Bush Elementary (2020)

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

     Staff members of Bush Elementary School began the PLC journey in the Fall of 2011. Our building had various research based practices in place, but not at all grade levels. It was obvious that we lacked communication across our grade levels and departments. We also lacked common language, collaboration, and accountability for student learning and outcomes.  This journey began our systematic process with the creation of a shared Mission, Vision, and Collective Commitments to lead our building to higher levels of learning for all individual students and staff.  First, our entire staff participated in the creation of our Mission: Excellence is our plan by doing all we can!  Then, we committed ourselves to “living the mission” through discussions about unity, fidelity, and culture in our building.  The creation of the mission was then followed by a similar process in creation of a Vision statement. Next, our Collective Commitments were written and revised to make more applicable to our Bush School family.  We shared our newly created mission, vision, and commitments with our students’ families. This has proven to be very powerful as our families have a tangible reminder of the commitment Bush Staff has made to their children.  Our Mission is visible to all who enter our building. Since 2011 we have made a commitment to revisit these as a staff on a yearly basis to ensure our classroom practices reflect our commitment to student learning.

     The writing of S.M.A.R.T goals has been an integral part of our learning community. Through writing and progress monitoring of our S.M.A.R.T goals, we have learned to take a closer look at what classroom practices we are using, and why we are following said practices.  When making instructional decisions we are constantly asking ourselves, “Which corollary questions does this meet?” “How will the results be used?” “Are these results and practices productive for our staff and students?” Our grade level teams are very efficient in using Data Cycles to focus on the Corollary Questions.

        We understand that climate is crucial to the success of our building.  Each year, our building completes a climate survey in order for all staff to get anonymous feedback on the topic.  The building leadership team then plans appropriate activities based on those results. In the past we have also spent time improving our school climate through a “Bucket-Filling” campaign. Through this campaign, students and staff share their appreciation for others by writing positive comments on paper buckets. These buckets were shared and displayed for all to see.  Other climate activities have included Team Builder activities, “Question of the Week,” nominating fellow teachers for Role Model for the Month, Staff Member of the Week, “I appreciate _____ when . . .”(This is used to show staff appreciation for the big and small things we do daily. These statements are shared on the announcements to allow students an opportunity to witness adults showing respect and appreciation for one another.) Other climate activities include a Breakfast Spotlight where a grade level team will prepare and share breakfast for the staff while all staff are invited to browse classrooms and share teaching and learning, and birthday celebrations individually and monthly. 

      Continuous Improvement has been an important part of our PLC process at Bush School. At the beginning of the year, our school district provides PLC training to all new staff.  At this time, our administrator, Dr. Broadway, meets with Bush new teachers to review and answer questions more specific to PLC at Bush School.  The new teachers also meet monthly with Dr. Broadway throughout the year to have timely professional developments.  Each year, during our back to school faculty meeting, the PLC building team provides a review of the PLC process to date, as well as goals for the upcoming school year. Each year, we have the staff complete the BAT/implementation rubric. This allows the PLC team to monitor the fidelity of our PLC process while also determining the needs and goals for our building. The PLC team then uses this assessment and its results to plan building level training at each faculty meeting and/or professional development days. The Leadership Team also plays a role in the continued implementation of PLC as they direct the work of collaborative teams, set building level S.M.A.R.T goals, and review the action research and data cycles of grade level teams.  Our continuous improvement includes student work and growth. We provide students with many intervention/differentiation opportunities which include: Title I, Reading Recovery, Blue Jay Buddies, OOPS, College Tutors, A+ Tutors, Reading Buddies, Data Binders, progress monitoring.

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Our district implements the Missouri Learning Standards in all buildings.  As a district, each grade level has identified their Essential Learning Outcomes.  District teams are formed to determine pacing guidelines and instructional lessons through the Build Your Own Curriculum program. This program is utilized by each teacher to develop fidelity and continuity in daily lessons. The curriculum is revised continuously to meet the rigor and expectations of our MIssouri Learning Standards.

