Longleaf Elementary School

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

1.    Positive impact on teachers:

In the fall of 2005, Longleaf started the process of creating effective professional learning communities by studying the process.  Each year, we have added additional layers and created more autonomy among PLC groups.  PLC groups are mainly organized by grade level, but also by specialty area (ESE) and interest in a particular professional practice (Student-led conferences).  A once somewhat fractured faculty that had minimum levels of trust and understanding for other teachers, now works as a much closer unit, much less fearful of opening classroom doors to each other.  Newer teachers now have a more formal support system through the PLC time.  Sometimes as a new teacher you don’t know what information and strategies you are missing. The dialogue opened through PLCs has made our newer teachers feel much more confident and provides a natural avenue for sharing, modeling and collaborative problem-solving.

By 2008-09 PLC teams were working well together.  Teams established data driven goals for their students quickly.  Professional development needs were determined and provided for individual PLC groups.  The reading coach was involved in meetings, but mainly as a resource and staff developer.  Teams had molded their meetings and agendas to reach their identified goals.  State and district initiatives drove the school-wide focus towards staff development in and initial implementation of Response to Intervention (RtI).  The process of finding ways to implement RtI took time and focus away from the goals PLC teams had established at the beginning of the year.  To address that, a new school-wide vertical PLC team formed to address the RtI implementation.

2009-10 brought new challenges to our Professional Learning Communities.  Budget cuts reduced the already limited resource teacher staff and downsized the reading coach position to one day per week.  PLC teams were still establishing data driven goals but without the consistent resource of continuous, specialized professional development to support them.  Teacher leaders stepped up in each team to continue the work that had started in previous years.  This was significant because it showed our faculty that the power of a professional learning community to affect change isn’t just tied to resources, it’s fueled by true collaboration.

Since the 2010-11 school year, we have encountered both internal and external changes that have caused our PLCs to evolve even further.  A new assistant principal became a dynamic leader in PLC meetings.  She has been instrumental in keeping communication and sharing open between teams so that barriers of time don’t affect the ability to share information across grade levels as often as it had in the past.  A PLC room was created with collaboration needs in mind.  A large meeting table with plenty of space for materials and teachers was added. A projector is in the room to make it easier to share resources from the web or on individual computers.  Resources critical for things such as curriculum alignment, data disaggregation, intervention strategies and differentiation were moved into this room to create a one-stop teacher resource library.   This is critical because it reduces time teams spend searching for materials so that it can be spent working on goals.

In 2011-12, a new district evaluation system was established that emphasizes group collaboration for planning, sharing strategies and meeting the needs of every student in the school.  Our well established PLC teams have made this portion of the evaluation system very easy for us to implement.  State required School Improvement Plans now focus on one or two main goals towards leading students to become highly effective 21st Century Learners. The entire staff works together to reach this goal, mainly through PLC groups. 

For the 2012-13 school year, the SIP goal focused on increasing the use of informational text in classroom instruction.  Teachers have shared many high-yield strategies and resources, including ways to develop higher order questions that will elicit quality discussion among students.  This goal directly supports our statewide adoption of Common Core State Standards and our need to make sure the entire faculty has a deep understanding of the instructional shifts involved in CCSS.  Professional development and new resource materials have all focused on developing non-negotiable practices that will lead to attaining this goal together.  Every teacher in the building, including our ESE, Music and PE teachers have been actively involved in this process.  There is now a true understanding that collaboration is a necessity rather than a convenience, for both teacher effectiveness and student achievement. 

PLCs have also reached outside of our school walls.  One example is schools in our area that formed a 6th grade professional learning community to share strategies and develop collaborative lessons in inquiry with a focus on student use of technology.  Highlights of the process included field trips to a host school for students to work together and video lessons presented between each school. 

