Coppell Middle School North

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

My role as an administrator started at Coppell Middle School North four years ago.  From the beginning, I noticed that our successfully-performing campus was missing something when it came to some of our smaller, special populations. The needs of high achieving learners were being met, but the needs of other  learner groups were not and this gap was growing.

A "PLC light" model was put into place three years before I started at North to address the high number of failures each grading period.  Administration spent hours in team times, each grading period, discussing failures and how could we address the failures moving forward. This structure ended up “hiding” failures instead of addressing the learning and teaching gaps;  struggling learners were performing poorly in the classroom, on state assessments and on other district created benchmarks and this population was quickly growing in size.  This was a new phenomenon for the staff.  The struggling learners were missing opportunities to receive daily intervention built into the school day.  Also, the focus of the leadership team over the previous three years had been on learner engagement, which did not bring forth the improvement for which we were striving.   Addressing the real problem, why certain student groups were underperforming, on our campus became critical.

I quickly reorganized and reprioritize professional learning monies to send leadership team members, instructional coaches, administrators and counselors to the summer PLC at Work institute as well as other PLC-focused workshops.  We have now participated in several PLC at Work institutes as well as RTI workshops and the The Conference on Assessment and Grading.   We are continuing our learning journey with upcoming professional learning on common assessments (based on the Design in Five book).  The goal is to, over time, provide all CMS North staff members with an experience at a PLC at Work institute to provide common learning experiences and align goals. Although our campus had been actively trying to move in the right direction through our own research and book studies, we needed refinement and clear direction to achieve those goals.  The conference was able to help us bring clarity and define more of who we were.  We were also given energy and motivation to come back and inspire our campus that we could improve learning for ALL kids.  The PLC institute also helped me grow as the building leader.  It helped me to clarify our purpose, create shared vision, establish shared core values, and refine our current practices to focus on the three big ideas of PLCs.  These ideas are constantly used in our decision-making processes.  If the process, idea or program does not fit our campus vision or shared core values then we do not move forward with its implementation.  After four years of studying and coming to better understanding what a Professional Learning Community really is, we are confident we are moving in the right direction.  We are also continuing to refine and improve our systems and practices as we go.  Such as, how we utilize and structure team time, how we provide support for our grading beliefs and practices like no zeroes and reassessment, how we create and evaluate common assessments, etc...

The campus focus has shifted to focus on the three big ideas:  a focus on learning, collaboration, and results.   With our focus now on high levels of learning for ALL students, one of the first major changes we made was to rework our bell schedule to include daily intervention time for students in math and reading.   We called this “Reading Rocks” and “Math Mania”.  Reading and math experts worked with struggling learners on the skills needed to master the current classroom concepts.  Teachers also started utilizing data notebooks and heat maps within their classrooms.  At the end of each year the leadership team reflects on our schoolwide practices, reviewed where we fell on the PLC continuum rubric and reviewed progress on our campus goals. We realized we needed to do more.  Good strides were being made, but we needed better, more efficient ways to address struggling learners before they failed.  It was time to start preventing what we could predict. Daily team time was reorganized this past year to implement weekly data meetings devoted to reviewing common assessment data to determine learner and teacher next steps.   To support this endeavor, we purchased some software programs to provide data on our common assessment to aid in our decision making.(Mastery Connect, Dreambox were added in addition to iStation). These tools allowed us to track and disaggregate student data immediately.  We are also able to break down student needs by each assessment but also but the standards from each grade level that are needed to support learners that struggle.  Weekly team time also includes professional learning on Tuesdays, data meetings each Wednesday, unit planning and common assessment creation on Thursdays and Fridays.  

Three years ago our campus defined the difference between cooperation and collaboration. Our professional learning changed this last year focusing on defining and better understanding the power of collaboration along with school-wide commitment to continuous improvement.  We also changed how we teamed from interdisciplinary to content specific.  The content teams started identifying essential standards as teams and designing learning experiences using data in advance, not just after assessments.  Teachers utilize state standards and Lead4Ward to help identify priority standards and this helps determine time spent on the standards taught.  We figured out quickly that summative data was not the best data to help guide our day to day decisions. The campus learned that we needed to collaborate on designing common assessments and then use that data to better inform our lesson design, instruction, and decision making process.  Outside of all the Solution Tree and campus-lead professional learning we also received training from Lead4ward associates on how to disaggregate assessment data and to better understand our state standards.  Some things we have implemented include:

  • breaking down the standards within content areas to focus on the most important standards (guaranteed viable curriculum)

  • using information from PLC conference on creating intervention plans and designing common assessments

  • utilizing the Mastery Connect program to strengthen our ability to use and track common assessment data as well as tracking mastery of standards

  • empowering learners to own their data and use it to set personal learning goals

  • creating a PLC guidebook to ensure that all terminology and expectations are consistent and clear across the entire campus (The guidebook also serves to document our journey and growth.)