Our building and district have moved into Standards Based Grading, including regular classrooms K-5 and special area classrooms (PE, Art, Music).  Based on our vision statements, we are guiding students into the 21st century by aligning our standards in order to provide specific feedback to move them forward. We are also providing access to high quality technology, with 1:1 access to chromebooks. Classrooms also have the opportunity to utilize Google classroom to enhance learning.

Benchmark reading data, DIBELS, DAZE and STAR, is collected 3 times each year.  This allows teachers to identify students who may need additional support in the area of reading.  As the support is provided, teachers monitor student learning on a weekly basis through progress monitoring.  We also piloted the iReady program this year and are looking to fully implement next year.

Grade level teams also work through 6 week data cycles where pre and post tests are given based on Essential Learning Outcomes developed in the area of Math.  From these assessments teachers are able to identify common misconceptions, errors, or pattern of errors which allow teachers to plan effective lessons and interventions.

Teachers and students also work together daily to monitor student progress toward classroom academic goals.  Students are aware of the Essential Learning Outcomes through Daily Learning Targets. Teachers and students work together to collect data based on constructed response, discussion, group work, classroom rubrics, and performance assessments.   The data is used to then allow teachers and students to set new goals based on the data examined. This data is shared with stakeholders through Google Docs, parent/teacher conferences, and celebrations. Our data is visually transparent to everyone entering Bush Elementary and is posted in all classrooms to assist with goal setting.


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

Bush School has established Response to Intervention (RtI), a tiered model to ensure high levels of learning for all students. Bush Elementary uses this tiered model in both the areas of behavior and academics.  

Within the academic model, Tier I provides rigorous differentiation of essential skills through technology, cooperative learning, research, and project based activities. Students complete universal, benchmark testing three times per year. Grade level teams, specialists, and administration meet to review the data and determine which interventions will be provided during the grade levels 30 minute intervention block. Each grade level teacher and/or reading specialists, special education teachers, and other staff provide instruction to all students during intervention time. The data determines which research based interventions, including enrichment, will be used and with which students. Interventions are provided for 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week, in addition to the core instruction received in the classroom.  Progress monitoring is used to monitor and adjust students’ interventions as needed. Additional interventions may also be added to provide additional support. Blue Jay buddies is an after-school homework/tutoring program that is staffed by Bush Staff and Westminster College students. Students who do not receive home support are invited to attend to work through homework and extend their knowledge base. Ounce Of Prevention services provide tutoring support several times a week for students who do not quality for services from a reading interventionist and/or special education. Struggling students can eventually be referred for special education services, while students in need of enrichment instruction may participate in the district’s gifted programs.

Within the behavioral tiered model, our building bases our work on the PBIS system. In Tier 1, teachers implement lessons which teach appropriate behaviors within different settings in the building. Students meeting expectations receive positive reinforcement through the use of buzz bucks, which students can collect and use to purchase items from the school store.  Students also receive positive referrals which include recognition from building administration and postcards home. The PBIS team meets to set building goals concerning student behavior. The team, in conjunction with our student PBIS team, plans celebrations for students who meet those expectations. The PBIS team collects and reviews data concerning office referrals, buddy rooms, and classroom behavior is used to determine which students may be in need of some extra support. These students can participate in the check-in/check-out process which provides them with behavioral strategies and mentor support in order to be successful in the classroom. Students may also be placed in small group counseling sessions to provide support for social skills and/or difficult family situations.  Functional Behavior Assessments may also be completed as needed. Students in need of Tier 3 intervention may be referred for special education testing. Students can also be placed in Check-In/Connect which pairs them with staff or community members over a period of years for more intense mentoring. Within Tier 3, detailed behavior plans are also developed for struggling students.

