Southmoreland High School

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

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Teachers at Southmoreland High School( SHS) have time built into their schedules to meet with teachers teaching the same core subject. SHS runs a 6 day cycle . C ore subject teachers meet 3 days out of the 6 day cycle. Teachers can use meeting times to accomplish a variety of tasks . On certai n days, teachers will use this time to intervene with students. This meeting time is also used for t eachers to work with co - teachers in order to plan upcoming units. They may also be meeting with their entire department to discuss departmental concerns a nd/or professional development ideas. This schedule is flexible and typically set by the team leader.

One essential aspect of team meeting time is the develop ment and then analysis of common formative and summative assessments. Analysis of both the for mative and summative common assessments has allowed teachers to identify areas of weakness for particular students, weakness in teaching practices and has allowed for the sharing of best practices to enhance student learning. Teachers w ho discover a parti cular weakness of students have a number of options available including in school intervention, guided study, after - school tutoring, Saturday session and Individual Student Leaning Plans . As teachers recognize student weakness es and/or strength s , they dir ect students to be present at either an intervention or enrichment period. Varying schedules allows for intervention and enrichment during the regular school hours , providing teachers time to meet with students outside of the regularly scheduled class tim e. We call this intervention and enrichment by direction, not by choice.

Teachers use common assessment resul ts to drive instruction and research best practices . If teachers find a large portion of a group does not grasp a concept they will incorporate new techniques into their instruction. SHS teachers will use time during their common meetings to discuss the above issues and determine, in a timely manner, how the attained data should be handled.

Teachers monitor learning through a var iety of state reporting systems including growth data from the Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment System ( PVAAS ) , results from the online classroom diagnostic testin g, Pennsylva nia System of Standardized Assessment (PSSA) , and the Pennsylvania Keystone Tests . Administrators at the high school have als o developed a student data - base including previous grades, standardized test scores, attendance , discipline offenses and socio - eco nomic status in effort to identify at - risk students. Teachers also utilize an online grade book program that must be updated on a weekly basis. The grade book can be viewed from the home by parents and students. Students that are not achieving at a C level or above will receive progress reports on a bi - quarterly basis.

In terms of course selection, state level data is used to aid in the scheduling process. Students that do not perform proficient or advanced on the Keystone exams will be placed in c ourses that will allow for the remediation of those topics and the re - testing in any one particular subject.

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

Southmoreland High School has been dev eloping, implementing and modifying a Response to Intervention (RTI) schedule over the past three years. We began our RTI program four years ago and have been continuously committed to its improvement. During the 2010 - 2011 school year, we offered remedia tion through pulling students out of their elective courses to remediate only core subjects. Realizing this was not a solution, we modified the program to allow teacher s to remediate throughout their day, attempting to make at least one teacher in each of the four core subject available e very period of the normal class day. During the 2012 - 2013 school year, we implemented at program that delayed the start of the first period and utilized that morning time for intervention. We found we were able to reach most of our students through this program but not all. Currently, for the 2013 - 2014 school year, we have three different bells schedules. One schedule is considered the regular bell schedule in which there is no intervention or enrichment. The second sc hedule allows for intervention time first thing in the morning. The final intervention, which reaches all students, is held mid - day when all students are in the building , including those who leave the building for technology education and/ or online educat ion. Currently, core subject area teams will be scheduled for intervention and enrichment time throughout the week. Teachers must submit a list of students that are required to attend their intervention and/or enrichment. That list is then distributed t o all teachers. During the mid - day intervention, students report to their homerooms or their scheduled intervention where attendance is taken. Coverage is provided for the teachers that are conducting intervention and enrichment. The schedule is constru cted to enhance learning of both our struggling learners and our intentional non - learners. Our commitment to our mission statement, “High Quality Learning for All,” is evident in our continuous improvement to building an effective intervention program .

Along with structured intervention during the school day, we have also developed an after - school tutoring program for students who need further assistance. Southmoreland devotes funds for 6 hours of after - school tutoring per core subject area per week. We also provide transportation at the conclusion of the after - school tutoring time.

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

The Professional Learning community at Southmoreland High School staff will work towards the following school developed goals:

  • Establish a system within the school that fully ensures consistent implementation of standards aligned curricula across all classrooms for all students.
  • Establish a system within the school that fully ensures the consistent implementation of effective instructional practices across all classrooms.
  • Establish a system within the school that fully ensures school staff members use standards aligned assessments to monitor student achievement and adjust instructional practices.
  • Establish a system within the school that fully ensures stude nts who are academically at ris k are identified early and are supported b y a process that provides interventions based upon student needs and includes procedures for monitoring effectiveness.

