Hallsville North Elementary

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

North Elementary's journey was not easy. It started with teachers and staff from various grade levels, from three different campuses coming together to become one. Four years ago North Elementary opened its brand new doors to students from grades K-3. Prior to opening those doors,administration knew that the foundation, tone, and expectation of what North Elementary would become had to be identified and communicated. Since staff came from three different campuses, they were all at various stages of PLC implementation. As a district, we had received the same Professional Learning Communities trainings, but merging these differences brought issues that had to be addressed.  The administrative team had to guide staff in identifying a common mission and vision before the year began. Master schedules were designed to allow common collaboration time during the school day. Campus calendars were designed to designate progress monitoring meetings of students, data meetings to review assessments, and assessment windows to check student mastery of grade level skills and learning objectives. Throughout that first year, teams and administration were challenged to look at instructional practices and make the necessary changes to ensure high expectations of learning for all students. There were high expectations in place, the administrative team worked towards ensuring that teachers and teams had the necessary training and resources to ensure that goals and objectives were being met. This created a change in the focus from teaching to learning.  Data became the focal point in driving decisions that had to be made about instruction and impacted the changes that were implemented throughout the year. Campus administrators realized that if they waited for change to take place the only ones negatively impacted were students. This went against the campus mission and vision.

As the first year progressed, a shift in beliefs and actions began to occur. Through close monitoring of team planning, instructional practices, and student data, teams and administrators were able to see the progress and success of students.  To ensure that monitoring took place in a timely manner, RTI meetings were scheduled to take place every three to four weeks.  These meetings were non-negotiable so that students received prescriptive Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions.  It was obvious that the school culture was interdependent on both PLC and RTI. Teams and staff began to form a true community. This first year set the tone of what North Elementary decided to embrace "Creating a learning environment where learning is powerful!"

Each year as a campus we revisit our mission and vision. We reflect on our goals and work towards ensuring that all decisions reflect our beliefs. Collaboration time has become a natural part of our work week, along with looking at data, and having meaningful conversations about instruction, assessment, and student progress. This campus truly looks at students as all of our responsibility and not one teacher's. It is common to find teachers sharing students so that individual student’s needs are being met. During weekly grade level common planning meetings teachers utilize the four questions essential for learning to guarantee that State standards are being met to the depth and rigor intended.  Keeping the end in mind, grade level teams review and create the common assessment for the focus skills then move forward in their planning of aligned instructional practices to ensure that we have a guaranteed and viable curriculum.  Teachers are secure with the belief that administration is here to support both student and staff learning.  Based on a culture of trust, teachers are secure with being honest about their needs and the validity of student data.  This trust is apparent in common assessment and district data meetings when class and grade level information is shared and discussed.    These meetings are scheduled to occur no later than a week after common assessments are given so that both students and staff can receive timely feedback and appropriate intervention or enrichments can be planned and implemented.

North Elementary has high expectations for all students. It is our belief that all students can make progress no matter what their background may be. Each child might require various levels of support that might range from academic to behavioral to basic needs, but it is our job to assist and help them reach their individual goals. The beauty of this campus is that each member of the staff is invested in helping students in any area of need. Teachers are not alone in helping students reach their goals. The collaboration between classroom teachers, support staff, interventionists, district staff and campus administration is evident throughout the year. 

As a Professional Learning Community we understand and embrace that our journey will never end.  Each year we will continue to identify areas of need, embrace our own learning, and continue to tweak our systems so we can continue to grow as a model Professional Learning Community.  

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

At North Elementary administrators and teachers monitor students on a daily basis.  Systems are in place to ensure that student progress is tracked so that prescriptive and targeted intervention will take place in a timely manner.  

*It is our belief that student's academic needs are best targeted during Tier 1 instruction through small group or individual lessons with teachers.  Through this instructional practice student's needs are more individualized and differentiated to ensure that students are receiving instruction at their appropriate level in addition to targeted grade level learning objectives.  Teachers monitor student progress daily through the use of guided reading, guided math and writing conferences.  Identified areas of need are retaught using different instructional methods at the student's next small group/individual lesson.  In order for teachers to have a variety of instructional practices to use during reteach, campus administration provides time during the week for team collaboration in sharing ideas for question number 3 of the 4 Big Questions...What are we going to do if the student hasn't learned it?  

