Kingston Elementary (2023)
- Number of Students: 758
- Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: 21.38%
- Percent of Limited English Proficient: 1.2%
- Percent of Special Education: 15.96%
- White: 70.58%
- Black: 13.59%
- Hispanic: 6.73%
- Asian: 2.11%
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 0.13%
- American Indian or Alaska Native: 0.66%
- Multiracial: 6.2%
- Other: 0%
Our journey as a professional learning community is centered around two dynamic words….change and growth. Kingston Elementary was established in a booming community to relieve an influx of students in two neighboring schools. As you can imagine, coming together as a faculty from two different schools with two different visions was a challenge. We have designated the task of creating the school of our dreams and truly growing as a team. Our first step as a collaborative team was extremely simple, yet powerful. It was just to realize we were a team, and we were better together! We met weekly, defined norms and team roles, and suddenly we began to grow collectively. We centered our core beliefs for ourselves and our students around leadership, and we all contributed to making Kingston a great place to be.
The summer after our founding year, we quickly advanced our growth as a PLC by sending a team of teachers to the Solution Tree Institute in San Antonio. We saw that coming together as a team was a piece of collaboration, but it could be so much more. During year two, we focused on PLC questions 1 and 2:
What do we want our students to learn?
How will we know if they have learned it?
We focused on building common formative assessments centered around essential standards, and we began to see great results. We started to focus on why and how we were assessing students, and we began sharing our results with our colleagues. By the end of year two, we had a staff that was fully invested and eager to grow.
Year three brought forth both change and growth. We had a change in administration, and we had growth with many new Kingston staff members. We continued to work hyper-focused on PLC questions 1 and 2, and we focused on sustaining the culture of leadership and excellence we created when founding the school. Also, a pivotal moment of growth happened during our third year. Mike Mattos visited our district in January 2018, and our school faced a light bulb moment. We were nailing PLC questions 1 and 2, but we were barely addressing questions 3 and 4.
How will we respond when some students don’t learn it?
How will we respond when some students already know it?
We learned from another school ahead of us in the journey as a PLC Model School, Benton Middle School. Our trip to our feeder school opened our eyes to how we could better meet the needs of ALL kids by placing structures and supports in place to fully address our missing pieces. We had a staff full of teachers ready to attack RTI and enrichment, but we needed to put systems in place to make it happen.
Year four has been a pinnacle year in our story. We, yet again, had a change in administration and added seven new staff members to our growing school. We took a close look at our master schedule in order to improve our RTI system. We improved structures we already had in place, and the work of the guiding coalition became more focused. We sent a group of teacher leaders to the RTI at Work Institute, and we also sent a team to Solution Tree Coaching Academy within our district. We came back armed with all the tools we needed to tackle holes within our Tier 2 and Tier 3. We implemented the Catching Cubs Coalition in order to ensure no student slips through the cracks. This program has allowed us to collectively prescribe individualized plans based on students’ specific needs.
Year five was set to be the year of sustainability. Interventions and enrichments were focused on each individual student’s need and we were seeing tremendous growth with our new K-2 reading series. Our 3rd-5th grade students’ mid-year benchmarks indicated that we were on target to be the top-performing school in our district and one of the top-performing schools in our state. We were ecstatic after we found out that we were named a PLC Model School in February of 2020. However, we did not return to face-to-face instruction after our spring break in March. Those two dynamic words, change, and growth, that has always guided our PLC journey was put to the ultimate test. We had to immediately make decisions about ways to instruct our students virtually. Our first step was to look at our essential standards chart and identify standards that had not been mastered and find innovative ways to ensure that our students mastered those standards. We lived from month-to-month not knowing if we would be able to return to the classroom with our students or not. Technology and internet access for students was a major struggle during this time, but it also taught us so much about teaching in the twentieth century.
To begin year six, the leadership team participated in the “Mind the Gaps” virtual institute to better prepare us to address the learning gaps that students might have from the six months of virtual learning. In the midst of the day-to-day unknown due to the Global Pandemic, our school is continuing to stay hyper-focused on our essential learning standards. We also identified super essential standards to bridge learning gaps that are inevitable due to missing the last quarter of the last school year and individual quarantines throughout this current school year. Our PLCs remain data-driven and solutions based. We are working collectively with more innovative practices than ever before to ensure that our students are making significant academic progress.
To tell the full PLC story of our school, transparency is key. In year seven, though the right work was in place, together we did not yield the results we had hoped for. After this school year wrapped, we received the news that we were not the projected top school in the district. We were exactly one point away from where we needed and wanted to be. This was the first year our school participated in state testing since the pandemic began and our student body configuration changed significantly. We no longer had fifth-grade students on our campus, some of our students were virtual, and our district attendance zone changed… changing our student population. Our state did not give official school performance scores due to the Global Pandemic, but that projected score started a fire in our school that produced a drive and determination that no one could stop. Together we were ready to rise.
