Lakeview Elementary

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

Lakeview Elementary started its professional learning community journey during the 2007–08 school year. A group of teachers read Revisiting Professional Learning Communities at Work™. During the 2008–09 school year, a change in administration took place; however, the quest in developing a collaborative culture continued through the establishment of grade-level team meetings. In 2009–10, an educational service agency consultant helped staff members begin tracking student data in shared spreadsheets.

The Solon Community School District began to intensify its professional learning community journey during the summer of 2010. For the first time, the state of Iowa adopted common content standards across many disciplines. A leadership team comprised of two teachers from each building and all building and district administrators read Learning by Doing. During fall 2010, all certified staff read chapter seven, “A Tale of Excellence in Assessment,” from Revisiting Professional Learning Communities at Work™. This chapter tells the story of a fictitious teacher named “Peter Miller” who moves from a typical school to a school that embraces the PLC philosophy. All teachers have read this chapter a second time, and all teachers new to the district read it as part of new teacher orientation.

All teachers are a part of a grade-alike or content-alike team. During the 2010–11 school year, teacher teams at Lakeview started sharing digital agendas and minutes as well as norms and SMART goals via shared electronic documents. “What is it we want all students to learn?” was viewed as a question supporting the professional learning community culture in the context of digging into the state’s newly adopted standards.

Prior to the 2011–12 school year, the board of education approved a calendar that enables teacher teams to meet every other Thursday during an early dismissal for students.

In the summer of 2011, a team of teachers and administrators attended the PLC at Work™ Institute near St. Louis.

District goals were established for the 2011–12 school year:

  • 100% of SCSD teachers will initially align their course content with Iowa Core essential concepts and skills.
  • 100% of SCSD teachers will document their enacted curriculum for each grade level.
  • 100% of SCSD collaborative learning teams (K–6 horizontal, 7–12 vertical) will create and implement at least two common formative assessments.

Each collaborative learning team ended the year by completing a self-audit to determine their team’s strengths and weaknesses based on principles identified in Learning by Doing.

In the summer of 2012, a second team of teachers and administrator attended a PLC at Work™ Institute near Minneapolis. In addition, several at-risk positions were added to provide additional support for the system’s response to “How will we respond when a student experiences difficulty?”

District goals were established for the 2012–13 school year:

  • 100% of SCSD teachers will document power standards for at least one course during the 2012–13 academic year.
  • 100% of SCSD teachers will create and implement at least four common formative assessments based on course/grade-level power standards

Throughout these three years, teacher teams at Lakeview have used common formative assessment data to create flexible groups. For example, students who need additional instruction in the area of multiplication facts work with a classroom teacher during supplemental instruction time. As students demonstrate understanding of the standard during supplemental instruction time, they are dynamically re-grouped.

Finally, during the 2012–13 school year, a leadership team comprised of 2–3 teachers per building and all building and district administrators created a three-year professional learning community vision plan to build upon the successes of the past three years. This vision will be revisited and revised annually as we continue to evolve as a professional learning community.

This three year vision is coming to a close and a leadership team will create a new vision for the coming years.  During the past three years, Lakeview Elementary teachers have utilized new reading universal screeners to assess students three times per year.  Students who do not meet benchmark are provided additional time and support weekly.  Progress monitoring takes place on a weekly basis as well. 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

All teachers are a part of a grade-alike or content-alike team. During the 2010–11 school year, teacher teams at Lakeview started sharing digital agendas and minutes as well as norms and SMART goals via shared electronic documents. This tool also allows all teachers and building administration to view student data anytime of the day, any day of the week.

Teacher teams at Lakeview use common formative assessment data to create flexible groups. For example, students who need additional instruction in the area of multiplication facts work with a classroom teacher during supplemental instruction time. As students demonstrate understanding of the standard during supplemental instruction time, they are dynamically re-grouped. All of this data is entered into a shared electronic spreadsheet that color codes student assessment results to quickly trigger the question, “How will we respond when a student experiences difficulty?” Three reading strategist positions are in place (two newly created positions within the past five years) to provide additional time and support for students in smaller group settings and/or in addition to the supplemental instruction time. All of these teachers are highly trained in strategies such as Reading Recovery. 

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

Each collaborative learning team meets on a frequent (2–3 times per week) basis for the purpose of developing team-led interventions. An example of a third-grade agenda using teacher and student pseudonyms is summarized below.

December 18:

  • Look at DIBELS.
  • Enter math test on report card, and look at Math is FUN scores.
  • Talk about how to score reading test for report card.
  • Enter science on report card.
  • Reading Groups (below)

50s or under (Sandy’s Group):

Brad - 53 (24 DRA)

Caiden - 38 (24 DRA)

Milio - 58 (24 DRA)

Frank - 64 (20 DRA)

 

60s (Angie’s Group):

Charles - 67 (30 DRA)

Aiden - 65 (24 DRA)

Yolanda - 65 (28 DRA)

Cindy - 52 (28 DRA)

 

When assessment data suggests a student is in need of additional time and support, supplemental instruction groups are formed at the team level. In the example above, Sandy plans to work with Brad, Caiden, Milio, and Frank for the next several weeks. Angie will work with another small group of students. At the end of a pre-defined number of weeks, student assessment data is again analyzed to see which students no longer need additional time and support as well as which students may need more intensive services. Lakeivew Elementary employs 2.5 FTE reading strategists and 1.0 FTE associate to support students who need more intensive instruction.

