Hallsville Intermediate School

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

Hallsville ISD began our PLC in 2006.  All grade levels took steps to implement the philosophies of a PLC at that time.  A core group of district administrators, campus administrators, and teacher leaders began reading literature associated with PLC to build a foundational knowledge.  Once that group saw the results and benefit of operating as a PLC, we were able to attend conferences and began taking the message back to our campuses.

Because of growth in our district, grade levels were realigned in 2012 and we became the “new” Hallsville Intermediate School.  At that time, our campus took one grade level from the elementary school (4th grade) and one from the middle school (5th grade) to become Hallsville Intermediate School.  We essentially had to rebuild our school, and we built it on the firm foundation of PLC philosophies and practices.

The first step in our journey was to begin to create a culture where student learning was our fundamental purpose.  One of the first things we did in the education of our staff was to create a shared mission, vision, value system, and goals that supported this belief.  That process was the first step in building a foundation upon which our school and all its current systems are built.  This shared mission was centered around the tenet that ALL students can learn at high levels.  Every decision we make as a campus links back to what’s best for students and their learning outcomes.

Because of this shift in our belief system, the following practices were born:

  • Creation of shared mission, vision, value, and goal statements.

  • Raised expectations for all student groups.

  • All decisions that we made pointing back to our fundamental belief that all students can learn at high levels.

As we were working on the school culture being centered around student learning, we began working on creating a collaborative culture with our staff. Teachers began working with one another towards common goals (student learning).  Their work included creating learning targets, common lesson planning, commonly assessing students, sharing data with one another, and learning to trust and depend on one another to get the job done.  Gone was the culture of “every man for himself” and competition amongst teachers.  

In building a collaborative culture, these are the types of things that we implemented:

  • Weekly collaborative planning time during the school day for each content area team.

  • Developed team norms and revised those weekly so that our focus is kept on student learning outcomes.

  • Lead teachers were established from each team and served on a campus leadership team.  This team meets every three weeks.

  • Action teams were developed that addressed best practice research, student organizations, student incentives, staff morale, technology integration, data analysis, and character education.

  • Staff complete surveys at the end of each semester to gauge our team effectiveness.  We plan staff development based on those outcomes.

  • All teams use the “4 essential questions” to guide our work.

As collaboration between teachers grew and student learning became the heart of our organization, there was an increasing awareness that a focus on results was necessary.  It became evident that we take a look at our assessment and feedback practices.  In developing these practices, it was vital that they be non-negotiable.  It shouldn’t matter which teacher a student had; they would get the necessary remediation and extension.

As we grew, these were the common practices that resulted:

  • Common assessments are created by teams and results analyzed (every 3 weeks).

  • Quarterly collaborative meetings within content areas to examine and act on curriculum based assessments are held during the school day.

  • Teams developed SMART goals and revisit those quarterly.

  • Student results are used to plan instruction, enrichment, and intervention.

  • A clear system that combines RtI with our PLC practices was created.

  • Teachers began helping students have ownership of their data through a data tracking system.

  • Development of a guaranteed and viable curriculum.

We are currently a school firmly grounded in PLC concepts and values. Hallsville Intermediate is a community of learners that focuses on student learning.  We will continue to function as a PLC and grow in our knowledge and understanding in order to open doors for our students now and in the future.

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Student learning is routinely and systematically monitored.  

  • Teachers, in their cooperative teams, develop weekly formative assessment checks.  This data is used to provide immediate assistance in the classroom.

  • For reading, teachers also give assessments to check a student’s reading level every three weeks.  Results from this are used in their classrooms in their guided reading stations.

  • Common Formative Assessments are created by each curricular team and administered at three week intervals.  These assessments cover the essential learning standards for a unit of study.

    • Data from these common formative assessments are studied in team meetings to determine how students are doing on each essential learning, which students are in need of assistance, which students have mastered all the learning standards, and potentially which teachers need guidance in a particular skill.

    • A campus level team that includes administrators, counselor, and teachers look at individual student results and determine what supports they need.  Students are involved in this process because we believe they need ownership of their learning and progress.

    • Students track their own data and learning with the assistance of their teachers.  Teachers visit with each student on their performance and students keep their data tracking charts in a binder.

