Sanger Unified School District

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

Professional Learning Communities are the foundation for the collaborative culture in Sanger Unified, creating an atmosphere of trust and transparency.  The development and refinement of PLC implementation has been a journey that has spread over a period of twelve plus years beginning with our initial work with the DuFours.  Professional Learning Communities are the wheelhouse in which Sanger Unified is able to effectively and efficiently navigate the ongoing changes in education while holding firm to our belief in PLC’s interdependency, transparency, and willingness to have challenging conversation that improve student achievement and outcomes. As an organization, we continue to build our capacity to function as innovative and sustainable PLCs.  Common Core has impacted the cycle of learning and assessment, requiring PLCs to dig deeper into answering the four critical questions of student learning.

  • What is it we expect our students to learn?
  • How will we know when they have learned it?
  • How will we respond when students do not learn?
  • How will we respond when studends already know it?

Sanger PLCs now incorporate evaluating these four questions in relation to High Leverage Team Actions (HLTAs), which allow PLCs to analyze, reflect, and collaborate in a sequence better aligned with Common Core cycle of learning. This year's theme is "Be Courageous!" We constantly remind ourselves of the fact that every child, every day must know that there is an adult that cares about them and believes in them.

 The willingness and determination to do "whatever it takes" is being demonstrated on a daily basis.  PLCs are working together to identify critical standards where proficiency has not yet been evidenced, designing focused instructional support, identifying successful instructional strategies, work to develop effective instruction, that reaches all students during that best first instruction, as teams. The success of these efforts, as demonstrated by student learning, is assessed and monitored regularly and adjustments are made as needed with immediate support being provided to those who are not showing mastery. This is only possible because teams of teachers share a common vision and goal, success for "our kids"!

 The power of PLC collaboration is the trust developed in which teams feel safe to take risks, make mistakes, and share with one another to improve instructional practices.  Teams can honestly evaluate their current reality to self reflect on student data, self-evaluative rubrics, and collaborative next steps to improve what is occuring in the classroom. When posed with the question, "If given the option would you ever return to your former practice and give up collaboration?" The response was an enthusiastic unison, "never!"  

As an organization Sanger Unified continues to demonstrate commitment to Professional Learning Communities through professional development for our teachers and administrators, working through the logistics required to provide weekly protected time within the school day for PLCs collaborate, and to foster continued innovation by working through PLCs.

 

 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

 At the site level, common formative assessments are developed by PLCs to monitor student learning and measure mastery of specific standards. The results of these common assessments are used as the basis for the design and implementation of immediate interventions by the PLC members when mastery is not demonstrated. Student learning is also monitored daily through the use of Effective Instruction (EI) strategies. The effective use of EI increases student engagement in the lesson and requires continuous monitoring of learning through checking for understanding and formative assessment practices. Using EI, the teacher knows who has learned and who is still struggling and will provide additional immediate support to those students who are having difficulty with the concept.

Teachers have also been trained on using rubrics and formative assessment practices to monitor student learning. This is a different method than has been used in the past. PLCs recognize that monitoring student learning is more than numerical information. 

In addition, our district is currently working on revising our benchmark assessments to align with the new assessment system. By aligning our Progress Block Assessments (PBA) to our instructional units, teachers across the district will have frequent feedback along the way that will feed the PLC information to make instructional decisions. This data will also be analyzed at the district level to ensure resources and support are provided to the PLCs. With this work still being in the revision stage, we have decided to take the state based Interim Comprehensive Assessment, which is aligned to the new California Assessment of Student Progress and Performance, two times a year to provide both the district and site PLCs information that will ensure student learning is taking place. 

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

Each of our schools has developed a Pyramid of Interventions, which guide the levels of supports when learning is not taking place. These pyramids define our Response To Intervention (RTI) at each site with the understanding that RTI is a philosophy, not a program. Intervention and preventions starts with the best first instruction delivered by the classroom teacher to all students, identified as Tier 1.  Classroom teachers are intentional in checking for understanding so they can best respond and adjust their instruction when the answer to the question, "did learning take place?" is no. The use of effective instructional strategies provides for immediate interventions as a response to the regular monitoring of student learning by checking for understanding. Our PLCs develop and administer common assessments and then design strategies to intervene immediately when learning did not take place as evidenced by the data. As an example, PLC teams discuss the Depth of Knowledge questions that will be asked of students, and create quick assessments at the end of a lesson that allows the team to quickly evaluate the degree of mastery demonstrated by students as a result of the lesson and adjust instruction for the next days lesson, or work with a small group of students during the same instructional day. PLCs are able to analyze the results before they leave and then start the next lesson by flexing their grouping with the teacher that had the highest success rate re-teaching while the other members of this PLC regroup the remaining students and either frontloading that week's learning, reinforce prior learning, or offering enrichment. We also have a cadre of reading development teachers that provide additional support at each site for students that are not performing below grade level in reading. This program provides highly prescriptive support to small groups of students in addition to their core instruction in ELA.

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

We have developed a very focused program of Professional Development in our district. One of the components has been a continued focus on the development of a collaborative culture through Professional Learning Communities. Through our transition to common core, we provided training to our PLC leaders and administrators on leading a PLC through these changing times of new standards and new pedagogy. We charged our PLCs with meeting our district's vision of "All students will have the options to demonstrate what they learn and the opportunities to be successful and achieve their dreams." Knowing that moving through the four questions and the ten HLTAs would take time, our district showed its commitment by increasing collaboration time to every week. This was done through a focused effort on ensuring that no instructional time would be lost for students. 