In 2013-2014, Longleaf focused its collaboration on utilizing data to best meet the needs of all learners. During this school year, teacher teams worked to design and implement tiered interventions to support our struggling learners, and to enrich the learning of on grade level and above grade level learners. Differentiation was the key word in all learning environments across our school. Teacher teams collaborated to share ideas, strategies, and materials to best meet the needs of all learners and to continue to make learning at Longleaf an interesting and relevant experience. Exceptional Education, Music, Art, PE, and Media teachers worked together and with grade level classroom teachers to differentiate lessons through content, process, and product. These collaborative experiences encouraged mutual accountability and helped to develop a school-wide support system for teachers and students. Utilization of peer observations enabled teachers to improve their teaching practice through collaborative discussions based on real-time teaching methods.

Longleaf’s School Improvement Plan spanned the 2013-2014 school years and focused on differentiation. The collaborative processes continued during the 2014-2015 school year to imbed differentiation as a best practice throughout our school. During this year, Longleaf changed the title of our weekly collaborative meetings to Collaborative Planning Team (CPT) meetings, to better encompass the full range of the processes we had embraced to become one learning community that shares strategies, supports student learning and teacher instructional delivery, and utilizes data to guide instruction, monitor student learning, and reflect on instructional practices.

During the 2015-2016 school year, Longleaf is focused on improving the sharing of data to all stakeholders in a timely manner. This will improve collaborative discussions that help determine the instructional needs of students. We have redesigned our data wall and are increasing the sharing of students across grade levels to provide specific, targeted interventions. In addition, Longleaf is focusing designing units of study that utilize the backwards design model. This focus enables teachers to share across grade levels and curriculum areas to develop units of study that are standards based and that meet the rigor of the standards.

2. Positive Impact on Students:

The establishment and expansion of our Professional Learning Communities have provided a school climate that provides more focused, data-driven instruction across each grade level and all subject areas to provide students with powerful, differentiated instruction.

The collaborative culture being developed has brought the instruction a child gets in a given grade level more equitable.  The knowledge of a few has been shared, modeled and implemented by many.

Collaborative planning has also been used to create learning experiences for students without excessive planning for teachers to support the instruction in the Florida Standards. Our media specialist leads a PLC that meets each month that focuses on sharing technology resources that will support Florida Standards instruction at all grade levels.  She also uses the same resources in her instruction so students are familiar with them.  Another example is our 5th grade team collaborates to plan a science blitz for the month before FCAT Science testing.  Each teacher took an area of science and planned interactive lessons and labs to do with students.  Less planning for the teacher and the students got a variety of detailed lessons and the excitement of “guest speakers”.  The 2nd grade team has used the same idea to work collaboratively to plan themed rotations to cover important social studies and science “Big Ideas”, using the Florida Standards as their guide.  Teachers get to know every student in the grade level and students have fun learning in a different setting.

Our collaborative planning team meetings have resulted in improved sharing of strategies, increased professional support for teachers, and an improvement in standards driven instruction. Data team meetings have resulted in focused research based intervention strategies targeted to fill the gaps in student learning, thus improving overall achievement in curriculum areas. Collaboration among teachers has resulted in teacher led professional development on Tech Tuesdays. This sharing of technology skills and strategies has helped teachers utilize technology for student instruction in more meaningful and relevant ways. Our district has adopted a new computer based system for recording and retrieving student data. Tech Tuesdays have aided teacher understanding and utilization of this system, thereby allowing data retrieval and making analysis easier.

Peer observations have resulted in improved practice throughout our school. The positive impact on students is impossible to overstate since this practice is the essence of a true collaborative community in which relationships are built on the foundation of mutual trust and a common goal of improved instructional delivery. The collaborative discussions and sharing that result from peer observations lead teachers to analyze their own practice and to share data that supports the effectiveness of best practices in lesson design and delivery.

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Longleaf uses a variety of assessments, both formal and informal, to evaluate students throughout the year.  CPT, vertical team, and other professional development goals also come out of this disaggregation of data.  Each teacher is provided with a data notebook to keep records throughout the year.
Online reporting systems make student data available from current and previous years.