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

At Bush Elementary, collaboration is very important to us! With our schedule, all grade levels have the opportunity to collaborate daily. Our grade level data teams meet bi-monthly for ELA and Math, during their common plan time.  Each team meets with grade level colleagues, principal, reading interventionists, and special education. Grade level uses Google Docs as a common location for all classroom teachers to share their data team agendas and minutes. Blogging has also been utilized as a resource for communication. Grade levels create agendas based around the four corollary questions during collaborative time to ensure we are doing what is best for our students and guiding discussion. The agenda is shared prior to the data team meeting so materials and resources are prepared in advance.  Data binders are also available with student data and notes. During our collaboration time, we complete planning, analyze common assessments, goal setting and determine interventions needed for student growth. While planning for intervention groups, additional teachers such as art, music, library and P.E. also assist with interventions for Fundations, reading, technology and fine/gross motor skills for our students.  Specials teachers also help reinforce skills from the classroom by including activities in their curriculum. For example, vocabulary may be used in all specials classes to reinforce reading skills. During our data team meetings, we analyze student data, determine appropriate strategies needed for instruction and adjust curricular needs.  We take time to celebrate the accomplishments of each student and inform our parents of their success.  As part of our vertical collaboration, this information is reviewed during our bi-weekly Leadership Team Meetings to ensure accountability and ownership in the learning process, as well as provide one more celebration opportunity.  

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

*See Resources: DIBELS Words Correct 

The above referenced data shows the percent of students scoring Proficient in “Words Correct” in Oral Reading Fluency on our DIBELS Benchmark Assessments. DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) is a tool to asses students in the area of literacy.  We use these benchmark scores to determine intervention groups and areas of instructional focus grades K - 5. From baseline data we determine grade level, as well as building, improvement goals.  Some things that have impacted this data, are the change to DIBELS 8 for the 2019-2020 school year.  The amount of rigor between DIBELS 8 and DIBELS Next greatly increased, which impacted student percentages for meeting or exceeding proficiency.  Also, kindergarten does not focus on nonsense words until later in the year, so the percentage tend to be lower.  


*See Resources: STAR Math 

The above referenced data shows the percent of students scoring at or above grade level on the STAR Math Assessment. The STAR Math Assessment assesses students in the 5 domains of mathematics instruction grades 2 - 5. These benchmark scores are also used to determine areas of instructional focus andgrade level and building goals.  Something that impacts this data is that when a teacher leaves, the data is dropped.  This makes it less consistent year to year.


*See File:  3-5 Evidence of Effectiveness

Our MIssouri Assessment Program (MAP) data shows a history of steadily growing and being above the state criteria in ELA and Math.  We attribute this success to our collaborative teams dedication to our student's futures.  Our vertical teams have spent significant time analyzing our students' strengths and weaknesses in each content area and specific question types.  This analysis allows us to focus on areas of concern, provide interventions, and align curriculum as needed.  A couple of our scores in the last two years have fallen a bit below the state average.  Our teams have worked to address those deficits by adding more vertical teaming to look for gaps in the curriculum, and filling those voids.  That has been our focus, as it is difficult to prepare for an assessment that has changed six times in seven years.  Our scores in DIBELS and STAR are also a better indicator of the success of our students.  Based on the Top 10 by 20 criteria, our scores are on track or exceeding state expectations.   We feel our PLC work has provided us with the tools needed to analyze our data and to make better decisions for our school community.



  • Department of Elementary and Secondary Education PBIS Silver Recognition 2011-2015

  • Department of Elementary and Secondary Education PLC Exemplary Award 2015

  • Department of Elementary and Secondary Education PBIS Gold Recognition 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

  • Department of Elementary and Secondary Education MO SW-PBIS 10-Year Award of Excellence 2018

  • Department of Elementary and Secondary Education PLC Sustaining Exemplary Award 2018

  • We have continously met APR (Annual Performance Report) through DESE for accredidation. 

  • The Fulton Public Schools Teacher of the Award for 2016 received by Amy Hare, 4th Grade Teacher.