  • providing interventions during the school day including:  extended math class, blended math class, intervention time during advisory, “No Zero Lunch” to address missing work, peer tutoring, and mandatory tutoring.

  • updating our campus grading beliefs and practices for consistency and clarity

  • creating small groups to work with the kids to work on positive behaviors

  • ensuring that all team time conversations also revolve around the three big ideas and four questions of the PLC model.  

This year we are able to reorganize teams by content area.  The basic weekly schedule is below.

WEEKLY TEAM MEETING STRUCTURE

Mondays

Tuesdays

Wednesdays

Thursdays

Fridays

TEAM BUSINESS

 

  • “To-do”s

  • Information dissemination

  • Data collection / Documentation

LEARNING

 

  • Required trainings

  • Tech Time

  • UbD PL

  • Digital Citizenship

  • STAAR

RtI / STUDENT SUCCESS

  • RtI paperwork

  • RtI intervention design

  • Review data

    • common assessment

    • STAAR

    • Grades

    • Behavior

    • Student work samples

    • Intervention

PLANNING

 

  • Unit planning time

  • Resource creation

  • Common assessments

PLANNING

 

  • Unit planning time

  • Resource creation

  • Common assessments

Staff meetings are utilized as professional learning time based on a coupling of a professional learning plan created with campus goals in mind with the needs that arise  within our weekly data meetings or from our team SMART goal progress.  

Coppell Middle School North has accomplished an incredible amount of work due to the ideas and information gained from the PLC books, district-provided Solution Tree trainings, conferences, book studies and, most importantly, each other.  Our students are showing improvement (in what?) and teachers are learning from one another on a daily basis.  It has taken five years for North to transform to what it is today.  What an incredible journey for our campus to celebrate as we continue to evolve.  See evidence of our transformation HERE.

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

For the last four years our staff has analyzed and disaggregated state assessment data from the previous year.   The first year the administration team disaggregated the data and then gave the information to leadership team to set goals.  Year two and three the data was given to whole staff at back to school professional learning and we do data dives as individuals and departments.  We learned quickly that solely using this summative type data was reactive and not proactive at addressing student achievement.  Because this data is only a “snap-shot” of student progress, we now supplement this information with district and campus level common assessment results, as well as qualitative information we gain from student, parent and staff surveys. With this data, we identify program strengths and weaknesses and create school-wide and departmental SMART goals to improve student learning.  Years three and four we began to look at better monitoring student learning through the use of common assessment data.  Using common assessment data to inform our instructional decisions has impacted our school culture more than anything else. 

For the last five years we have held student success meetings during team time to review student behavior and grade concerns at the grading period deadline.  These meetings have evolved the last couple of years from talking about failures to looking at common assessment data to put interventions and structures into to place to prevent failures.  Last year data meetings were changed to weekly meetings instead of monthly.  We found out quickly that in order to address student low achievement and proficiency we needed to be proactive, not reactive. We use a program called Mastery Connect to help us create common assessments and monitor and track student data.  It is timely and efficient by providing us immediate data to inform our instructional decisions as well as track learning gaps or deficiencies within our state standards.   In addition to weekly data meetings we look at data holistically by breaking into grade level teams once a month at staff meetings to see how we can support students as an entire grade level. Teachers discuss and utilize various instructional or behavioral strategies that work to address academic or social behaviors.  

The administration, counseling staff, instructional coaches, special education staff, and core teachers of the same grade level all review and discuss strategies for interventions for these struggling learners.  The last two years we have taken these meetings to another level by adding a layer of research when we identify a recurring “theme” of concern or collective responsibility.  For example, this last semester there was an apathy concern so the next meeting the staff researched apathy online, shared with teams, and chose one action step that we could each do to address apathy.  The following meeting we shared our progress and success stories.  

