Quest Elementary School

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

Six years ago, Quest Elementary School had reached a crossroad.  We arrived at a point where we were existing with little gains and mostly losses in student achievement.   Not only were we headed in the wrong direction, even more tragic was that we seemed to be existing with no viable sense of direction.  We had a vision and mission that dated back to the opening of our school, but years had gone by and it meant very little to anyone.  After much thought and reflection, a group of teacher leaders, along with the administration at Quest Elementary, knew that if we were ever to turn the tide, we needed to make a change.  After some thought and extensive research into the practices of DuFour and Venables, it was decided that the best way to tackle this issue would be to begin a journey toward becoming a Professional Learning Community.  It was our hope that that decision would empower the school leaders, faculty and staff, and make our school a top-rated, highly sought after learning environment.

To begin the process, a Leadership Team was formed.  This team was comprised of nine teacher leaders from all areas of the school curriculum who were dedicated to working collaboratively and were driven toward the creation and implementation of a new school vision and mission.  These teacher leaders were chosen because of their ability to give their opinion and back up what they would say with sound practice and strong pedagogical practices.  These members were highly sought after because of their ability to drive the Professional Learning Communities within the school toward the goals of high expectations, high achievement, and responsible citizenship.  It worked! Positive changes started to take place. Due to the success rate of this process, we have continued to use our Leadership Team. Presently they help to make decisions, clarify misconceptions, and guide the school build a commitment to high standards.  The members of this team meet with administration monthly to collaborate and share the responsibility of disaggregating data, share best practices, and work toward teaching to the full extent of the standard.  After the administrative meetings, they are then tasked with the job of taking all of their information back to their collaborative teams and sharing and driving the professional learning environment through bi-monthly meetings with their colleagues.

This Leadership Team has been instrumental in creating the culture of shared vision and shared goals.  They provide critical professional development with the focus on increasing student achievement.  Since the inception of our journey, Quest Elementary School’s outcome has been phenomenal.  Quest’s student achievement has risen substantially.  Quest was ranked 68th in the state of Florida in 2012 based on Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test results. In 2014, Quest made remarkable gains and ranked 10th in the state out of 1807 schools.  As Florida transitioned from FCAT to more rigorous FSA assessments, Quest remained in the top 1% of all Florida schools.  Empowerment of all stakeholders, high-standards, high-expectations, and a faculty and staff dedicated to a vision and mission of working with a collaborative spirit drives the Professional Learning Community at Quest.  Our journey and willingness to make needed changes has brought about a successful Professional Learning Community dedicated to high student attainment in an exemplary learning environment. 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Driven by the four guiding questions, our Professional Learning Community monitors student learning and makes decisions based on a variety of data sources.

Multiple formative and summative assessments are given throughout the year to help guide the PLC in its mission to individualize instruction for all learners. Data sources include, but are not limited to FAIR, DAR, SRI, PSI, DRA, District Diagnostics, DBQ and BOK assessments. All of these data points guide us in our mission to engage each learner in a rigorous program of differentiated instruction to reach the highest levels of achievement.

Teachers work collaboratively to develop common assessments to inform instruction and measure the progress of each learner in fully mastering state standards. Members of our PLC come together routinely to discuss data from common assessments, share effective strategies, and reflect on instructional practices. Teachers and experts in all areas actively challenge each other to identify gaps in instruction, areas of need, and concepts to enrich and extend. Goals are set for all learners to achieve. Teams work vertically among grade levels to increase rigor and fill in gaps in curricula which also provides a cohesive work environment for all stakeholders.

Using a variety of data analysis systems (Unify, ADMS, and Performance Matters) helps guide the PLC in its mission. Teachers and administrators meet regularly to analyze data, identify areas of growth and need, and track student progress.  Teachers, students, and administration keep data portfolios demonstrating mastery of standards. Through these portfolios, stakeholders track areas of need and demonstrate progress in those areas. Teachers and administrators use the data from these systems to develop and implement SMART goals for our learners. Students, with teacher support, analyze and reflect on their individual data in order to set personal academic goals and to take ownership of their learning. Through a strong support system, students are provided with the necessary small group and individualized instruction to attain their personal learning goals and achieve a high level of academic success.

