Anne Fox Elementary
- Number of Students: 426
- Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: 28%
- Percent of Limited English Proficient: 26.5%
- Percent of Special Education: 11.5%
- White: 33.4%
- Black: 10.6%
- Hispanic: 32.7%
- Asian: 18.4%
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 0%
- American Indian or Alaska Native: 0%
- Multiracial: 0%
- Other: 4.6%
Anne Fox School began its journey towards becoming a PLC in 2005. The road to improvement was not an easy one to navigate for a faculty that was initially experiencing great frustration over repeated low levels of student performance on local and state assessments. Over time, the school’s reputation had become marred amongst its parent base and the building came to be known as a “problem spot” for the district as a whole. Of greatest concern was the absence of effective systems to truly intervene with each student exhibiting difficulty mastering grade level appropriate concepts and skills. Several ineffective practices contributed to this disconcerting reality.
The initial steps involved setting a shared mission, vision and collective commitments; which are displayed in many publicly within our school. Grade level teams were created including classroom teachers, special service providers, bilingual resource teachers, literacy professionals, and support personnel. Each guided by grade level norms and the SMART goals they set for student performance. Our staff has spent a great deal of time writing essential outcomes and common assessments tied to measuring student progress towards mastery of these essential outcomes. We have continued to engage in curriculum mapping to ensure the essential outcomes are our focus and are met. Our master schedule has been developed to provide increased common planning time for our teams and clearly identified times for intervention and enrichment blocks. Our results have been dramatic on all teams.
1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.
To monitor the level of student mastery of essential skills taking place regularly, grade level teams function as collaborative units in order to effectively determine which students were in need of intervention and which students were ready for enrichment instruction. The following processes are in place consistently:
- Collaboration among grade level teams (PLC) 2 to 3 hours per week.
- Bi-monthly RtI collaboration within grade level teams for the purpose of identifying academic and social-emotional concerns of students and monitor progress.
- Current interventions and practices: reading recovery, dual language classrooms, looping, before and after school programs, choice lunch, extended school day, week and year.
- Documented parent contact to share progress.
- Record and Analyze significant academic data focusing on identification of student strengths and challenges.
- Use building wide assessments administered at prescribed intervals during the school year (MAP, Fountas/Pinnell Benchmark Assessment, formative writing assessments).
- Collaborate with students to create individual student goals and action steps using data.
- Empower students to monitor their academic and social-emotional learning goals during the school year.
2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.
In order to provide students with an intervention and enrichment block of time during the school day, a 45 minute period was established on the master schedule for each grade level team referred to as Parallel Block. During Parallel Block, all new literacy instruction stops and students are regrouped by instructional need across the grade level team. Students in need of additional time and support in order to master a grade level appropriate skill or concept move to a classroom to receive structured, small group intervention instruction with an adult to student ratio of 1 to 8 never exceeded. By utilizing special education resource staff, the building’s literacy coach and an instructional assistant, student support teams now “flood” services into the team at a regular time each school day. Students mastering skills assessed on common assessments are regrouped for enrichment instruction in a whole-class setting. This process requires:
- Systematically building a “parallel block” for into our school day to deliver additional time for intervention/enrichment for literacy at every grade level provide needed intervention and enrichment to all students.
- Providing common math blocks which allows for differentiation and flexible grouping across the grade levels.
- Multi-grade math block for 5th and 6th graders to accelerates math focused on algebra readiness skills.
- Grouping students across the entire grade level based on formative data.
- Aligning special Services, bilingual resource, and literacy support teachers with grade levels.
- Providing an intervention support schedule for certified and classified staff members to work with small, flexible groups of students during daily intervention time.
- Intervening the moment any child demonstrates difficulty mastering essential grade level skills or concepts within core literacy instruction.
- Identifying and clustering gifted students for 45 minutes each day so that certified teaching staff and gifted resource teacher time is maximized for providing enrichment for this segment of the student population.
3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.
In order to ensure that all children are guaranteed exposure to grade level appropriate curriculum with an appropriate level of academic rigor we have clearly identified the essential outcomes in literacy and math that all children must have in place before moving along to the next grade level. PLCs have developed meaningful, formative assessments aligned with teaching essential outcomes to identify the specific learning needs of each student. These common assessments are administered across the grade level at intervals determined by the team. The following supports have allowed this to occur:
- Reviewing building –wide data at specific intervals three times per year as part of the school improvement planning process.
- Publicly posting data in multiple locations within the school.
- Building school culture embracing “at-hope” rather than an “at-risk” philosophy regarding students.
- Training of all staff at Fox in Professional Learning Communities by the DuFours.
- Create a school improvement plan with specific action steps incorporating researched strategies for instruction that are monitored by grade level teams.
- Training in SIOP to meet the academic needs of ELL students within the classroom.
- Implementation of a universal system to recognize positive behavior and reinforce consistent behavioral expectations.
- Providing staff development every Wednesday through district early release schedule.
- Recognizing staff involvement in District offered staff development classes for Salary Lane Credit.
- Presenting our school-wide success through the implementation of PLCs at PLC trainings in district (2009, 2010, 2011) to highlight PLC accomplishments and endeavors.
In order for Fox’s grade level teams to produce improvements in student achievement, collaboration time needed to be set aside 2-3 hours per week for staff to discuss the following critical questions:
- Which students are in need of intervention and which students are in need of enrichment?
- What will daily lesson plans be for students in both intervention and enrichment blocks?
- How will we redistribute personnel to deliver this instruction effectively for our students?
Additional Achievement Data
Percentage of students meeting or exceeding state standards as measure by the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT): School Scores/District/State Comparison Score
Percentage of students proficient:
Anne Fox School has increased the percentage of students who are meeting or exceeding state standards in math, reading and science year after year. Our school has moved from the bottom ranked school in our district to a school that consistently performs at or above district averages in reading, math, and science. ALL of our grade levels have enjoyed impressive academic growth and success in all subject areas tested. We are particularly proud of the fact that the percentages of students who meet or exceed state standards in reading have been the highest in our district for 2 consecutive years (2011 and 2012).
2010, 2011 and 2012: Recipient of the “Academic Excellence Award” from the Illinois State Board of Education for, which recognizes sustained excellence in elementary schools where 90% of students pass the state tests and has made adequate yearly progress for at least three years.
2011 and 2012: Recognized by the Schaumburg Township School District 54 Board of Education as a “95/95” school for achieving the district goal of having 95% of all students meet or exceed standards in reading and math as measured by both district and state assessments.
2011: Mrs. Gail Mehlan, bilingual resource teacher, received an award of merit for “Those Who Excel Award” in teachingfrom the Illinois State Board of Education.
2008: Recipient of the “Academic Improvement Award” from the Illinois State Board of Education in partnership with Northern Illinois University which recognizes schools that have sustained an upward trend in test scores for at least three years and showed a 7.5 point increase this year or a 15 point increase in test scores over the past three years.
2008, 2009, and 2010: Recognized by the Schaumburg Township School District 54 Board of Education as a “90/90” school for achieving the district goal of having 90% of all students meet or exceed standards in reading and math as measured by both district and state assessments.
2007: Awarded the Schaumburg Township School District 54 Board of Education “Above and Beyond Award” to Anne Fox School for our work towards improving student achievement.