The 6th grade math team took the idea of data notebooks and ran with it this past two years. This allowed learners to have complete owndership and access to the learning standards as well as the tracking of the mastery of their learning.  Learners took ownership of their learning by creating heat maps after assessments and determining what their next learning steps needed to be to better learn the content.  This goal was based off their assessment data.  Learners also completed test question analysis so we could determine if mistakes were more behavior or academic.  Data notebooks also opened the door to communicating to parents what learning looked like in the classroom and if their child was being successful or not.   Heat maps are a common theme throughout the school as teachers and students have seen the benefit.

Team time has been calendared out in the following way so that we are building in weekly time to review student data conversations lead by Team Leaders.

 

 

 

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

  • Revised Bell Schedule to allow for “E-Time” which allows for intervention time during the school day
  • E-time was created to allow 30 minutes of interventions daily for all kids.  The level of interventions is determined weekly by classroom teachers who submit information to the lead teachers.  Kids can attend choice tutoring or re-teach opportunities with core teachers, assigned mandatory tutoring by teachers for assessments, peer tutoring, study hall, or they can be assigned math mania or reading rocks for not performing well on an assessment or scoring below average on universal screener.

E-Time or Enrichment Time:

Mondays

Tuesdays- Thursdays

Fridays

Student Choice Clubs

Tutorials

Interventions

Study Hall

Re-Teach

Peer Tutoring

*Electives tutoring only occurs on Wednesdays

Whole-school lessons

Character Ed

Behavior

Anti-bullying

Tech highlights

 

  • Assigned RtI Interventions(math mania and reading rocks) take priority over other class tutorials. These occur Tuesday-Thursday in math or reading labs.

  • No Zero Lunch is for frequent flyer students who do not complete classwork, projects, or assignments or just need the extra time to get it done.  This is a teacher assigned program that supports kids by not having zeroes in the gradebook.

  • Friday night live is a designated time every Friday after school where learners can choose to go to complete classwork they were not able to get done during no-zero lunch.  Teachers can also assign students to attend who may not use class time wisely. The purpose of this lab is to complete the required work before leaving school.

  • Teachers were “freed” of daily before/after school duty so that they were available for a rotating Teacher Tutoring Schedule.

  • This year we have provided an “extended math” class where learners who do not quite need tier 3 intervention but may just need more time to complete the same work as their peers get an additional 30 minutes of time added to their math class.  

  • This year we also created a math lab that will be double blocked for tier 3 learners where an adaptive learning program (dreambox math) will be used in conjunction with small group math instruction for scaffolding support of learning math.  This allows for deeper scaffolding of instruction and extended time for learning math concepts.

  • All teachers also complete common assessments in Mastery Connect for immediate feedback and data tracking

  • Weekly data meetings with teams to review assessment data and determine intervention next steps and lesson design next steps

  • Math 180 and Read 180 class  is an RTI level 3 intervention course that is assigned to those learners who hit multiple data points for needing support.

Small Groups are created for students whose data shows that they receive low social behavior scores (E, S, N, or U) on report card and/or have multiple office referrals for social behaviors.  Small groups can be ran by anyone in the building.  Ie:  school resource officer, secretary, counselor, volunteer, cafeteria, etc…..We also have small groups for academic behaviors to learn skills like time management, organization,etc...

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

Core teams are scheduled to meet daily.  Electives do not have assigned E-time classes so we were able to build in team time for electives during the whole school intervention time weekly.  We built this time into our master schedule several years ago for teachers to have a conference period and a team time period.  The last three or four years we have calendared out what Team Time should be used.  Last year we started creating and monitoring SMART goals.  This year administration has followed up with all SMART goals quarterly by getting progress updates by way of team presentations on progress.  Campus administration is also responsible for creating and sharing campus SMART goals and in turn giving staff updates on our progress as a campus.