Southmoreland High School is committed to creating and maintaining high performing collaborative teams to accomplish all goals . Four y ears ago, SHS created paid team leader positions and built time into the school day for departmental teams to meet and plan. All teachers at SHS are part of either an interdisciplinary or departmental team which mee ts on a regular basis. The high school runs a 6 - day cycle. Half of the teams will meet during their scheduled time on days 1, 2 and 3 while the other half of the teams will conduct their meeting on days 4, 5 and 6. Team meeting s include , but are not lim ited to , developing a guaranteed viable curriculum, building common formative and summative assessments, analyzing data, sharing best practices and dealing with student concerns, such as assignment to intervention, developing ISLP’s and dealing with student behavior.

SHS has also invested a g reat deal into building the capacity of the team leaders and the rest of the staff. Team Leaders have attended numerous Solution Tree PLC conferences in Atlanta, Hartford, Washington D.C., Phoenix and Syracuse. Leaders have brought valuable information b ack to their teams and worked to develop and implement ideas that focus on improved student learning.

Southmoreland High School Teachers and Administrators also build capacity via literature review. During the 2012 -13 school year, SHS staff read, re viewed and discussed Carol S. Dweck ’s Mindset . The staff and administrators will read and review Learning b y Doing by DuFour, DuFour, Eaker and Many during the 2013 -14 school year.

Percentage of students passing:School Scores/Comparison Scores

Grade: 5th Math Reading Writing Science Social Studies Other (specify)
Year 03-04 82/80 90/80 75/80 80/88 86/84 87/90
Year 04-05 85/86 92/85 78/84 84/83 88/82 89/88
Year 05-06 84/80 94/80 85/80 84/88 89/84 92/90

Percentage of students passing:School Scores/Comparison Scores

PA State Scores

Grade: 11 Math Reading Writing Science Social Studies Other (Graduation rate)
Year 2010-11 63.3/60.3 70.8/69.1 n/a 45.0/40.8 n/a  
Year 2011-12 60/59 69/67 n/a 47/42 n/a  
Year 2012-13 63.52/38.6 82.61/49.9 n/a 40.88/35.7 n/a  

Percentage of students passing:School Scores/Comparison Scores

Grade: 9-12 Math Reading Writing Science Social Studies Other (Attendance)
Year 10-11           92.28
Year 11-12           92.52
Year 12-13           92.77

Percentage of students passing:School Scores/Comparison Scores

Grade: 9-12 Math Reading Writing Science Social Studies Other (SAT)
Year 2011           1445/1473
Year 2012           1429/1472
Year 2013           1470/1480

Southmoreland High School’s score on the 2012 - 2013 Keystone Exam in Literature(Reading) illustrate that SHS is achieving at higher rates. For the first time ever, our students have broken the 80% mark and scored 82.61% in the proficient or advanced reporting category.

Southmoreland High School has set out to increase rigor in all levels of course work. Over the past four years the number of students taking high level courses has increased significantly. Th e data below highlights our dedication to having students in higher level courses.

Table 1. Number of students taking College Preparator y(CP) courses.

Year 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Course Number of Students Enrolled in Course
Pre-Calculus 31 21 28 31
Calculus 0 10 0 10
CP Chemistry 86 99 90 122
CP American Issues 0 0 93 107
Spanish IV 7 17 14 22
French IV 14 12 12 18
Advanced Music Theory 0 0 9 17
AP English III 26 30 28 35
AP English IV 23 22 29 34
AP US History 19 13 5 21
AP European History 30 13 8 19

Table 2. illustrates an increase in students enrolled in AP level courses, taking the end of course AP exam and the number of students scoring a 3 or above on that exam.

Table 2. Southmoreland High School AP Data

Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Total AP Students 17 15 22 75 74
Number of Exams 23 18 34 136 123
AP students with scores 3+ 11 9 11 28 30

Discipline referrals at Southmoreland High School have also decreased in conjunction with the development of a Professional Learning Community. Table 3 illustrates a decrease in the nu mber of discipline referrals for offenses relating to being in sch ool and in class.

Table 3. Discipline referrals 2010-13

Number of Offenses per Year

Offense 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013
Class Cut 142 85 45
Tardy to Class 306 186 83
Tardy to School 300 274 170
Leaving Campus without permission 23 4 6
Citation for Compulsory Attendance n/a 21 3

The Professional Learning Community at Southmoreland High School is also committed to acknowledging and rewarding students for their positive behavior. Our newest endeavor as a Professional Learning communi ty is the implementation of the Positive Behavior Incentive Program. Teachers nominate students in grades 9 - 12 that have shown, in some way, a positive behavior and/or shown an i ncrease in academic achievement . Students receive their nomination for m and submit it into a monthly drawing in which they may receive awards in the form of gift cards and other community donations. The Southmoreland Professional Learning Community is committed to promoting academic excellence in a safe and positive learning environment.

  • U.S. News and National Report – Bronze Award
  • Pittsburgh Business Times
    • 2nd Most Overachieving District in the Area
    • 8th Most Overachieving District in the State
  • Grow Rural America/Monsanto Fund - $10,000 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics(STEM) grant
  • Target Foundation Grant - $2,000 grant for the purchase of literature for elementary and secondary school students and for the development of a children’s book, written and illustrated by our students.