Lewis Carroll Elementary School

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

We began the Professional Learning Community journey in 2002.  Our Director of Professional Development, William Hall, provided training to support interested schools.  The model fit our collaborative culture and pulled from our many talented people.  We immediately saw the academic success and rise in test scores.  In 2015 and 2016 the Gates Foundation surveyed Brevard Public Schools and provided us with the results.  In 2015 and 2016 ninety-two percent of our teachers felt that leaders at the school sought feedback from them.  That is in comparison to a district response of seventy percent.  In 2015 eighty-one percent of the teachers felt the time spent collaborating with colleagues was productive and this past year ninety-two percent of our teachers reported that their collaboration with colleagues was productive.  It is plain to see the importance of our collaboration.

In addition to our positive FCAT results, I believe having PLCs as a foundation for school improvement has empowered our teachers.  They see one another sharing among peers and it gives them the confidence to share.  For some it takes a little longer than others but over the years I have seen many additional leaders emerge from these PLC groups.  It also establishes camaraderie and support.  The teachers find that they are not the only one having the same academic concerns.  This shared knowledge has a direct impact on student achievement.

Because of the increased levels of learning and uniqueness of learning strategies we have had visitors from around the country and as far away as Japan to observe.  We have faculty members that share PLC strategies in District committees and also present at the national level.

Each grade level team meets collaboratively for at least one hour during the instructional week.  Grade level teams have common planning times and free lunch periods each day.  These times give them ample opportunity to discuss student needs as first diagnosed through student data.  Progress monitoring of student achievement is an ongoing and consistent process at Lewis Carroll Elementary.  There are many assessments that are used for evaluation tools.  Along with these assessments there are three mandated assessments to evaluate students reading skills in grades Kindergarten through sixth.  There are also required diagnostic tests in writing, math, science, and social studies to continually assess student progress across curriculum areas. Teachers use running records and create informal assessment tools to evaluate students’ academic progress.  All these assessments are great for beginning baseline data.  During preplanning and at the beginning of the school year grade level teams look over the data and create SMART goals.  These teams meet weekly to brainstorm curriculum strategies in areas such as fluency and comprehension.  They also work to create learning strategies to meet student needs in math and science.  They plan hands-on activities that are fun, rigorous, and relevant.  Grade level teams create formative assessments as they see students struggling with concepts and standards.  They share assessment tools and adjust those tools as the students’ needs change.  Grade level teams recreate mandatory district assessments so students can learn to mastery.  Teachers observe and quiz students randomly.  They work with students in skill groups.  When mastery of skills occur grade level teams work together to create enrichment activities.  Sometimes grade level teams break up into groups.  Each teacher chooses a skill to teach.  The children move to a teacher for a specific skill or enrichment activity.

At Lewis Carroll Elementary School each grade level team works collaboratively to focus on the students’ academic needs.  Each team plans one day a week after school and they also have common planning and lunch times which allows for communication and sharing if they are so inclined.

During their after school collaboration time teachers review formative assessments as well as district mandated assessments to plan and set goals.  The team looks at the ways they will use human and material resources to meet these goals.  One of the most effective reasons that these collaborative teams work so well is that they are open to share strategies in a risk free environment.  They respect each other and have established relationships.  Another reason these teams work so well is that they commit together to help each other’s students meet or exceed the standards.  Teachers will work with each other’s students in tutorials and work with another teacher’s entire class teaching reading skills.  This way all the team’s teachers know all the team’s students.

Each grade level team works together to review and prioritize the standards that need to be taught.  They create or review pacing guides for each curriculum area.  These pacing guides are reviewed every couple of weeks to keep the team on track. 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Each grade level team meets collaboratively for at least one hour during the instructional week. Grade level teams have common planning times and free lunch periods each day. These times give them ample opportunity to discuss student needs as first diagnosed through student data. Progress monitoring of student achievement is an ongoing and consistent process at Lewis Carroll Elementary. There are many assessments that are used for evaluation tools. DIBELS testing assesses student fluency and as we know student fluency is closely correlated to reading success. The DIBELS assessment is completed by all students in Kindergarten through sixth grade three times a year. The Scholastic Reading Inventory screens 2nd through 6th grade students’ comprehension skills three times each academic year. Along with these assessments there are three mandated assessments to evaluate students reading skills in grades Kindergarten through sixth. There are also required diagnostic tests in writing, math, science, and social studies to continually assess student progress across curriculum areas. Teachers use running records and create informal assessment tools to evaluate students’ academic progress. All these assessment are great for beginning base line data. During preplanning and at the beginning of the school year grade level teams look over the data and create SMART goals. These teams meet weekly to brainstorm curriculum strategies in areas such as fluency and comprehension. They also work to create learning strategies to meet student needs in math and science. They plan hands on activities that are fun, rigorous, and relevant. Grade level teams create formative assessments as they see students struggling with concepts and standards. They share assessment tools and adjust those tools as the students’ needs change. Grade level teams recreate mandatory district assessments so students can learn to mastery. Teachers observe and quiz students randomly. They work with students in skill groups. When mastery of skills occur grade level teams work together to create enrichment activities. Sometimes grade level teams break up into groups. Each teacher chooses a skill to teach. The children move to a teacher for a specific skill or enrichment activity.

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

The grade level collaborative teams work together to create formative assessments to evaluate the students’ progress.  They meet weekly to plan ways to address students’ needs or to create enrichment.  Our exceptional education team is comprised of speech therapists, occupational therapists, exceptional education teachers, and our guidance counselor. They meet once a week to strategize ways to increase academic achievement for our students with disabilities.