WEEKLY PLC STRUCTURE Below

Mondays

Tuesdays

Wednesdays

Thursdays

Fridays

TEAM BUSINESS

 

  • “To-do”s

  • Information dissemination

  • Data collection / Documentation

LEARNING

 

  • Required trainings

  • Tech Time

  • UbD PL

  • Digital Citizenship

RtI / STUDENT SUCCESS

  • RtI paperwork

  • RtI intervention design

  • Review data

    • common assessment

    • STAAR

    • Grades

    • Behavior

    • Student work samples

    • Intervention

PLANNING

 

  • Unit planning time

  • Resource creation

  • Common assessments

PLANNING

 

  • Unit planning time

  • Resource creation

  • Common assessments

Team Time has traditionally been scheduled as cross curricular last five or six years but after reading and hearing about  benefits of content specific team time structures from PLC conference and books, and feedback from teachers, 16-17 year we were able to team by content for first time. Team time allows for support to all teachers to draw on each others strengths when creating common assessments, planning lesson design, creating differentiation plans, intervention ideas, etc…

Our campus plans with a Understanding By Design mindset.  Our teams also plan using the 4 essential questions of PLC’s within unit design.    

1.  What is it we want our kids to learn?  (standards, essential questions, understandings)

2. How will we know if each student learned it?  (performance tasks, formative assessments)

3. How will we respond when some students do not learn it?

4.  How can we extend and enrich the learning for students who have demonstrated proficiency?

Learning walks are a team process where teachers take “walks” into other teachers classrooms with a focus in mind.  Teacher teams determine something they want to focus on like technology management, engagement, formative assessments, grouping strategies, etc.. and they visit classrooms to get ideas.  Then all teachers meet after the learning walks and have a reflective conversation on what they saw in the classroom.  

Professional learning is lead by everyone, including the kids.  Reading teachers shared reading strategies to other content teams so that reading could be emphasized in all areas of teaching and learning.  During Team time is where most of our Professional learning needs are identified (outside of district mandated).  Example:  teachers wanted to know how to use Quizzz app as a formative assessment tool and we asked our student tech force kids to create and lead a professional learning session over how to use the app in class.  Also, during learning walks or administrator walk throughs, we highlight teachers strengths by identifying great teaching and having teachers lead sessions over instructional strategies seen on teacher learning walks or administrator walkthroughs.  

Critical friends is a process that each team participates in before beginning a new unit in their class.  Critical friends is a feedback model where a teacher or team of teachers presents their upcoming unit of study; the “critical friends” then give feedback in a very non-evaluative or personal way using the following steps of:  I likes then I wonders and next steps.  Presentation teams then take the feedback and make changes to their unit design before introducing the lesson to the class.  The idea is to  draw on others experiences, success, failures, contacts, etc… and offer suggestions to other teachers who made need the support.  The critical friends process also gives new ideas to each other and opportunities for cross-curricular planning.  As a principal, it also gives me greater insight into the lesson in classrooms.    I have a deeper knowledge and understanding of the lesson and can assess it’s alignment to campus goals and state standards.

All teachers tutor kids a minimum of two to three times weekly after school.   Tutoring is coordinated by teams so there is always content area teachers available to any student that needs tutoring.

Collective responsibility.  Tuesdays is professional learning days and sometime those are designed days and sometimes they are research days on which teachers research topics or areas of concern that they may be seeing coming up in student data conversations during team time.  


41%

  2015 2016 2017     2015 2016 2017
Math 8 STAAR         Reading 8 STAAR      
                 
Economic Disadvantage 55% 26.92% 75.00%   Economic Disadvantage 90% 86.00% 68.00%
Asian 92% 78.12% 100%   Asian 98% 95.00% 98%
Black/African American 70% 10% 80.00%   Black/African   American 100% 93% 92.00%
Hispanic 75% 39.29% 93%   Hispanic 98% 90.00% 89%
Two or More   Races 66% 50% 100%   Two or More Races 100% 100% 100%
White 45% 45% 93   White 92% 97% 96%
                 
                  

 

Math

 

2014

passed

 

2014 commended

2014 State Average passed

2014 State Average commended

2015

passed

2015 commended

2015 State Average passed

2015 State Average commended

2016

 passed

2016 commended

6th

91%

32%

79%

17%

95%

46%

75%

14%

94%

51%

7th

87%

31%

75%

19%

89%

35%

72%

12%

95%

59%

8th

86%

14%

79%

8%

60%

8.6%

75%

6%

82%

13.6%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ELA

2014

 passed

2014 commended

2014 State Average passed

2014 State Average commended

2015

passed

2015 commended

2015 State Average passed

2015 State Average commended

2016

 passed

2016 commended

6th

95%

32%

77%

15%

94%

49%

76%

19%

89%

40%

7th

94%

48%

67%

11%

91%

40%

75%

19%

91%

51%

8th

95%

51%

83%

14%

96%

48%

78%

23%

95.5%

 