Year eight was a year of affirmation and success for our school. We restructured systems from our previous years, while at the same time going back to the basics of PLC lite and PLC done right. We honed in on the four guiding PLC questions and truly let those be the guiding compass for everything we put into practice. We spent time training our new teachers and staff members in best practices according to the Solution Tree model. To help with this we purchased Solution Tree Global PD. We continued our journey with vertical alignment to include cohesive and aligned assessments and assessment practices from kindergarten through fourth grade. We call this year the year of affirmation and success because, as a school, through hard work and perseverance we finally felt like we were where we wanted to be… at the top. Kingston Elementary was named the top-performing school in Bossier Parish and a top-performing neighborhood school in the state of Louisiana.
1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.
What do we want our students to learn?
Teachers have defined essential learning standards that ALL students must exit the grade level knowing. Teachers have broken down the standard into kid-friendly terms and provided examples of what mastery looks like for that particular standard.
Every 9 weeks an Essential Standards chart is created so all grade levels and enrichment teachers can know what is the most important key learning of the nine weeks. This is used in vertical planning and collaborating with the entire staff on what is most essential.
How will we know if they have learned it?
Common Formative Assessments:
Weekly & Daily Checks :
Teachers provide exit tickets to check for understanding of the daily lesson. Students who struggle with the material are pulled to small group instruction within Tier 1 time.
Essential standards are assessed throughout the unit to check for understanding. The teacher uses CFA data to adjust teaching and small group instruction within TIER 1 time.
Common Summative Assessments:
Common Summative Assessments drive Tier 2 remediation and instruction. These assessments are given at the end of a unit and assess essential standards. Teachers analyze the data from these assessments and come up with a plan for students who extended the standard, met the standard, and need more time and support on the standard. Teachers discuss best practices to determine the best fit for Tier 2 interventions.
Personal Learning Goals:
Our school has a focus on student leadership, and we incorporate goal-setting and reflection into daily practice.
As a school, we work to foster leadership and goal attainment by:
Students tracking the progress of goals
Students taking ownership of their performance
Students knowing their growth to mastery target
Students reflecting on learning
2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.
Tier 1: Core Program
Teachers work collaboratively to create common formative assessments. They use this data to drive their Tier 1 instruction. Teachers intervene and extend in various ways. This feedback is immediate and targeted for specific students and on specific standards.
Tier 2: Supplemental Program
Intentional Non-Learner (Won’t Do):
Through Collaborative Team Meetings, we are able to identify students who are intentional non-learners. As a team, we have defined the intentional non-learners as students who are academically capable, but for various reasons choose to not express their understanding of the standards taught.
Who is targeted?
Students who are failing to meet the essential standards. We identify these students by failing grades: Ds or Fs.
Failed Learners (Can’t Do):
Through Collaborative Team Meetings and end of unit assessments, we are able to identify students who need more time and support to master essential standards. These students have been identified as students that have the want and drive to be successful in their academics but, for whatever various reasons, are unable to.
Who is targeted?
Students who are failing to meet the essential standards.
How are students assigned?
Our grade level, collaborative teams meet weekly to analyze data from an assessment that contains the essential standards they are currently teaching. As a team, they decide what percentage they feel is mastery of the standards. From there, the team will break apart the assessment by standards and decide who mastered the standards and needs to have their learning extended, which students need additional practice, or which students need to be retaught the standards. After that, the teachers will review the data to see who had the best teaching practices for that specific standard. With that information, they will decide who each student needs to work with for PAW time (Personalized Acheievement Walk).
What do students work on during this time?
Based on the data from the end of the unit assessment, students will either extend their knowledge on the essential standard, be provided additional support and practice, or be retaught the lesson with different teaching practices.
How is this accomplished and supported by the school?
Our school has created a master schedule that allows for a school-wide RTI time or as we call it "PAW Time." During our school-wide RTI, the entire school is essentially “shut down”, no announcements, check-ins, etc. We have all faculty and staff working with students to further their learning on the essential standards. This schedule also allows time for teacher collaboration. Not only do the grade level teachers meet, but also the additional staff meets with the teachers to collaborate about the lessons being taught during PAW time.
