Riverside Brookfield High School

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

Implementing the Professional Learning Communities model has resulted in significant student achievement gains and benefited our students and faculty. We started by embracing the focus on learning instead of teaching. We do everything we can to live the “Whatever it Takes” philosophy and employed the interventions. S.M.A.R.T. Goals are at the heart of our district improvement plan. Our teachers have worked collaboratively on building curriculum and assessments, and we use the data to improve instruction with a focus on seeing that all students are learning.

We have realized significant results from implementing the P.L.C. concepts and model. Scores on our state mandated NCLB exam have also improved dramatically as a result of a shared mission, S.M.A.R.T. goals, and teachers collaborating and using data to improve curriculum and instruction.

Having collected Common Assessment data using various tools and formats, we felt a need to provide uniformity, regularity, and consistency to the collection process. Consequently, we researched various options and decided to purchase Mastery Manager, a data collection tool that is also standards-based. We are pleased with the product and have collected a user friendly common database that is shared with all staff.

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

  • MAP testing for freshman results are discussed during PLC time and are used to inform instruction and create differentiated learning opportunities.  

  • RBHS continues to use Mastery Manager as a data collection and assessment tool.  Mastery Manager allows teachers to analyze students’ performance on formative and summative assessments and to make instructional decisions based on the data analysis and student performance.  

  • In the 2014-2015 school year, each department has focused on developing clear learning objectives and learning targets that align with the curriculum and district goals.  At the beginning of each unit, learning objectives and learning targets are shared with students, and students are expected to evaluate their progress towards mastering each learning objective throughout the unit.  

  • Each department uses PLC time to discuss and develop quality formative assessments for each course.  Formative assessments inform teachers and students of progress towards learning objectives and targets.  Based on the results from formative assessments, teachers may be reteaching the material or adjusting their instructional approach to the material.  

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

A multi-tiered systems of supports is critical to the success of every student. In the areas of reading and math, RB has three tiers of support, particularly in both freshman and sophomore years to assist students in starting high school successfully. For example, freshman who demonstrate a need for support in reading and math are placed in classes with extended time. This block of time is used to focus on individual needs through the use of evidence-based resources and instructional strategies. Throughout the year, student progress is monitored individually in order to modify instructional strategies, provide additional resources, or allow for greater independence in an effort to achieve grade-level benchmarks.

With the help of recommendations for our feeder schools, students are placed into either semester or year-long academic supports, a study hall that is staffed by a certified teacher. This teacher assists students in managing time and homework completion, including missed assignments and long-term projects. Executive functioning skills are explicitly taught to all freshmen, which focuses on time management and organization, and these skills are carried through to sophomore and junior years. Lastly, academic support act as a liaison between school and home.


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

In weekly meetings, teams develop common rubrics that isolate areas for student growth.  Areas in which students struggle are clearly identified, and teams then develop different formative assessments such as mini-document based questions in which students are practicing needed reading and writing skills.  Groups also develop common essential academic vocabulary lists, with words that have leverage beyond the group’s own content area.  Groups also examine how freshmen and sophomore general courses build toward success in honors and AP classes, and create steps in reading, writing, and math, that lead students to finding greater success in honors and AP coursework.   For instance, a freshmen Western Civilization group creates ACT style questions that focus on understanding the main idea and the important evidence within  a document, with the expectation that students who clearly understand the main idea and evidence can then move on to the next step of comparing and synthesizing that evidence in later courses.

Other strategies include:

  • Creating ACT style questions associated with course objectives, essential questions per unit and daily learning targets.

  • Creating a variety of quick and effective formative assessment strategies that allow the teacher and the student to be aware of progress throughout the unit of study

  • Teacher teams are working on vocabulary acquisition strategies that highlight academic vocabulary lists along with content specific vocabulary

  • Teacher teams are working on aligning reading and writing strategies to the language of Common Core.

Present Student Achievement Data in at least three points to demonstrate trends – for example, three consecutive years or the first, third, and fifth years. 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, similar SES schools).


Grade 11 PSAE % Reading (RB/State) Math (RB/State) Science (RB/State) Writing (RB/State)
2012 67/50 69/52 72/52 N/A
2013 70/55 68/52 65/49 N/A
2014 78/56 78/52 74/50 N/A
ACT Assessment Composite (RB/State) English (RB/State) Math (RB/State) Reading (RB/State) Science (RB/State)
2012 23.6/20.6 23.7/20.1 23.4/20.9 23.5/20.5 23.2/20.6
2013 23/20.6 23/20.2 22/20.7 22/20.4 22/20.5
2014 23/20 22/20 22/21 23/21 22/20
Advanced Placement 2012 2013 2014
AP Pass Rate (% of scores <3) 72.4% 69.4% 73.7%
AP Participation (% of student enrollment) 30.3%    
Advanced Placement 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Total AP Students 509 465 445  454  495
Number of Exams 1,414 1,195 993 997 1079
AP Students with Scores 3+ 357 317 322  315  365
% of Total AP Student with Scores 3+ 70.1 68.0 72.4  69.4  73.7
  • Washington Post, 2015 #10 – Illinois Best High Schools, #454-National

  • Newsweek Magazine 2013 America’s Best High Schools Recognition, #46 Illinois, #906 National

  • U.S. News & World Report “2013 Best High Schools” Recognition, #15 Illinois, #427 National

  • 2012 Chicago Magazine Best Public Schools 
    -14th in Cook County.

  • AdvancED Association - Full Accreditation, 2010

Recent student recognition:

-445 AP Students
-64 AP Scholars
-7 National Scholars
-14 National AP Scholar Awards
-60 AP Scholars with Distinction
-32 AP Scholars with Honors
-72.4 % of Total AP Students with Scores 3+