of each collaboration meeting to reflect on current instructional practices and celebrate the successes in each classroom. The teams determine the weekly agendas based on the success/opportunities for improvement for all students.

Teachers embrace the Professional Learning Community philosophy and would not revert back to the traditional ways of teaching in isolation.  Martin Warren is truly a Professional Learning Community that focuses on what is best for students.

 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

The foundation of our process begins with two key questions: 1. What do we want our students to learn? 2. How do we know they have learned it?  We first identify the area in which the student has the most difficulty. Then we set a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results Oriented, & Time Bound) goal addressing the specific skill and determine which research based intervention will be utilized (see example in the Resources section).  Our team provides teachers resources necessary to implement the determined intervention. Progress monitoring tools are provided to track the advancement of those students. We share the intervention tools we found successful and why we believe they were successful throughout the building and include the student’s support system, as well.

Grade level/content area goals are reviewed annually by each team.  Small adjustments are made each session to ensure continuity continues.

We have students data notebooks for students to track goals they have set (an example is in the Resources section).  The students work with the teacher to set a goal and define strategies to meet that goal.  The goals are monitored regularly and we have multiple ways to celebrate the successes of students including individual celebrations, buzz books, and shout-outs in the gym.

 

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

Martin Warren has a daily intervention period.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday the first 30 minutes of the day is focused on reading instruction.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are focused on math instruction (a copy of the daily schedule is in the Resources section). Specific student needs are addressed during this RtI time and students are placed into targeted groups based on need.  Tier 1 instruction is provided in each classrooms at prescribed times for each grade level. This provides resources for all teachers, even when there is a student that is having a behavior problem. Tier 2 interventions focus on the missing skills some students might have after the Tier 1 instruction is complete. Teachers work together to develop assessments to determine which skills are missing or STAR data is used to identify missing skills. All teachers work with students during this time and research based programs are used. Frequent progress monitoring allows teachers to make changes as needed to student need during our collaboration time. When students do not make the necessary progress using Tier 2 interventions, they are placed in a Tier 3 intervention that is provided by a Title I Teacher or a Special Education Resource Teacher. The Tier 3 interventions are very direct and scripted instructional strategies that are research based. Teachers received specific professional development to learn these strategies. 

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are days that focus on reading.  Students are given the STAR Reading test at the beginning of the school year.  Examples of data for the STAR Reading scores can be found in the Resources section. Originating with the missing documented skills, students are based in groups to concentrate only on those skills for 30 minutes.  For students who have behavior improvement opportunities, they are placed in a behavior skills group aiding in the practice of those missing abilities.  Tuesday and Thursday are devoted to math.  Students are placed in groups based on the documented missing proficiencies in math after they have taken the STAR Math test.  Examples of data for the STAR Math scores can be found in the Resources section. The entire building has intervention at the same time allowing us to group students together based on the type of assistance needed, rather than just grade level groups.  For those students who have mastered all the skills, we have enrichment clusters that allow students to really stretch their learning. Ongoing progress monitoring is conducted every three weeks for those students in intervention groups to ensure the specific intervention is addressing the needs of the student. If progress is not made, data is analyzed to determine which intervention would be better.  Individual grade levels determine when to analyze data to move students in groups. This occurs at least every eight weeks, but sometimes more frequently. Those students who are being progress monitored every three weeks move more frequently, if growth is made.

Music is played at the beginning of TIGER Time for two minutes to signal the beginning of the intervention period.  Students know that they must travel quickly without running in the hallways to their TIGER Time room.  They must be ready and willing to learn when the music stops.  We use every adult in the building to work with struggling students.  The students have 28 minutes in the intervention/enrichment room to focus on the missing skills or extend their learning.  At the end of TIGER Time, music is played for two minutes again.  Students must return to their homeroom by the time the music stops and be ready to learn.

New research based interventions will be implemented as they become available.  Enrichment groups are growing.  Students love the intervention time and it will continue to be a part of our daily schedule.  We invite teams of teachers from other schools to see our TIGER Time and implement in their schools.  We have had at least 20 schools visit and observe TIGER Time in action thus gaining insight to the multitude of possibilities available to them when the village works together toward a common goal.  