*It is our campus commitment that students will be reading on grade level at the end of each year.  Therefore, throughout the nine weeks, teachers complete running records on students to progress monitor reading levels and intervene in a timely manner before students flat line or drop in level.   Tracking this data on an ongoing basis throughout the year, allows the teacher to make adjustments to guided reading groups and plans so that students will continue to progress in reading level. This practice ensures students move up levels when they already know it and are provided intervention if they haven't learned it.  Student running record data is  charted on an Appendix H, which is a line graph of reading level progress throughout the year.  This graph gives teachers, campus administrators, and parents a visual of where the child is, what progress they have made for that school year and where the child compares to grade level expectation.  

*Each week grade level teams identify skills to assess in order to monitor student progress and verify mastery of learning.  These common tasks are reviewed and teachers reteach and target ares of need for each child through shared tutorials or small group instruction.

*Every three weeks, grade levels assess students through a common assessment.  These assessments are teacher created based on grade level learning objectives agreed upon as a team.  Immediately following the distribution of these assessments, teams review the data collectively and make immediate plans for intervention or extension based on student data.  

*District nine week assessments are given to all students in the district on that respected grade level.  These assessments are created by a district committee that includes a classroom teacher representative from each elementary campus  with the guidance and assistance from our District Assessment and District Curriculum directors.  This data is inputted into a program that allows teachers to quickly identify class data on tested learning objectives, check student progress with assessed objectives, and identify students in need of more assistance.  This data is all reviewed, discussed, and reflected on during grade level data meetings that follow the next week.  

*Behavior intervention is addressed through Tier 1.  North Elementary's behavior program allows trained paraprofessionals the opportunity to teach students appropriate behavior and coping skills so that each student can successfully stay inside the classroom, therefore receiving optimal instructional time.  Our belief is that all students receive Tier 1 instruction and are not placed out of classroom for behavior reasons. North's behavior support is proactive, prescriptive and timely allowing our belief to become reality.

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

As a campus, the expectation is that student data will be reviewed frequently to ensure that student needs are being met.   RTI meetings are scheduled every three to four weeks, during this time all campus interventionists, administration, and behavior support meet with each teacher to review all student progress.  Every child’s data is reviewed during this time and discussion is held for students identified as not making progress.  Through the knowledge of the RTI team, plans are designed to target individual student needs. 

Teachers implement Tier 2 interventions during small group instruction time, shared tutorials, and staff members have collaborated with co-workers to share Tier 2 intervention students. Our base goal is for all students to show 80% mastery on skills.  If they are not at this level for Tier 1 then we provide additional tutorials or reteach to assist students with gaining those skills.  As a campus we have implemented the Daily 5 model for reading and writing instruction.  Part of Daily 5 students may choose to read independently, read to a partner, work with words, work on writing, or listen to reading.  If a child needs intervention the teacher will substitute one of the reading stations with the reading intervention this way to ensure that the critical learning activities are still taking place.  For Tier 2 math intervention teachers may provide this during small group instruction while peers are at stations or during grade level tutorial times.  It is our belief that students do not need to miss core instruction for intervention.  We believe that if a child misses out on classroom instruction we are then creating our own gaps in their learning.  Extra support is scheduled and implemented during times that direct instruction is not taking place to ensure that all students are part of initial learning process. 

During small group tutorial times teachers are continuously monitoring student progress through formative assessments.  During this time if student needs are noticed by the teacher instructional targets may be adjusted to accommodate student needs to ensure that the necessary foundational skills are present and building skills from that point on.  This same practice is said for students who have mastered the expected learning and need further extensions.  Since a large part of our instructional day is small group instruction, with students working in centers, teachers are able to instruct students who need extension on their reading level or math skills and then provide them extension activities to challenge and further their learning.  Both intervention and extension activities are prescriptive based off of formative assessments that are given throughout the school year.  

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

It is our philosophy that teachers are leaders on our campus.  Campus administration utilizes the use of teacher leaders to help teams work collaboratively together.  The leadership team meets with campus administration prior to the school year to identify areas of academic need, based off of student data, and ways that the leadership team can assist teachers with addressing the various needs.  This team then meets monthly to review grade level needs, where teams are at with identified targeted areas of need, and celebrate progress that is being made.  

