Rocklin Academy

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

We began our journey as a Professional Learning Community (PLC) eight years ago. Although our state test scores were high, further analysis of the data showed a significant number of students who were not proficient. This led us to ask the questions: What do we want our students to learn, how do we know if they have learned it, and what are we going to do if they have not learned it? With Learning by Doing as our guide and working closely with a learning community coach, we focused our efforts on creating a culture that was focused on student learning and results. Our administration and leadership teams have attended workshops with Rick and Becky DuFour, Mike Mattos, and Ken O’Connor. To this date, approximately two-thirds of our faculty has attended a DuFour workshop focusing on PLC’s. For the first year of implementation, time was given within the school day for grade level teams to meet every 3 weeks. Floating substitutes were utilized and administration facilitated the Collaborative Inquiry (CI) meetings to provide structure, protocols, and support with the intent to develop leaders within each grade level. For the entire first year, administration attended all CI meetings. Administration gradually moved from the role of facilitator to coach as the leadership team members facilitated the meetings.

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Rocklin Academy learning team exemplifies Learning Forward’s definition of professional development by embodying the practice of collaborative inquiry - a systematic, purposeful process during which teachers and administration work together to analyze student data and develop instructional strategies that address the needs of all students, including those who require additional support, those who are close to proficiency, and the students who have achieved proficiency and are ready to delve more deeply into a concept.

It is not the fact that teams of teachers collaborate which is important, but rather that they collaborate with a clarity of commitment to ongoing learning and progress, examining student work on a regular basis, creating strategic goals to improve achievement, and enhancing their own skills as educators. Teachers continually improve their practice by regularly assessing student achievement and evaluating the effectiveness of teaching strategies and by learning from each other- by daily sharing the expertise that exists within our school. If, at the conclusion of a four-week cycle, assessment results show that academic goals have not been met, teachers re-evaluate and adjust instructional strategies and readdress areas of need until all students reach proficiency in a particular concept.

The collaborative inquiry results for a representative goal for each grade level are presented in the following table:

Grade Level Skill Beginning Average Proficiency (%) Current Average Proficiency (%)
Kindergardten Recognize and name all upper and lower case letters.   11 44
First Isolate, identify, and pronounce medial vowel sounds and spoken single syllable words. Distinguish between long and short vowel sounds. 48 83
Second Produce complete sentences that demonstrate the command of capitalization, punctuation, grammar. 4 56
Third Determine the meaning of content specific words and phrases in a text relevant to grade three using context clues. 24 68
Fourth Using place value to round multi-digit whole numbers to any place value. 39 91
Fifth Correct use of writing conventions and grammar usage.   37 71
Sixth Divide mixed numbers by fractions. 15 87

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

Through professional learning communities and our collaborative inquiry process, teachers use data from ongoing assessments to identify the needs of individual students. Shared strategies to improve student learning are developed and implemented collaboratively, meeting the needs of students below, at, and above grade level.  Time is provided within the school day to focus on areas of individual improvement during Enrichment Block. The intervention teacher is also utilized to share strategies or work with targeted groups or individual students.


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

With essential outcomes in mind, pacing guides and common formative and summative assessments are utilized to ensure that all students are able to reach proficiency in grade-level standards and that they will gain the appropriate knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Moreover, every week teachers engage in high-quality professional learning during purposeful, goal-oriented, grade-level team and faculty meetings. Each meeting’s topic is determined by current student data which drives instruction so that all students are learning at high levels. Teachers whose data demonstrates effective strategies share their methods and ideas with colleagues in order to replicate their success. Ongoing professional development is further embedded in the school day through peer observations and walkthroughs targeted to specific student learning needs.

CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress)                % of students who have met or exceeded achievement standard

All students English Language Arts (School/State) Math (School/State)  
2014-15 76/44 75/33  
2015-16 78/49 71/37  

Rocklin Academy, since it's opening in 2001-02, has consistently been a high performing school and with the inception of our professional learning community we have continued to be one of the highest performing schools in the Sacramento region.  

  • Official Core Knowledge Visitation School
  • California Distinguished School 2010
  • Learning Forward’s Shirley Hord Learning Team Award 2010