Some assessments that we rely on are:

Scholastic Reading Inventory, FAIR (Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading), District Benchmark Assessments (in all content areas), Running Records, DIBELS Next ORF, Classroom performance observations, FSA (Florida Standard Assessment), Diagnostic testing (PASI, PSI, & DAR), student surveys and teacher needs surveys.

 

MTSS (Florida’s Multi-tiered System of Support) requires monthly data meetings.  MTSS focuses not only on RtI in academics and behavior but also enrichment strategies for students.  PLC teams provide teachers the opportunity to look at all of the data listed above to find grade level trends and share planning strategies for intervention.  The shared liter coach and the Individual Problem Solving Team are also involved in these meetings.  The IPST includes district and school based personnel who support intervention brainstorming and progress monitoring of students needing intense (Tier 3) intervention.  Their involvement helps provide seamless transitions between the grade levels because they have been actively involved with the students that need additional support.  Teachers are making more effective, data-driven instructional decisions now because they aren’t doing it alone, at home or behind their closed doors.

 

CPT teams also spend time during meetings setting goals and topics of exploration based on the collective needs of the students they are currently serving.  Teachers look at grade level or school trends on district, state and classroom assessments to determine areas that should be addressed.  Extensive time is spent on this at the beginning of each year to set individual and team goals, but teams revisit it as they gather more data, especially if they see trends that raise concerns in any of their classrooms. Data is used to determine intervention and enrichment needs. Classroom data is utilized to determine successful strategies that are then shared, modeled, and discussed. Data also helps determine the need for additional professional development. Through CPTs, teachers learn from each other, administration, and the literacy coach. These team meetings solidify mutual trust and provide support that results in improved teaching practice and job satisfaction.

 

 

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

 

Teachers collaborate to share materials, strategies and sometimes students to provide the best intervention systems in reading, writing and math.  The following strategies have been implemented:

Inclusion in general education settings are provided for all students placed in a full-time ESE class.

Collaborative Scheduling- ESE teachers work with teams to determine the best schedule for students to reduce the effects of transitions on both the student and core classroom instruction.
Bobcat Tutor
mentoring program pairs students in 1st and 2nd grade with a volunteer that is trained to work one-on-one with student needing more confidence in their ability to read and write effectively.
Intervention blocks have been implemented in all grade levels. Teachers at each grade level team to provide targeted intervention to those students who have an area of concern.  Some teams provide “walk to intervention” support where students are divided into intervention groups based on their highest needs.

Academic Support Program provides afterschool support to students who have been identified through PLC and RtI teams as needing significant intervention.  Support is provided for grades 3-6 in Reading and Math and grades 5-6 in Science.  Classroom teachers collaborate with the afterschool teacher to share intervention strategies. 

Technology resources for interventionsuch asonline intervention programs have been used to provide additional support for students.

A literacy coach provides support with resources available to address specific learning needs.  She also provides supports in implementing and maintaining effective progress monitoring.   In the 2013-14 school year, literacy coach support increased to include half time literacy coach support, instead of one day per week. During the 2015-2016 school year, data analysis led to an increased focus in integration of writing through all curriculum areas and that became the focus of the literacy coach’s modeled lessons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

This is an area that Longleaf teachers excel in.  Teachers in our building are involved in building and district level collaborative teams that focus on creating the most effective learning environment for our students.  Contacts for all subject areas work with all grade levels and district level professionals to share the most updated information and to support classroom teachers in professional development needs. Longleaf teacher leaders have worked together to provide Understanding by Design training, model examples, and support to all teachers at Longleaf in implementing unit planning.

Teacher leaders also participate in district PLCs in math, reading, science, writing and social studies, media, art, music and PE.  The knowledge gained is then shared with the entire faculty in a variety of formats. 