As needed, teachers will create a rotation schedule where each teacher chooses a skill to teach and the students rotate to meet student needs.  This is our “walk to intervention”.

Lewis Carroll Elementary is an inclusion school.  An exceptional education teacher and an assistant move throughout the grade level working with academically at risk students.  Trained parent and high school student reading mentor volunteers also rotate throughout grade levels to support students.

 One of our most collaborative groups at Lewis Carroll Elementary School is our Multi-Tiered Student Support (MTSS) team.  The team is comprised of administrators, teachers, a school psychologist, an exceptional education support specialist, our school guidance counselor, and parents.  The group is fluid and the members meet to brainstorm interventions and make sure the appropriate resources are available for our students at risk or students needing to be challenged.  It is a very passionate and dedicated group of individuals that have students’ academic and developmental growth as a focus.

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

In Addition to our planned meetings on Tuesdays, teachers meet after school to review formative assessments as well as district mandated assessments to plan and set goals.  The team looks at the ways they will use human and material resources to meet these goals.  One of the most effective reasons that these collaborative teams work so well is that they are open to share strategies in a risk free environment.  They respect each other and have established relationships.  Another reason these teams work so well is that they commit together to help each other’s students meet or exceed the standards.  Teachers will work with each other’s students in tutorials and work with another teacher’s entire class teaching reading skills.  This way all the team’s teachers know all the team’s students.

Each grade level team works together to review and prioritize the standards that need to be taught.  They create or review pacing guides for each curriculum area.  These pacing guides are reviewed every couple of weeks to keep the team on track. 

 

The data from the Florida Department of Education shows that Lewis Carroll Elementary is making significant progress towards the goal of students meeting high learning standards.  Brevard Public Schools consistently scores above the state average on our Florida mandatory state assessments which have been the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) and transitioning in 2015 to the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA).  The trends show Lewis Carroll Elementary School students score above the district average.  Below you will see the Lewis Carroll Elementary School testing results as compared to the results from the District and State average.  The fourth grade no longer has an isolated writing test.  All grades are tested on English and language arts combined into the reading score.  Fifth grade science is still FCAT.

 

Grade 3

2012/13

School/District/State

2013/14

School/District/State

2014/15

School/District/State

2015/16

School/District/State

Math

73/57/58

71/58/58

83/60/58

82/60/61

Reading

69/44/57

88/64/57

71/60/53

68/60/54

Writing

NA

NA

NA

NA

Science

NA

NA

NA

NA

 

Grade 4

2012/13

School/District/State

2013/14

School/District/State

2014/15

School/District/State

2015/16

School/District/State

Math

72/63/61

74/62/63

59/59/59

63/60/59

Reading

81/66/60

75/65/61

71/60/61

76/57/54

Writing

67/52/57

67/52/53

NA

NA

Science

NA

NA

NA

NA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grade 5

2012/13

School/District/State

2013/14

School/District/State

2014/15

School/District/State

2015/16

School/District/State

Math

87/58/55

56/60/56

59/56/55

56/57/59

Reading

81/66/60

71/66/61

61/56/52

63/56/52

Writing

NA

NA

NA

NA

Science

70/62/53

60/62/54

62/58/53

60/58/51

 

Grade 6

2012/13

School/District/State

2013/14

School/District/State

2014/15

School/District/State

2015/16

School/District/State

Math

78/68/52

85/72/53

76/70/50

75/63/50

Reading

80/72/59

86/73/60

71/65/51

75/63/52

Writing

NA

NA

NA

NA

Science

NA

NA

NA

NA

 

Please comment on any aspect of the data that you believe is particularly significant.

Within the first year of implementation PLC practices (2001-2002), student achievement measured by local, district, state, and national indicators began to rise. The recent data in the spreadsheet above depicts the percentage of students that are proficient in each academic area as indicated by the Florida Comprehension Assessment Test (FCAT) and the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA). 

As you can see by the results of our FCAT/FSA testing these PLC practices have been very successful.  We excel in comparison to the rest of the state and we continue to work to be better.  Our motto at Lewis Carroll Elementary is “as good as we are-you can always get better” and we know that this goal can only be accomplished through staff development through collaboration.

  • Principal of the Year; 2007 State Finalist
  • Art Principal of the Year; In recognition of Outstanding Support of Visual Arts Education in 2006
  • Award of Excellence; Lewis Carroll was recognized with the Award of Excellence by the Susan Kovalik Integrated Instructional Model for our Journey to Excellence in 2005.
  • Quality School; Lewis Carroll Elementary was designated a Dr. William Glasser Quality School in 2005.
  • Teacher of the Year Finalist; Lewis Carroll Elementary teacher selected as 2003 TOY finalist Brevard County-Area III
  • Non-profit Business; Lewis Carroll Elementary non-profit business partner
  • Partner of the Year State Finalist; (U.S. Navy Fleet Ballistic Missile Operational Test Support Unit Two) selected as a 2003 Florida Non-Profit Business Partner of the Year finalist
  • Odyssey of the Mind; 4th Place in the 2006 Florida State Competition
  • Baton Twirling; 1st Place in the 2003 Millennium Twirling Competition
  • Future Problem Solvers; 5th Place in the State 2006 5th Place in the State 2008
  • Lego Robotics Team; 1st Place 2003 Florida Sunshine State Tournament 2008 State Competition
  • ATTAIN Technology Model School; 2011-14
  • State of Florida History Teacher of the Year-2014

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