  • Curriculum Based Assessments are developed by each curricular team and administered at nine week intervals.  These assessments cover the essential learning standards for a nine week period.

    • Data from the “curriculum based assessments” is analyzed by curricular teams to determine which essential learnings need to continue to be an emphasis, which students have mastered all learnings, and which students continue to be in need of assistance.

    • A campus level team that includes administrators and intervention teachers look at each student’s results and assign intervention.

    • A district level team also looks for patterns in our district data.

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

At Hallsville Intermediate, we believe that all kids are going to need intervention at some point in their academic year.  Whether it’s academic, social, or behavioral we have a system for providing them with the support they need.  Several years ago, our district created a Response to Intervention document, and we have built a non-negotiable system around that document.

  • Tier I support in the classroom - Teachers look at formative assessment data and design small group instruction that is embedded in their weekly lesson plans.  Students are assigned to remediation or extension groups based on this data.

  • After attending a Solution Tree conference, we implemented an enrichment period similar to the one Mike Mattos described at the conference.  Over the years, this enrichment has evolved into a block of time in which every student gets instruction on their level.  Assessment data is analyzed and students are grouped according to their current performance levels on the essential learning.  Every employee on the campus is involved in this effort so it also supports our belief that they are all our kids.

  • Students that are showing signs of being multiple years below grade level are assigned intensive intervention with one of our academic specialists.  Our intervention specialists progress monitor each student assigned to them, work collaboratively with core teachers, and provide information to parents on student progress towards intervention goals.  This is a fluid process; students move in and out of intervention based on the different formative assessments we develop.  These students get this time in addition to their core instruction.

  • It also important to note that, in addition to academic supports, we have extensive behavior supports and interventions.  Similarly to academics, our students are tracked and assigned to behavior intervention as necessary.  We have two full time behavior assistants that work with our most at risk students.  We also have a team that works with those that are showing signs of distress behaviorally or socially.  We also have a positive behavior support system in place to encourage and reward.

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

When we began collaborative teams, the teams met after school and their purpose was to lesson plan.  Looking back, our first collaborative teams were not that collaborative.  The first step we took in building our teams was to set our focus on all kids learning at high levels.  Without that foundational principle, our teams wouldn’t function.  As professionals, we had to put aside our personal agendas and focus on student learning; learning that was backed up by data.

  • To help establish and ground each team, we elected a team leader to each curricular team.  The team chose this person to lead, and while it didn’t always work out, we felt they needed ownership in their leader.

  • Campus administration meets every three weeks with these team leaders to focus on common goals, collaboration techniques, and the culture of the campus.

  • Aside from team leaders, every individual in the team has a role and responsibility to the group.  Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, data disaggregation, skill assessments, common assignments, state standard review, standard alignment, and lesson planning components.

  • Collaborative team time is built into the school day.  While core teachers are meeting, our students attend character education lessons, drug abuse resistance classes, and fine arts classes.

  • During each collaborative team meeting, discussions are focused on the PLC “4 Questions.”

  • Each school year, teams create norms to give their time together some common ground rules.  Norms are reviewed at each meeting and adjusted as needed.

  • SMART goals are developed that tie to our campus and district student achievement goals.  Teams develop goals each nine weeks, spend time at the end of the nine weeks analyzing their results, and then set a new goal based on data.

STAAR– State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness

 

2013

2014

2015

 

Texas

H.I.S.

Texas

H.I.S.

Texas

H.I.S.

Reading 4

72

83

74

84

74

83

Reading 5

87*

92*

86*

92*

78

87

Writing 4

70

81

73

81

70

79

Science 5

73

86

74

89

72

86

Math 4

69

84

71

79

**

**

Math 5

88*

96*

88*

99*

**

**

*Indicates scores after a second administration.

**Texas is currently developing new expectations due to the change in math standards.

2014 Texas Distinction in Science

2014 Texas Distinction in Postsecondary Readiness

2013 Texas Honor Circle - 5 Star Rating

Title I Distinguished Campus

Featured in the Solution Tree video series "Pyramid Response to Intervention - The Four Essential guiding Principles"

NCEA Higher Performing Campus as Hallsville Middle School

Finalist for "National Schools to Watch" as Hallsville Middle School

 

 

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