Through the new district PGP (Professional Growth Plans) and evaluation systems, teachers have been encouraged in taking an active role in modeling for and observing peers.  PGPs require each teacher to establish their personal SMART goals for the year based on data and desire to improve in a certain area. Many teachers will choose PGP goals based on the needs identified in their CPT group, then observe each other implementing the strategies laid out in that plan.  Teachers then give feedback on things that went well and things that they have questions about and use it to fine tune their instruction.  This has been a powerful tool for our faculty.  Each teacher comes out with new ideas not only for their own teaching, but also to bring back to their CPT to discuss how their observations might benefit their personal or team goals.  Six teacher leaders have been trained as expert evaluators of the required PGP.  Additional teachers have been trained as peer mentors, and this process gives each teacher in the school an opportunity to be a leader and mentor.

There have been significant changes in our state from intervention requirements to standards to testing formats and new evaluation systems.  Our well-established professional learning communities have provided us with a much needed support system to continue providing a quality education to our students while adjusting to the changes.  Over the past 10 years, collaboration has become an ingrained part of our school culture, and we believe that culture will help us continue that trend for years to come.

 

Percent of Students Passing the Florida Comprhensive Assessment Test (FCAT) with a score of Level 3 or higher:

 

3rd Grade

 

State

Reading

 

School

Reading

 

State

Math

 

School

Math

2011

57

84

56

85

2012

56

77

58

83

2013

57

79

58

85

2014

57

75

58

83

 

4th Grade

State

Reading

School

Reading

State

Math

School

Math

State

*Writing

School

*Writing

2011

59

77

63

81

NA

NA

2012

62

85

61

79

48

63

2013

60

85

60

74

57

68

2014

61

76

58

72

53

56

 

 

*Writing percentages are for 3.5 and above

 

5th  Grade

State

Reading

School

Reading

State

Math

School

Math

State

Science

School

Science

2011

58

87

56

83

NA

NA

2012

61

83

57

84

52

80

2013

60

84

55

81

53

83

2014

61

79

56

71

54

75

 

6th Grade

State

Reading

School

Reading

State

Math

School

Math

2011

58

84

53

92

2012

57

90

53

89

2013

59

81

52

86

2014

60

87

53

90

 

For the 2015 school year, Florida transitioned from the FCAT/FCAT 2.0 to the Florida Standards Assessment. Score reports for the 2015 school year do not correlate with earlier testing results since the scores are presented as T scores and not levels.

 Longleaf’s data for the 2011-2014 school years reflects that our students consistently score above the state average in every category and grade level. This demonstrates Longleaf’s effectiveness of instructional delivery and that we continue to use standards based instruction at all grade levels.

Present Student Achievement Data at 3 points along a continuum to demonstrate trends. For example, provide data for grades 1, 3, and 5 or similar intervals. The data report should always include the most recent school year and should always offer a basis of comparison (for example, state scores, national scores, or scores from similar schools). If no data is available place n/a.

Percent of Students Passing Statewide Assessment (Longleaf / Brevard Public Schools)

Grade 3

Reading

(school/district)

Math

(school/district)

Science

(school/district)

Writing

(school/district)

2009-10

86/79

91/81

n/a

n/a

2010-11

91/79

96/82

n/a

n/a

*2011-12

77/65

83/63

n/a

n/a

2012-13

79/64

85/57

n/a

n/a

2013-14

75/64

83/58

n/a

n/a

**2014-15

55/52

56/50

n/a

n/a

 

Grade 4

Reading

(school/district)

Math

(school/district)

Science

(school/district)

Writing

(school/district)

2009-10

95/80

98/80

n/a

99/94

2010-11

84/77

91/76

n/a

90/97

 *2011-12

85/70

79/63

n/a

94/80

2012-13

85/67

74/63

n/a

68/55

2013-14

76/65

72/62

n/a

56/47

**2014-15

55/52

53/50

n/a

n/a

 

