Sweet Apple Elementary School (2023)

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



  • Used backwards design planning by looking at assessments first and aligning them to standards
  • Vetting daily lessons to determine what skills need to be explicitly taught, which questions to use, and where to add active engagement
  • Creating independent work activities to align to standards and give students practice
  • Analyzing data to determine small group instruction and who needs what
  • Norming writing as a PLC with point values for constructed responses on assessments

Vocabulary Introduction Announcements - We are going to increase student knowledge of academic vocabulary words. Each week two new words will be presented to students on the morning announcements. The Explicit Teaching of a New Word routine as presented by LETRS will be utilized to provide this instruction. 

SAE Rubrics - Teachers are going use writing rubrics created by the CST in each of the writing units. These rubrics are based on the Milestones Writing Rubrics and will allow teachers to see where students need just in time direct instruction as well as extension. 

Small groups and tutoring will be led by EIP Teachers, SEC Teachers and Paraprofessionals. 

High Dosage small groups and tutoring will be led by EIP Teachers, the HDSG paraprofessional and Literacy Coach.

MATH, SCIENCE, and SOCIAL STUDIES PLCs: Weekly PLCs – The PLC team implemented a new streamlined meeting agendas that includes the math unit and dates, the number of pacing days, the assessment date, and corresponding standards. This allows the team to plan for the year and how often a standard is assessed. This allows them planning for reteaching and goal setting. In the agenda, there is a standard unit analysis, which allows for an analysis of the students that have mastered the standard, the average percentage correct, the percentage of students that have not mastered the standard, the lowest standards and future strategies. When the team discusses the interpretation of data, sentence stems are used. Examples of sentence stems include, “A potential root cause… A possible assumption…The data suggests…” We discuss the implications and work towards understanding the root cause(s). The results are evaluative and suggest action. For each unit, the PLC team discusses mastery and misconceptions, best practices, strategies, and questions to connect learning. The team also plans out the timeline, including assessment dates, strategies, and classroom discussions. At the end of the PLC meetings, action items and dates are agreed upon. 

Data Dig – On October 12, the team provided a data dig presentation for all teachers that shared the results of the Georgia Milestones from the 2022-2023 school year, iReady progress, and an analysis and comparison of results to the zone and district. 

Metro/Resa Training – In January, two math teachers from each grade level attended the Mathematics Professional Learning Series the training focused on the new math standards. 

New Math Standards - We provided a professional development workshop for teachers to prepare for the new math standards on November 8. 

Professional Development – On March 1 and 23, we provided two professional development workshops for teachers to refine their math practices and pedagogy. The workshops were led by our teacher and former math coach, Lindsey Shannon. During the workshops, she provided engaging instruction on the following concepts: How can I create active engagement during math? What does student collaboration look like in math? How do I reduce the worksheets? How do I add more meaningful and rigorous tasks? What are some “hands-on” activities that I can use? How do I release the control and let my students lead? What do I do with the data? Where can I pull resources to use in class? How can I add more math games? What does CRA look like and how do I know when it is time to go forward and backward? 

Math Slides – Over the summer, we created a “family edition” version of the daily math slides for our families with students in grades K-5 (including grade five accelerated). This enables families to help their children at home and to engage them in rich dialog about math concepts in the environment. During our Curriculum Nights presentations on August 24 and 25, we communicated the following to families: Have you ever wondered what your child is learning in math? Have you ever wondered how you can help your child in math? Look no further, we have math slides for you. We have taken the content being taught in the classroom and put it into a slide format with “friendly” language, examples, and pictures. Simply retrieve the slides and practice the activities with your student. The slides contain instructions of what you can say to your student. This will give your child extra practice, exposure, and learning opportunities. Families provided positive feedback. We heard comments like, “I wish we had these slides years ago!” “Now I know what to say about math!” And “I’m learning math too!” 