 

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

Because collaboration is so important in the Warrensburg R-VI School District, we have a two hour early release almost every Wednesday (a copy of the district calendar is in the Resources section).  Martin Warren has utilized many of these days for grade level collaboration days. We have found that we need a lot of time to look at our assessment data and strengthen our assessments.  However, at the district level, these days have been spent with vertical collaboration.

Each collaborative team has a facilitator that has been elected to that position by their colleagues (a copy of a Collaboration Agenda with notes is in the Resources section).  They are responsible for ensuring the focus of the team meeting with help from the leadership team. The team creates the agenda; however, the facilitator is responsible for also communicating with the leadership team about other topics that should be discussed.  Other responsibilities that are assigned by the facilitator are the norms keeper, time keeper, and secretary.

Our music, art, physical education teachers, and our librarian are a member of each collaborative team. These teachers provide instruction during our Tiger Time and also provide data to teachers to document the success/struggle students may be encountering. The Four Critical Questions are addressed at every collaboration. This particular team of teachers meets regularly to plan for building activities as well. A sample copy of an agenda is in the recources section.

As a Sustaining Exemplary Professional Learning Community school, we know it is important for every team member to believe their contribution is important to team meetings.  The grade level teams develop agendas based on the data they need to examine at that time.

 

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

The missing data is due to the fact that scores were not returned to us for the 2017-2018 school year.

Additional charts and graphs are located in the Resources section to depict the data we collect to monitor the success of our students.

There was a drop in the ELA scores for the 2017-2018 school year. We have had somewhat of a moving target for the past several years as the state test has changed five out of the past seven years. Accurate data cannot be collected when cut scores are continuously changed. We are hopeful to maintain the same test for the next five years.

2016 - Exemplary Professional Learning Community School - This is an award presented by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education based on the following information. Professional learning communities see student learning, not teaching, as their mission. The policies, instruction, curriculum, programs, professional development, and other functions of the school all support student learning.  In maintaining this constant focus on learning, four questions become paramount:

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

2. How will the school determine that students have learned the essential knowledge and skills?

3. How will the school respond when students do not learn?

4. How will the school respond when they already know it? The state PLC school-improvement model focuses on increasing student achievement by building the capacity of school personnel to create and sustain the conditions that promote high levels of student and adult learning.

WHAT DOES A SCHOOL THAT IS A PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITY LOOK LIKE?

  • The daily work of the school is driven by common purpose, shared vision and collective commitments.
  • There are high expectations regarding student achievement and a commitment on the part of staff to accept responsibility for student learning.
  • The learning of each student is monitored on a timely basis using common core curriculum and common assessments aligned with state standards.
  • School structures support student learning and provide additional time and support for students who initially do not achieve intended outcomes.
  • Job-embedded professional development leads to the collective identification of, reflection about, and implementation of “best practices” for improved student achievement.
  • Staff members work collaboratively in processes that foster continuous improvement in all indicators of student achievement.
  • The use of data promotes an action orientation and focus on results.
  • Leadership of school improvement processes is widely dispersed and helps sustain a culture of continuous improvement.

 

2017 - Annie Beile, Best of the Burg: Elementary Favorite Teacher

2018 - Dr. Lorna Cassell, Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals, Distinguished Princpal Award

2019 - Sustaining Professional Learning Community School - MARTIN WARREN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL • WARRENSBURG R-VI SCHOOL DISTRICT Student Demographics: 396 Students; 53 Teachers; 45% Free and Reduced; 0.75% ELL Principal: Dr. Lorna Cassell 660-747-7160 • lcassell@warrensburgr6.org 105 S. Maguire Warrensburg, MO 64093 Warrensburg R-VI School District • Superintendent: Dr. Scott Patrick • warrensburgr6.org Originally Designated as Exemplary PLC School in 2016 - We were identified as a Sustaining school based on our continued work for the past three years. We focus specifically on what students need and create student driven instruction.

Pursuit of Happiness Award from UCM : Henry N. & JP B. - 2015; Kyle M. - 2016; Issac K. - 2017; Linh P. - 2018

Stock Market Game: Springs 2012 - First Place; Fall 2013 - First & Second Place; Spring 2014 - First & Second Place; Spring 2015 - First & Second Place; Spring 2017 - First & Second Place

Young Author's Conference Participants: (number of students) 

2011-2012     15
2012-2013     13
2013-2014     15
2014-2015     12
2015-2016     10
2016-2017      9
2017-2018      7
2018-2019      9

 

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