Grade 5

Reading

(school/district)

Math

(school/district)

Science

(school/district)

Writing

(school/district)

2009-10

91/79

84/69

78/64

n/a

2010-11

95/76

89/69

84/64

n/a

*2011-12

83/66

84/61

79/62

n/a

2012-13

84/66

81/58

83/62

n/a

2013-14

79/66

71/60

75/62

n/a

**2014-15

53/51

53/50

75/62

n/a

 

Grade 6

Reading

(school/district)

Math

(school/district)

Science

(school/district)

Writing

(school/district)

2009-10

95/81

93/76

n/a

n/a

2010-11

93/81

96/78

n/a

n/a

*2011-12

90/72

89/72

n/a

n/a

2012-13

81/72

86/68

n/a

n/a

2013-14

87/73

90/72

n/a

n/a

**2014-15

55/53

59/54

n/a

n/a

*State assessment changed from FCAT to FCAT 2.0 and cut scores were raised.

**State assessment changed from FCAT 2.0 to Florida Standard Assessment (FSA) for Reading/Language Arts and Math and scores are reported as Mean T instead of percent.

 

The data from the Florida Department of Education shows that Longleaf Elementary is making progress towards the goal of all students meeting high learning standards.  Brevard Public Schools consistently scores above the state average in FCAT results, so we compare our scores to the district averages.  The trends show that our students consistently score above the district average with the exception of 2010-11 writing scores.  Longleaf has been ranked as an A+ school by the state of Florida twelve years in a row. 

 

In the 2010-11, approximately 40% of our school population was rezoned to other schools and replaced with students from a different school.  This provided a barrier that needed to be addressed throughout our school because our faculty did not have the in depth knowledge of each student to start the year out and needed extra time to build expectations and routines with students at the beginning of the year.  One of the important pieces of our PLC work is to discuss our students and share not only assessment data, but qualitative data with each other to ensure smooth transitions between grade levels.  This typically happens at the end of each year, but needed to be moved to the beginning of the school year.  District and state class size rules also required a significant change in classes after the beginning of the school year.  We feel that these barriers especially impacted the test performance in fourth grade.

 

In 2011-12, state assessments changed to a new version, based on Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and the cut scores (scores that determine achievement levels) were increased.  In most cases, our percentages of students passing FCAT 2.0 show the drops were lower or commensurate with the district drops. 

 

The data from 2012-2013 shows that Longleaf continued to score above the district average, which was above the state average. Scores in this year tended to be fairly consistent with the previous year’s scores both at the school and the district levels.

 

In 2013-2014 Longleaf saw a drop in scores across the third through fifth grades. Teachers were designing and implementing instruction based on the Common Core Standards and the state assessment remained FCAT 2.0 which was based on the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. This drop in scores was the catalyst for improvement in our PLC focus.

 

The results of the 2014-2015 Florida Standards Assessment reflects that Longleaf continues to make progress in teaching to the rigor of the Florida Standards. Although the state assessment was new during this period, and data is not comparable to FCAT data, Longleaf students scored at or above the district average in grades 3-6 reading/language arts and mathematics. Longleaf attributes this success to our collaborative efforts across grade levels and to our improved focus on utilization of data.

 

 

  • State of Florida A+ School- 2002-2014 (2015 grades have not been released)

  • State of Florida Five Star School Award- 1999-2015

  • Golden School Award - 1999-2015

  • Florida Arts Model School Award 2015 -2018

  • Principal appointed to Commissioner’s Leadership Academy, a Program of the Council for Educational Change in Partnership with the Florida Department of Education - 2012-13

  • EVA Award (Excellence in Visual Arts) 2006-2013

  • Excellence in Physical Education Award – 2007-2011

  • Brevard Public Schools recognition for Professional Learning Communities at Work

  • Florida Region 3 Reading Leadership Team of the Year Award- 2008

  • Florida School Leaders Promising Practices School - 2008

Top