Most recently, all students are administered a universal screening assessments in reading three times per year.  Students who do not meet benchmark are provided weekly interventions.  In addition, their progress is monitored weekly.

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

Nearly 40% of Lakeview Elementary teachers have attended a Solution Tree PLC at Work™ Institute or Mike Mattos RTI workshop. In addition, two years ago, all teachers read the entire book Simplifying Response to Intervention by Buffum, Mattos, and Weber. A chapter from Every School, Every Team, Every Classroom was the basis for connecting the RTI book with their previous reading from Revisiting Professional Learning Communities at Work™. Finally, administrators work with teachers using the district’s “tight and loose” framework to ensure teams of teachers are focusing on improved learning for all students. A snippet of this framework is visible below. Finally, several staff members have participated in leadership training at the district level to support their role in leading high-performing collaborative teams.

Tight Loose
Scheduling/Collaboration Time:
  • Each team will meet during regularly scheduled 1:45 p.m. dismissal times at one of the school buildings.
  • Each team will post an agenda and write minutes in a Google Doc.
  • Each team will post the location of their team meeting on their Google Doc agenda.
  • Each team meeting will strive to model the "Peter Miller" vision.
    • What do we want all students to learn? (power standards; learning targets; team-developed pacing guides)
    • How will we know when they have learned it? (common, when appropriate, assessments; checking for understanding; collaborative analysis of student learning)
    • How will we respond when a student experiences difficulty? (additional time and support; differentiated instruction; RTI)
    • How will we respond when a student has already demonstrated understanding? (differentiated instruction; RTI; additional learning opportunities)
Scheduling/Collaboration Time:
  • The location and duration of meeting may be determined by the team.
  • Teams may choose the focus/activities of each meeting based on the following list:
    • creating, revising, and/or recalibrating the team's power standards
    • creating, revising, and/or recalibrating the team's common formative assessments and the accompanying rubrics including a clear description for each level of proficiency
    • analyzing data from common assessments and/or universal screeners: grade level, class, individual student, groups, trends
    • discussing the effectiveness of instructional strategies/lessons based on student performance (SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!)
    • team instructional planning of units of study, flexible grouping of students, and/or changes in schedule because of these two things
    • brainstorming ways we can collectively embrace the "Peter Miller" vision

 

Percent of students passing: Lakeview Elementary/State of Iowa

Grade 2

Math

Reading

Science

2010-11

n/a

n/a

n/a

2011-12

83.5/72/1

83.5/73.3

84.5/66.6

2012-13

88.4/71.7

88.4/72.7

89.5/66.5

2013-14

79/71

83/71

74/65

2014-15

83/72

89/72

86/67

Grade 3

Math

Reading

Science

2010-11

81.3/77.3

80.4/75.5

89.0/81.6

2011-12

84.2/78.4

92.6/75.8

96.8/79.1

2012-13

87.1/77.0

82.2/75.6

94.1/77.3

2013-14

92/80

90/77

92/82

2014-15

91/80

86/76

89/82

Grade 4

Math

Reading

Science

2010-11

92.1/81.3

93.1/81.6

88.0/82.5

2011-12

84.4/77.1

82.3/73.4

85.4/81.0

2012-13

88.2/78.0

87.1/74.7

92.5/79.5

2013-14

90/79

85/75

91/85

2014-15

89/79

84/76

90/85

Notes about the assessment:

In the state of Iowa, second-grade students are not required to take the state assessment; however, beginning in 2011–12, all second-grade students at Lakeview Elementary took the state assessment. State test and norms changed from the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills to Iowa Assessments beginning in 2011–2012.

Notes about the assessment results:

The Solon Community School District has experienced steady growth during the past three years, specifically at Lakeview Elementary:

  • Fall 2011 Lakeview Elementary Enrollment: 500
  • Fall 2012 Lakeview Elementary Enrollment: 540
  • Fall 2013 Lakeview Elementary Enrollment: 561
  • Fall 2014 Lakeview Elementary Enrollment: 551
  • Fall 2015 Lakeview Elementary Enrollment: 580

During this time of growth, Lakeview continues to surpass the state averages.

Locally, the district has established a goal that 90% of students will be proficient AND 25% of students will be highly proficient in reading, math, social studies, and science as measured by the Iowa Assessments.

Lakeview improved immensely during the past two years and came close to meeting this goal during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years.

In March 2015, the Solon Community School District was named a "District of Distinction" by District Administration magazine for its grading practices and student achievement.

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