Alton Elementary

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

The process was a slow one, one which we did not name. We began by shifting the focus of our grade level meetings from operational items to data and student demographics in the 2012 - 2013 school year. Initially, the dialouge at these meetings was driven by the administrative team. When we met as a Campus Instructional Leadership Team, we had grade level representation to provide feedback on the design and instruction within their grade levels. This comittee was the behind the scenes driving force. As the year progressed, it was evident leaders were being built in the classrooms. We evolved and approached our 2013 -2014 school year a little differently. Our grade level meetings now encompassed a 90 minute planning block each Wednesday where vertical dialouge could occur. Teachers gathered to plan their lessons, activities, and assessments togehter. We began to unpack our standards and disect each verb of the student objective to have better understanding for delivery of instruction. This past school year, we raised the bar yet again. When we first began with instructional rounds and peer observations, many of our teachers were hesitant and resistant. They felt the observations were evaluative and felt intimidated by the process. As our school year began this year, 2015 - 2016, we had teacher asking to visit one another to learn and grow. It has been amazing to see the excitement our teachers have displayed from their observations.  This past year, 2016 - 2017, we continued with enhancing our PLC cutlure and our lastest data provided evidence to our success. As a campus, we received 6 out of 6 possible distinctions (awards) through our state's accountability system. 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

We have utilized a meeting time we call our huddle to analyze data. These meetings occur every two weeks in our huddle room. Weekly assessments and district CBAs are studied. We analyze how well we did in student objectives and compare those results to how we did on the previous year's results on our state assessment. We analyze each item to identify areas which need attention. We then begin to have our students placed on our interactive board to monitor student progress in accountable indexes.  Our weekly assessments are designed by our grade level teams with a review of the exams being completed by academic coaches and the administrative team. These assessments are designed to assess the objectives taught throughout the week. In addition, our six weeks exams are developed at the district leveled and intended to assess the objectives taught during the six weeks period. 

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

Our systems of intervention for additional time and support has been an ongoing process of change and intentionality. We have channeled our administrative staff as well as our resource/auxiliary staff into the classrooms to assist with interventions for students needing additional time and support. We also introduced a "week b" schedule where students needed additional time for interventions would have a completely different PE and lunch schedule. During this week, our counselor would work with students by grade level providing them with the instruction and interventions where they needed support. This school year, we are introducing a schedule we learned about at the June PLC conference in San Antonio. We are implementing a WIN (what I need) schedule for students.  Our WIN time will occur 3 times per week and our instructional leaders (strategists, librarian, lead teachers) will be utilized to provide the additional support our students may need. Unlike last year, where our time was a rotation through PE and conducted by our counselor on a preview of upcoming objectives along with a review of objectives not mastered the prior week; this year the scheduled WIN time is embedded through the school day. This year we have decided to scaffold the instruction down to the student level and deliver any prerequisite skills students may have missed. It is our goal to have these WINNERS receive all the skills they need to master on grade level objectives. 

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

Our collaborative teams have evolved within grade levels and within our Campus Instructional Leadership Team (CILT). As a campus, we have read Teach Like a Champion and Teach Like a Champion 2.0. Our meeting agendas have moved from operational and procedural items to being inclusive of instruction, data, and teaching techniques acquired through our book study. We have embraced providing feedback to one another. And as stated earlier, our teams have demonstrated a desire for growth by learning from one another. Our teams meet within the school day, before school, and after school. We have a calendar of scheduled meeting times to calibrate our focus on improvement of student learning. In order to continue building on our collaboration, we have introduced recording one another to showcase the Teach Like a Champion techniques in our classrooms and hallway. Our professional development meetings focus on the techniques and table talk is included where each of our teachers gets to inquire and learn how to implement what they learned.