Our professional development plan includes providing training for all members of a PLC, whereas in the past only PLC leaders attended. We have made a concerted effort to allocate funding and prioritize the grade level and department PLC trainings.  We have received positive feedback that staff appreciates learning alongside their peers.  

In addition, we have worked on deepening our PLC practices through the ten High Leverage Team Actions. This work has proven to be timely and effective in rejuvenating our teams and providing specific support to move us along the continuum. Sanger has had the priviledge of working with both Tim Kanold and Sarah Schull which has provided us with the guidance needed to ensure we are successful. We know that having high performing PLCs is an ongoing process and are committed to ensure that this is something we don't take for granted.

Percentage of Students Meeting or Exceeding Standards on California Assessement of Student Performance and Progress - ELA

  2015 2016        
State 44% 49%        
SUSD 44% 47%        
State EL 11% 13%        
SUSD EL 14%

9%

 

 

     

Percentage of Students Meeting or Exceeding Standards on California Assessement of Student Performance and Progress- Math

  2015 2016        
State 33% 37%        
SUSD 35% 37%        
State EL 11% 12%        
SUSD EL 14% 10%        

Graduation Rate

 

2015

2014

2013

State

82.3%

81%

80.4%

Sanger

95.5%

92.2%

96.8%

 

 

 

 

 

Since 2004 to present:

  • Fifteen schools with Gold Ribbon/California Distinguished School awards.  Jefferson Elementary is the only school in the State of California to receive Gold Ribbon honors in all three areas:  Nutrition, Physical Education and Arts.
  • Three National Blue Ribbon Schools.
  • Fifteen schools receiving Title I Academic Achievement Awards
  • Sixteen elementary schools have been named Bonner Character Education Award winners by the Bonner Character Education Foundation.
  • Washington Academic Middle School, Fairmont Elementary, Quail Lake Environmental Charter and Sanger Academy were named as National Middle Schools to Watch by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grade Reform.
  • Six schools have been named as National Healthy Schools by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
  • Sanger Unified has been awarded five Golden Bell Awards by the California School Boards Association for outstanding educational programs
  • Fifteen Schools received California Business for Education Excellence Awards.
  • Sixteen schools received PBIS Champion School awards.

National Blue Ribbon Schools

  • Centerville Elementary
  • John Wash Elementary
  • Sanger Academy Charter School

California State Gold Ribbon/Distinguished Schools

  • Centerville Elementary
  • Del Rey Elementary
  • Fairmont Elementary
  • Jackson Elementary
  • Jefferson Elementary
  • Lone Star Elementary
  • Madison Elementary
  • Quail Lake Environmental Charter School
  • Reagan Elementary
  • Sanger Academy Charter School
  • Sequoia Elementary
  • John Wash Elementary
  • Wilson Elementary
  • Sanger High School
  • Hallmark Charter School

National Schools To Watch

  • Fairmont Elementary
  • Quail Lake Environmental Charter School
  • Sanger Academy Charter School
  • Washington Academic Middle School

California Business for Education Excellence 

  • Centerville Elementary
  • Del Rey Elementary
  • Fairmont Elementary
  • Jackson Elementary
  • Jefferson Elementary
  • Lone Star Elementary
  • Madison Elementary
  • Quail Lake Environmental Charter
  • Reagan Elementary
  • Sanger Academy Charter School
  • Sequoia Elementary
  • John Wash Elementary
  • Sanger High School
  • Wilson Elementary
  • Washington Academic Middle School

National Center for Community of Caring Awards Outstanding Community of Caring District in America

  • Sanger Unified

California Department of Education Title I Academic Achieving School

  • Centerville Elementary
  • Del Rey Elementary
  • Fairmont Elementary
  • Jackson Elementary
  • Jefferson Elementary
  • Lone Star Elementary
  • Madison Elementary
  • Quail Lake Environmental Charter
  • Reagan Elementary
  • Sanger Academy Charter
  • Sequoia Elementary
  • John Wash Elementary
  • Wilson Elementary
  • Washington Academic Middle School
  • Sanger High School

Bonner Center Virtues and Character Recognition Award

  • Centerville Elementary
  • Del Rey Elementary
  • Fairmont Elementary
  • Jackson Elementary
  • Jefferson Elementary
  • Lincoln Elementary
  • Lone Star Elementary
  • Madison Elementary
  • Reagan Elementary
  • Sanger Academy Charter School
  • Sequoia Elementary
  • John Wash Elementary
  • Healthy School Awards
  • Jackson Elementary
  • Jefferson Elementary
  • Lone Star Elementary
  • John Wash Elementary
  • Quail Lake Elementary
  • Wilson Elementary

PBIS Champion Award Schools

  • Centerville Elementary
  • Del Rey Elementary
  • Fairmont Elementary
  • Jackson Elementary
  • Jefferson Elementary
  • Lincoln Elementary
  • Lone Star Elementary
  • Madison Elementary
  • Quail Lake Environmental Charter
  • Reagan Elementary
  • Sanger Academy Charter 
  • Sequoia Elementary
  • John Wash Elementary
  • Wilson Elementary
  • Washington Academic Middle
  • Hallmark Charter 
 
P21 Nationally Recognized School
  • Sanger High School
 

 

 

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