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

A master schedule has been created at Quest to meet the needs of each grade level. Each grade level has an uninterrupted and protected 90 minute reading block and 60 minute math block which includes small group instruction to facilitate the differentiation of instruction among students. Grade levels work tirelessly to integrate reading and math strategies into the social studies and science content areas so that students have seamless transitions and are able to extend their language and mathematical thinking.

Because of grade levels having staggered reading and math blocks, we are able to utilize experts such as exceptional education teachers, speech/language pathologists, assistants and a reading coach to support all grade levels throughout the day. They are able to support learners by working with them in small group settings using an inclusion model. At times, these experts model lessons and support classroom teachers to better meet the needs of struggling learners. In addition, activity teachers (music, art, PE, media) meet regularly with grade level PLCs to identify students of need and tailor activity lessons to address skill gaps.

Utilizing our PLC to its full potential allows us to support learners in numerous ways. Daily Walk to Intervention for each grade level gives teams opportunities to reach struggling learners and address specific skill gaps while simultaneously providing enrichment to those students who demonstrate proficiency on pre and post assessments. Teachers regularly work with our technology specialist to create programs of instruction using blended learning to differentiate content to meet individual needs. Students who are identified as ELL or have been diagnosed as having a learning disability receive core instruction with accommodations in an inclusive setting with their peers. We work to actively support and engage all students utilizing all available members of the PLC.

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 Quest is dedicated to immersing students in a rigorous academic experience that engages all learners in the highest levels of learning. The PLC at Quest truly participates in shared decision making while working collaboratively to reach all learners. Common planning time is scheduled daily to allow for greater collaboration. Teams meet at least once a week during this common planning time to review data and plan Response to Intervention strategies, develop Progress Monitoring Plan strategies, review data and adjust Response to Instruction groups, develop common assessments and review data from those assessments, reflect on instructional practices based on common assessment data, share best practices to address gaps in instruction, and develop SMART goals.

Each grade level PLC team has a team coach who is a member of the Quest Leadership Team. The QLT is an active member of the PLC. Team coaches bring data back from the grade level PLCs and share it in a vertical capacity among all grade levels and with administration and support services to see how the PLC can support areas of need among the grade level PLCs. Data are reviewed and the QLT collaborates to find solutions or strategies to address gaps in knowledge, training, schedules, etc. As a result of implementing this piece of our PLC, we have been able to quickly identify areas of weakness among our faculty and have sent teams of teachers to training to increase our collective knowledge. These teachers then return to share best practices through modeling classroom lessons and sharing successful strategies at faculty meetings and grade level PLC meetings. Teachers at Quest feel very comfortable observing one another, walking through each others’ rooms to see best practices in action, and inviting peers in to provide feedback on instructional delivery.

In the past three years, Quest has joined with several other schools in our area as a part of an even larger Professional Learning Community. We dedicate at least one inservice training day each semester with those schools to share best practices, analyze data and needs of learners, and provide feedback on various instructional strategies. These sessions give us a chance to learn from other teacher experts and identify the most successful strategies for our learners. Having other teachers with different perspectives has proven to be a valuable tool in selecting high yield, research-based activities to deliver high quality lessons to all learners.

Quest has ranked, by curriculum area, in the top 10% in the state of Florida in almost all grade levels since 2012 based on the Florida Comprehensive Test. This success is largely attributed to the implementation of continuous collaboration and commitment to our Professional Learning Community.  In 2014, Quest’s 6th grade ranked in the top 1% in math and the top 4% in reading.  Similarly, Quest’s 5th grade ranked in the top 2% in both reading and math. In 4th grade, Quest ranked in the top 11% in both reading and math. In 3rd grade Quest ranked in the top 23% in both reading and math, identifying this as an area of need. To help increase student achievement, Quest has incorporated vertical collaborative time with grade levels to help target student needs based on data. Through reflection of current practice and sharing of best practices during collaborative team meetings, instruction has been enhanced and student achievement continues to show an upward trend.