Our collaborative teams are structured by grade level. Each grade level has a campus instructional leader (a teacher who serves on CILT) on their team. In addition, each team has one teacher take the lead with each content taught within the grade level. All grade levels have an academic coach assigned to assist with planning with classroom instruction, classroom culture, and the Leader in Me process. The principal, assistant principal, strategist, counselor, and librarian serve in this capacity. 

Music and P.E. teachers are grouped together for planning time. Our counselor is tasked with conveying instructional items to them so that they may incorporate into their classes. For example, our coach has students do their exercises by skip counting (2s, 5s, etc.) Our instructional strategist also works closely with our instructional assistants on areas they can assist in the classroom when working with the teacher in a co-teacher model or with a small group pull-out session.

Finally, we provide 45 minutes daily to our teachers for planning. We also provide 90 minutes each Friday where grade levels are led in data and instructional discussions. The meetings are also designed to allow for some vertical dialogue. Teachers guide each other on how to best scaffold instruction. We also have a planning/staff development days embedded into our calendar where we take time to discuss the curriculum map and adjust accordingly. 

Additional Achievement Data

As we began the process of improvement, we have seen our campus show improvement in data in our accountability system. As with any change in paradigm within a school setting for instructional delivery, our campus found obstacles. We continued to focus on our vision of student success and are pleased to highlight some of our success in the data. Our fifth-grade reading program went from a 54% pass rate for 2 consecutive years to a 78% pass rate on the students' first attempt on the state exam. In science, our scores increased from 42% to 57% to 74% this past year. Our 3rd grade English Language Learning population has also shown exponential growth. Their pass rates have increased from 53% to 63% to 72% this past year. Within our district, our campus ranked 13th out of 14 when we began our process. And in 3 short years, we are now 6th. In areas where we are accountable to the state, our data indicates we scored above our district and regions average, and we are 3 percentage points behind the state average. This past school year, 2016 - 2017, we continued to show growth. Our 5th-grade math scores continued to increase to 90%, as well as, science scores increasing to 83%. When analyzing comparable data in each of our indexes as measured by the state we continue to demonstrate progress. Additional data can be found in the attached documents in the Resources section.

Percentage of Students Passing: Campus/District/STAAR (State)

3rd Grade

Math

Reading

2014 – 2015

77% / 70% / 77%

77% / 73% / 77%

2015 – 2016

78% / 70% / 75%

75% / 70% / 73%

2016 – 2017

86% / 76% / 78%

79% / 71% / 73%

Percentage of Students Passing: Campus/District/STAAR (State)

4th Grade

Math

Reading

Writing

2014 – 2014

68% / 67% / 73%

62% / 68% / 74%

70% / 67% / 70%

2015 – 2016

75% / 71% / 73%

74% / 72% / 75%

64% / 68% / 69%

2016 – 2017

82% / 76% / 76%

75% / 70% / 70%

67% / 64% / 65%

Percentage of Students Passing: Campus/District/STAAR (State)

5th Grade

Math

Reading

Science

2014 – 2014

79% / 78% / 79%

87% / 86% / 87%

74% / 67% / 72%

2015 – 2016

90% / 85% / 86%

86% / 78% / 81%

83% / 75% / 74%

2016 – 2017

87% / 86% / 87%

84% / 81% / 82%

82% / 78% / 74%

 

2014-2015 Distinction: Reading

2015-2016 Distinctions (6 of 6): Reading, Mathematics, Science, Student Progress, Closing Performance Gaps, Postsecondary Readiness

2016-2017 Distinctions (6 of 6): Reading, Mathematics, Science, Student Progress, Closing Performance Gaps, Postsecondary Readiness

Receipients of an International Grant for The Leader in Me

Silver Medal Recepients in Healthy Alliance Schools Across America: 2015 - 2016, 2016 - 2017

Bluebonnet Reading Champions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2016, 2016 - 2017

District Spelling Bee Champion/Regional Representative: 2014 - 2015

Featured in our local newspaper and Progress Times: 2 years in a row

Introduced Duke Scholar representatives as a district initiative

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