At the beginning of each year, team leaders have their teams revisit their norms to ensure that systems are in place for meaningful and productive meetings.  These norms have changed drastically since we began our journey.  Norms used to be very generic and basic, but as we have grown, teams now set more detail specific norms to ensure that they are truly collaborating as a team and not acting as a group.  During the beginning of the year, teams have honest conversations about what they are committed to and identify things that are either stopping them or distracting them from their identified commitments.  Teams then create a list of what they need to start doing and stop doing so that as a team they can ensure that their time and energy is focused on their mutually agreed upon commitments.  During weekly meetings, the teams review not only their norms, but their commitments to ensure that the grade level goals are the focus and help drive meaningful conversations during grade level meetings.    

Each week teams meet for common planning time.  During the instructional day campus administration has built in an hour a half planning block where all teachers from that grade level can work collaboratively.  During these weekly meetings teams review previous lessons taught and discuss what worked with those lessons and what changes need to be made to help students with mastery of that skill.  Changes to district curriculum document are noted and curriculum is revised before the next school year.  While collaborating in meetings, teams answer the four essential questions for the learning objectives that will be coming.  Together teams discuss possible lesson ideas, supports that students will need if they are not successful with target learning objective, and extensions that students can do if they show early mastery of skill.  It is our goal that all students are challenged.

Teams have embraced that working together they can help all students learn, while supporting each other.  Teachers share students during the instructional day to assist each other and support that individual child’s academic needs.   During their weekly meetings teachers may discuss student progress that they are observing and make adjustments to shared tutorials or small groups that are taking place on their grade level.  If students are making progress and no longer need additional support from a teacher, plans are adjusted to target that individual child’s needs. It is evident, through conversations and actions of staff members that North Elementary is committed to supporting all student learning through collaborative work.

To support teachers, campus administration attends all planning and data meetings.  It is through these meetings that campus administration can quickly identify areas of need for both students and staff and make any appropriate plans or find the necessary resources to assist with student learning.  During these meetings, campus administration does not lead or run the meeting, but acts as part of the collaborative team offering ideas or suggestions when appropriate.  It is not the goal of administration to take the power out of teachers hands during these meetings, but be a support for them and assist where ever it is necessary or appropriate.  By attending these meetings it has built trust between teachers and administrators.  Teachers know that campus administration is there to support them and this empowers teachers to reach out when necessary for assistance or when they identify that they need training.  Through these meetings,  instructional target areas are identified and campus administration is able to collaborate with district staff to ensure that teachers are receiving the support they need to address the various levels of need on their campuses.   

 

     

 

2014-2015

2013-2014

2012-2013

Reading

87%

87%

90%

State Reading

74%

76%

81%

Math

State has not given.

87%

84%

State Math

State has not given.

71%

70%

 

Hallsville North Elementary serves students in grades Kindergarten-Third grade.  In Texas, third grade is the first year that students will be assessed with the STAAR assessments in reading and math. We frequently monitor student learning through classroom formative assessments, team-developed common assessments, district benchmarks, and the ISIP assessment.  ISIP is a diagnostic tool given throughout the year measuring student progress in the following areas:  letter knowledge, phonemic awareness, alphabetic decoding, comprehension, vocabulary, and spelling.  (See attached Resources for K-3 reading data.) 

 

 
  • Texas Education Agency Exemplary/Recognized District (4 years)
  • Texas Education Agency Exemplary North Elementary School (4 years in a row)
  • Note: North Elementary was reconfigured in 2011-12.
  • Title I Distinguished Campuse
  • North Elementary has met standards for AYP every year.
  • North has received Gold Performance Acknowledgments from the Texas Education Agency each year since 2011.
  • Selected by University of Washington to be included in a national study on effective RTI practices in reading.
  • Featured in the Solution Tree video series “Pyramid Response to Intervention – The Four Essential Guiding Principles”.
  • United States Department of Education Model RTI campus 2012
  • Texas Elementary Principal of the Year- Cristi Parsons 2013
  • 2013-2014 Academic Achievement in Reading/English Language Arts
  • 2013-2014 Academic Achievement in Mathematics
  • 2013-2014 Top 25 Percent in Student Progress
  • 2012-2013 Academic Achievement in Reading/English Language Arts
  • 2015 Voted as Best in Elementary School in East Texas
  • 2015-2016 Distincition in ELA/Reading
  • 2015-2016 Top 25% Student Progress
  • 2016 TEA Recognized for High-Progress (One out of 140 campuses in the state to earn this recognition.)  

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