Further Disaggregation of FCAT Data (2011-2014)
Scale: % at or above proficient

Reading
Quest/District/State

 

2011

2012

2013

2014

Grade 3

95/79/72

79/65/58

82/64/57

81/64/57

Grade 4

91/77/71

88/70/62

86/67/60

82/65/61

Grade 5

86/76/69

84/66/61

83/66/60

90/66/61

Grade 6

93/81/67

91/72/57

81/72/59

89/73/60

 

Math
Quest/District/State

 

2011

2012

2013

2014

Grade 3

95/82/76

83/63/56

81/57/58

70/58/58

Grade 4

87/76/74

88/63/60

83/63/61

82/62/63

Grade 5

82/69/63

66/61/57

83/58/55

88/60/56

Grade 6

92/78/57

92/72/53

86/68/52

95/72 /53

Writing
Quest/District/State

 

2011

2012

2013

2014

Grade 4

98/84/81

85/49/48

92/55/57

88/47/53

In 2015, Florida increased the rigor of state assessments and transitioned from FCAT Reading, Writing and Math to Florida Standards Assessment ELA and Math. Quest continued to outperform both District and State in all grade levels.

Further Disaggregation of FSA Data (2015-2016)
Scale: % at or above proficient

Reading
Quest/District/State

                                  2015                    2016

Grade 3                   74/60/53              86/60/54

Grade 4                   80/60/54              82/57/60

Grade 5                   78/56/52              84/56/52

Grade 6                   89/65/51              86/63/52

Math
Quest/District/State

                                  2015                    2016

Grade 3                   83/60/58              85/60/61

Grade 4                   82/59/59              83/60/59

Grade 5                   83/56/55              89/57/55

Grade 6                   91/70/50              86/68/50

FCAT Science Data (2011-2016)
Scale: % at or above proficient

Science
Quest/District/State

                            2011                  2012                  2013                    2014                 2015                 2016

Grade 5          81/64/51        71/62/51         82/62/53           85/62/54       75/58/53        86/58/51

Quest Elementary School has consistently scored above the state and district averages in all academic areas on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test and Florida Standards Assessment. The trend of a decrease in school score averages has partially been attributed to the rise of cut scores and increased rigor applied to the 2011-2012 FCAT. As we transitioned to FSA assessments in 2015, we experienced a similar trend with the rise of cut scores. Quest's population has increased by more than 130 students since becoming a Model PLC.  Even with a significant shift in our population and the increased rigor of state assessments, the utilization of collaboration through our Professional Learning Community has increased achievement across all content areas.

Faculty Achievements

  • Brevard County Teacher of the Year Finalist 2013-2014
  • Three teacher recipients of the Elementary Math PRISM Teacher Award
  • 2010 Social Studies Teacher of the Year for Brevard County
  • One teacher honored by the Space Coast Education Alliance as an Exemplary Science Teacher
  • One teacher selected as a national participant in the Mickelson Exxon Mobil Teacher Academy for Math and Science
  • Entire faculty recognized as “STAR Educators” by Discovery Education
  • 41% of faculty hold Master’s Degrees
  • Three teachers certified as Brevard County Peer Coaches

School Awards and Recognitions

  • Recognized as an "A" School - 2004-2016
  • Ranked in the top 1% of elementary schools in the state of Florida- 2014-2016
  • Golden School Award
  • Recipient of Digital Classroom Plan Grant- 2015
  • Five Star School Award- 2009-2016
  • Excellence in Visual Arts Award- 2010-2014
  • Florida Power Library School Award- 2015-2020
  • Attain Award- 2013
  • Speak Up Award Winner - Honoring America's top schools for incorporating the views of students, parents, and educators in local decision making
  • National Elementary Honor Society Affiliation
  • Music Demonstration School Award- 2008-2011
  • SACC Gold Key Award- 2013 -2016
  • Red Carpet School
  • Energy Star School
  • Featured School in Classlink Case Study and Video
  • NOBChE First Place Team Award (Florida Science Bowl 2016)
  • NOBChE Third Place Team Award (Florida Science Bowl 2016)
  • Future Problem Solvers Third Place Team Award
  • Odyssey of the Mind First Place Award (State Finals and attended World Competition 2012)
  • Odyssey of the Mind Third Place Award (State Finals 2013)
  • Odyssey of the Mind Third Place Award (State Finals 2014)
  • Brevard Public Schools Math Bowl Competition (2007 - 6th place; 2009 - 2nd place; 2010 - 1st place; 2011 - 1st place; 2014 - 9th place)
  • Brevard Public Schools Book Bash Exemplary Award Recipients (Readers' Theater, Book Quest, Book Jacket)
  • Students received one 5th place award, two 4th place awards, two 3rd place awards, and two 1st place awards in various divisions of the District Science Fair

Top