 

  • Recently chosen as a School that Transforms Learning by the Texas State Prinicpal's Visioning Institute at N2learning.com 
  • Starting in 2016/2017 we were chosen by Apple/IBM (only district in country and only middle school in district) to help create a watson technology app that will track and predict student data points to assist teachers and campuses on enrichments/interventions with students in a timely manner.  We are very excited to have been chosen for this project and to pave the way for all educators in the U.S.
  •  "The Undecideds" STEM team from Coppell Middle School North  successfully completed the 2016 Flour Global Engineering Marble Machine first ever Design Challenge (with over 600 entries!) and made Fluor’s list of Top 10 schools, they earned a “Big Check” for Coppell Middle School North to support the STEM program.
  • Character.org, a national advocate and leader for the character education movement named Coppell ISD a 2016 Texas District of Character.
  • CMS North Science Olympiad competes in their first-ever contest attempt, 15 young scientists placed Fourth Overall and walked away with 9 individual team awards at the 2016 Regional Science Olympiad competition
  • Two science olympiad teams even took home First Place honors for “Greener Generations,” as well as the team of  for “Triple E.” These teams qualified for STATE competition.
  • CMS North Principal, Amanda Ziaer, was selected to participate in the Texas Principal Visioning Institute for transformational leaders.
  • CMS North is a member of the Texas High Performance Schools consortium.
  • Model Middle school for CISD 360 tours highlighting Data use to drive our PLC.  Toured by other districts statewide
  • Learners loaded 6,000 pounds of food onto a transport truck for the "Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat" canned food drive
  • Two years in a row CMSN Youth and Government qualifies for state compeition.
  • One North artist was chosen to hang their artwork in the Capital Show in Austin in March and her artwork was featured in the Governor's mansion for one year.
  • 21 singers were selected to sing in one of three Region XX Middle School Honor Choirs
  • 1 vocalist earned a 1st Chair ranking
  • 1 artist named winner of Youth Art Month
  • Won $7500.00 for the A+ rewards program sponsored by Vista Ridge Mall for three years in a row due to volunteer hours at mall.
  • 1 student named Outstanding Delegate at the Junior Youth and Government state conference
  • Sweepstakes Trophy at UIL Choir Concert and Sightreading Contest
  • Concert Symphonic and Honor Winds bands - 9 superior ratings from Choice Music Events Contest
  • 2 students - 6th/7th place in Junior Divsion of the State level National History day Competition
  • 2 students placed 3rd at Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair advanced to the Exxon Mobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair
  • 85 artists were awarded medals at Jr. VASE (Jr. Visual Arts Scholastic Event)
  • 1 student won the campus level National Geographic Geography Bee
  • 1 student placed 3rd and the regional level of UIL Maps, Graphs, and Charts
  • 11 artists were awarded silver medals (highest honor for middle school) at Jr. VASE (Jr. Visual Arts Scholastic Event)
  • One artist was chosen to hang their artwork in the Govenor's office for the year.
  • Faculty author won top seller of the quarter for her children's book, Merry Christmouse
  • 8th grade Football District Champions
  • 8th grade Girls Track District Champions
  • Beginner Band- Received a rating of “Superior” at the Peak Music Festival
  • Concert Band- Received a division of “Excellent” at the Peak Music festival, as well as a “Superior” rating at the Director’s Choice Contest.
  • Symphonic Band- Received “Outstanding Non-Varsity Band” at the Director’s Choice Contest, as well as a division of “Superior” at the same contest. The Symphonic Band also made a “Sweepstakes” or Division 1 at the UIL contest this Spring.
  • Honor Winds- Received a “Superior” rating at the Director’s Choice Contest in March, as well as “Outstanding Middle School Band” at the same contest. On April 11th they also received “First Runner Up” and “Superior” ratings at the Directors Choice Contest. On April 25th the Honor Winds received “Outstanding Middle School Band” as well as “Superior” ratings.
  • The VoiceNote app team was selected as a Best in State winner in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge!!!  This means that they won a grant for $5000 for CMSN and each member of the team receives a verizon tablet!!!  

  • North Cougar Band Program- Our musicians received 302 first division ratings at the solo contest, and 38 musicians received the Outstanding Soloist Award at the Solo contest.
  • North average's around 350 students (out of 950) enroll in our nationally recognized band program every year.  

 

 

 

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