STEM Days – Teachers collaborated during PLCs and planned STEM Days on November 18 and March 10. During STEM Days, Sweet Apple Elementary School students participated in action packed and exciting days! Our amazing Roswell Fire Department heroes hosted our annual fifth grade egg drop! Teachers led a few STEM activities in their classrooms, and FCS Innovation Academy, Challenge Island, Milton High School, and Roswell High School visited classrooms and provided instruction. 

Services for Exceptional Children (SEC) Specially Designed Instruction (SDI): Weekly PLCs - Each week, the county provides coaching support through a SDI Coach. Teachers meet with the coach to discuss many topics. For example, the team reviews IEP data by grade level and discusses strategies to meet the students' needs. The SDI coach provides planning, ELA, and Math resources that drive student growth. Templates are also used for reviewing data, which assists the IEP teams in placement decisions. The SDI coach provides input in the designing of goals and objectives. The SDI Coach observes teachers in the co-taught classrooms and provides resources to teachers to use with students. 

Services for Exceptional Children (SEC): Weekly PLCs - In addition to the SDI weekly meetings, the SEC team also meets weekly to discuss planning, strategies, and tactical and strategic information from the county. They plan meetings, timelines, training, and other topics. SEC PLCs are designed to focus specifically on the progress and achievement of students with disabilities and the specially designed instruction (SDI) that is needed to close the opportunity gap between students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers. In addition to collaborating with general education teachers, special education teachers and staff need time to collaborate with one another regarding evidence-based SDI to target IEP goals and objectives.


1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Sweet Apple uses a backwards design process where we begin each unit in the areas of math, reading, writing, social studies, and science, by analyzing the district created common assessment and align it to the standards that are to be mastered. We then map out the unit with how long we need to teach each standard. Students are then given formative assessments, which are created by teachers, throughout the unit to determine if they are moving towards mastery. These formative assessments allow teachers to provide just in time direct instruction to students in small groups. Once an assessment has been administered, the data is analyzed by standard. Teachers work to create an action plan for any standard where students are below 50% mastery. This involves reteaching as well as re-assessment of the standard.

During PLCs and daily common planning time, teachers create exit tickets and individual independent work over the standard(s) being taught. These work samples are then used as a data source to drive instruction in small groups and to provide timely feedback to students.

Fulton County also requires that students take a universal screener, iReady, as a tool to identify student gaps in learning as well as where acceleration should be occurring. This helps with the planning of instruction. Individual learning paths are developed for each student based on his/her performance on the diagnostic. This enables teachers to monitor a student’s progress in closing any learning gaps that may exist. Additionally, teachers can assign specific lessons to students when the data shows that they need extra practice or support with a certain standard or topic within the standard. If a student has already mastered a grade level’s standards, then the program allows them to move on to be enriched.  

In grades 3-5, students take Write Score, a formative assessment tool used to assess reading and writing, once a year. This assessment is aligned with the Georgia Standards of Excellence and provides useful data for teachers. Write Score generates reports standard by standard, allowing teachers to anazlyze specific strengths and weaknesses of each student. 


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

Sweet Apple has created specific intervention times that are structured for all grade levels to support various learners. This specific time has been titled “WINN Time” which stands for “What I Need Now”. The entire school utilizes 7:45 - 8:15 a.m. for WINN time instruction by pulling small groups of students.  Students are receiving instruction to support their specific needs during this time daily. Various assessments and data are used to group students, and teachers are constantly revamping groups and strategies to ensure effective instruction. WINN Time is used to enrich students or to provide remediation depending on the student’s level. Additionally, students can receive extra help from chosen 5th graders, who volunteer their time, to help other students work on their weak skills. 

Additionally, various math and reading screeners are administered to students at the beginning and middle of the school year. The data from these screeners is then analyzed during PLCs to determine which students qualify for extra support through our Early Intervention and High Dosage Small Group programs or by working in a small group with our Literacy Coach. Individual scores from the screeners are disaggregated to determine exactly what extra support students need, whether it be with letter sounds, fluency, numbers and operations, geometry, etc.