Tier 2: Analysis
We have a team that meets monthly to monitor and analyze current student Tier 1 and Tier 2 data to determine if Tier 2 interventions are successful or if we need to push forward with Tier 3 interventions. This team is called the “Catching Cubs Coalition” which meets to ensure we catch all of our Cubs and no student slips through the cracks. This team includes:
Grade level teacher(s)
Special Education Teacher(s)
Students are identified for the Catching Cubs Coalition (CCC) by any member of our Kingston Community through the CCC Form. These students are identified based on failing grades, social or academic behaviors, attendance, complications due to health or home, or benchmark or summative assessments. We have also added gifted and talented requests to this form so that we can assure that ALL students are getting the instruction that they need. After breaking apart the data and looking at all aspects of the student, an action plan is made to treat, prioritize, and monitor the individual student.
Tier 3: Intensive Support
Through CCC, we are able to diagnose, treat, prioritize, and monitor the student and their individualized action plan.
Who is targeted?
Students that are failing to meet the essential standards with the support of Tier 2 interventions. We identify these students by data and the CCC form.
How are students assigned?
We Meet as a team, “Catching Cubs Coalition”, to determine individual student needs and concerns. Then we discuss which intervention is best, and who the best person on campus is to fulfill that intervention.
What do students work on during this time?
Students receive increased, more intensive interventions in a smaller setting according to the action plan created in the CCC Meeting.
Some of the various interventions currently used for our students include:
Tier II and III Reading Strategies Interventionist
LEXIA- an adaptive blended learning program that accelerates the development of literacy skills for students of all abilities and grades.
Intensive academic support
Zearn Champion- Zearn is our Tier 1 math program. We have created a team of fourth-grade leaders to “coach” our younger students with the program.
Buddy Program-All fourth grade students are matched with a kindergarten buddy. They eat lunch together once a week and collaborate on various activities throughout the year.
Reading Buddy-We have created a team of fourth-grade leaders to read to our younger students, or listen to the younger students read to them.
3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.
Collaborative teams are the heart of Kingston Elementary. Each grade level teacher is part of an interdisciplinary team that meets weekly, and every teacher at Kingston is part of a content PLC that also meets weekly. All meeting times are 45 minutes, and this collaborative time is built into the master schedule. This time is used to create and evaluate common assessments, discuss student needs based on data, and also evaluate best-practices in instruction. Campus administration visits planning and data meetings as a collaborative team member to offer ideas, support or suggestions when appropriate, but team members facilitate the meeting.
To create high performing collaborative teams we focused on doing the “right work.” We used Learning By Doing, Taking Action, and It’s About Time to guide the work of the teams. Teams created norms, took part in collective commitments, and grew professionally by attending Solution Tree training events.
We are able to offer our students art, theatre, music, physical education, library, Spanish, and STEM at Kingston. This team sees all students throughout a two-week cycle. We recognize the impact our enrichment teachers provide, and they are fully plugged into our teams. Lessons are built around essential standards, and weekly communication is happening between the teams. Our enrichment team uses this time to offer hands-on experiences to provide a deeper understanding of the standard. This team is also dispersed across the school to offer Tier 2 support during PAW time. Their impact on student achievement is invaluable.
In 2019 our K-2 collaborative teams took the initiative to improve teacher practices by partnering with another school within our district. Our two schools initiated the Schools With Amazing Teachers (SWAT) program. We collaborate monthly on best practices as we navigate through our new curriculum. We discuss district assessment data, celebrations, and areas for improvement. Looking on paper, our two schools are extremely different, but our goal is the same- To provide high levels of learning for ALL students.
Achievement Data Files
Additional Achievement Data
Our School Performance Score (SPS) is calculated annually using state assessment data. We have consistently increased our SPS year after year. In 2021 the state issued simulated scores due to the impact of COVID-19 and we were 14.4 points above the district performance score and 22.8 points above the state performance score. As state and district scores continued to rise after the pandemic, Kingston Elementary remained on top and achieved the highest scores in our school's history by performing 20.6 points above the district performance score and 29.9 points above the state performance score. Kingston was also recognized as the top performing neighborhood elementary school in the state of Louisiana.
Awards and Recognition
Highest performing neighborhood school in the state of Louisiana (2018) (2022)
Highest School Performance Score for Bossier Parish Elementary Schools; “A” rated by LDOE (2016-2018) (2021-2022)
Recognized as a Top Gains school by LDOE (2018) (2019) (2021) (2022)
Awarded as an Equity Honoree by LDOE (2018) (2019) (2021) (2022)
2016-2017 Louisiana State Student of the Year; 2017-2018 Bossier Parish Student of the Year
2017 NASP Archery World Champions
Recognized by the United States Military as a Purple Star School
MCEC eS2S school
Official National Elementary Honor Society Chapter
PLC Model School (2020) (2021)
Tremendous Gains on the English Language Proficiency Test (2019)(2022)
Tremendous Gains on the LEAP Connect Assessment (2019)(2021)(2022)
2021-2022 & 2022-2023 Bossier Parish Teacher of the Year