Also, students needing extra support in the areas of math, reading, writing, or behavior are placed on a tier. While on a tier students receive a research based intervention and are progress monitored either weekly or bi-weekly. A MTSS (multi-tiered systems of support) team meets monthly to analyze the data to determine if the intervention is working and next steps for students. If students are not making progress, then teachers work to implement a different intervention. If students are making progress, then they can be removed from the tier. It is a fluid process with students changing tiers and levels of support based on need gathered from the data.

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

Sweet Apple has created a very effective student schedule that allows teachers to have common planning 5 days a week. Special education teachers, EIP, and ELL teachers are a part of this planning time as well, allowing for all teachers to collaborate for all students. This allows teachers to collaborate and plan effective and efficient lessons. Teachers are able to provide consistency among the grade level, but also have the ability to be unique in their teaching styles. Teachers feel successful as they work together and are able to have open and honest conversations, as they have set a positive tone in PLCs. Grade levels have designated grade level planning time one afternoon a month as well, to provide extra collaboration time for teachers. During this time, our special area teachers also colloborate, not only as a team, but also with each grade level to ensure they are incorporating grade level standards into their curriculum. These teachers also have several opportunities throughout the year to collaborate with other experts in their field throughout the district. 

In addition, all teachers and administrators have participated in LETRS training which is based on the Science of Reading, which will take two years to complete. This training involves completing online modules with questions, videos, written responses, as well as assessments at the end of each module. The training also involves live instruction four times per year. The protocols and instructional practices learned during the training are discussed and then added into daily lessons during PLCs. This training is enhancing both our small group and whole group reading and writing instruction. It also provides us with additional screeners that we can use with students to gather more information as to why a student is struggling. Once we understand the why we are able to formulate effective next steps that specifically target a student’s area of weakness.

Also, teachers are receiving professional development on the new math standards that are to be implemented in the state of Georgia for school year 2023-2024. We sent one teacher per grade level to be trained by the Georgia Department of Education. This teacher then redelivered the training to the rest of the grade level. During this training, teachers learned how the new math standards differ from the current standards as well as best practices to implement in the classroom. They focused on using real world problems and allowing students to use any strategy that works for them.

 Additionally, the curriculum support teacher and literacy coach have been collaborating with other elementary schools on a monthly basis. They travel to another school and observe classes in that school. Then, they debrief with the other CSTs and coaches to discuss best practices and effective instructional strategies. They then bring these best practices and instructional strategies back to Sweet Apple’s PLCs for our teachers to discuss how best to implement in our classrooms. This then improves student learning in our building.

  • Spring 2022- Distinguished PBIS School
  • February 2023 iReady Super School 58% of Students with Changed Placement on Reading Winter Diagnostic
  • March 2022 iReady Super School
  • October 2021 iReady Super School for Highest Pass Rate for Reading Online Instruction
  • May 2021 Pianos for Peace
  • Roswell Youth Day Parade- 2nd Place 2019,
  • Youth Art Month Gallery Annually at the Milton Library
  • Friends of Roswell Police Celebration of Deprospero and Frey
  • 2019 Georgia Art Educator of the Year
  • Sweet Apple placed in the top 1% of all schools in Georgia for overall test scores for the 2021-2022 school year.
  • Sweet Apple Community Playground in conjunction with World Harvest Church and The City of Roswell.
  • Sweet Apple 2016 Highest Performing and Greatest Gains by Governor Deal
  • Student Led Conferences 2015-present
  • Georgia Accountability Awards School: Greatest Gains, Silver (2015, 2016)
  • Georgia Accountability Awards School: Highest Performing, Gold (2015, 2016)        
  • #1 Rating for College and Career Readiness Performance Index for all Fulton County Schools (2016)
  • "A" Rating for College and Career Readiness Performance Index (2012-2017)
  • 100% of ED/ELL/SWD students met state performance targets (2015, 2016)                    
  • National Model School (2017)
  • 5 Star Climate Rating (2016, 2017)         
  • Governor’s Office of Student Achievement Beating the Odds School (2017)
  • Digital Citizenship School (2015, 2016, 2017)