- School District: Washington County School District
- School Address: 301 North 2200 East , St . George , UT 84770, US
- School Phone: 435-862-1934
- Principal: Steve Gregoire
- Contact E-Mail: email@example.com
- Number of Students: 454
- Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: 60%
- Percent of Limited English Proficient: 14%
- Percent of Special Education: 11%
- White: 70%
- Black: 1.7%
- Hispanic: 18%
- Asian: 1.7%
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 3.2%
- American Indian or Alaska Native: 5.4%
- Multiracial: 0%
- Other: 0%
Panorama Elementary has a rich 30+ year history of parental involvement, student achievement, and teachers who care deeply about students. Our school has many great qualities, but our student achievement was stalled in 2013 and it was time to take a fresh look at what makes a difference in student learning.
We started our work that summer by carefully outlining what our school would stand for. We spent many hours designing what our ideal school would be. With this in place, we created our Collective Commitments. Once these essential pieces were in place, we decided on our faculty norms and how we would function and make decisions. During this process it became clear that our school would ensure that each student read at or above grade level at the end of each year. This seems like an obvious and simple goal, but this goal has become central to the achievement of our students. Year to year, we revisit this goal, but it is still relevant. Our steps, or success criteria, to meeting this goal may change, but the original target of our students reading on or above grade level has not.
These were incredible first steps that allowed us to develop a focus and a clear purpose. Our collaboration became incredibly natural and once the school resources were added to support this goal, it has become a rallying cry for our students, teachers, and parents.
Our PLC story is still being written. Most of the original staff that drafted our Collective Commitments have moved to different opportunities inside and outside of our district. Although the staff has changed over the years, our focus on reading and student achievement has not faltered. This is due to the careful focus and review of our Collective Commitments each school year, and then reviewed again throughout the year at data meetings, collaborative team meetings, and faculty meetings. Our Collective Commitments are a central part of our school culture. This ensures that we do not lose the focus of those things we have identified as non-negotiables for Panorama.
During our weekly collaborative team eetings, and six-week data meetings we look deeply at student learning, progress toward our students gaining skills they lack, and how we as educators can affect that learning for the better. Our teachers are committed each year to the principle of high expectations for ALL students, and that makes all the difference.
1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.
The collabortive teams at Panorama include grade level teams, the special education department, learning coach, and principal. Each week we meet in collaborative teams during grade level PE time. This individual team time is dedicated to discussing student progress, choosing strategies that will improve student learning, and planning instruction to include those strategies we consider best practice. The four PLC questions are at the center of this dedicated time.
What do we expect our students to learn?
How will we know they are learning?
How will we respond when they don’t learn?
How will we respond if they already know it?
Our weekly collaboration begins with discussing our learning intentions. Our teams identify what exactly our students need to learn. This includes considering our Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum (GVC), as well as taking into account the scope and sequence of the curriculum, and the needs of our students as we teach content and strategies for reading. Common Formative Assessments (CFAs) are identified and discussions about what student learning will look like are an important part of this reflection and planning process. Reteaching and interventions are planned for students who need additional support, and plans are made to extend learning for our students who show they have mastered the concept being taught.
The power in our PLC process is our attention on the individual, and the focus on accountability. Each team comes up with norms and roles for their team, and in addition to the administration providing accountability, they keep one another accountable for student progress. No excuses are made for students not learning. Our teachers are creative and work to do everything possible to intervene and teach all students at high levels. Administration provides support and professional development to meet the needs teachers have to be effective educators.
2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.
Our intervention system is built upon the belief that all students can learn at high levels. There is no child whose specific needs are not being addressed in some way. Each grade level has common intervention time in which the needs of individual students are met through targeted instruction, based on benchmarks from SAGE, Fountas and Pinnell, chapter tests, writing assessments, and other CFAs based on GVCs.
During this common intervention time, teachers deliver targeted, skills-based interventions. We have four paraprofessionals that push into classrooms and follow teacher plans to intervene for our students approaching grade level. Students whose needs are more complex are put into small groups with certified teachers, including our reading interventionist. Our response to intervention time in which we focus on reading skills, based on diagnostic assessments to identify the earliest reading skill needed, then moving along a continuum as soon as skills are mastered. Mastery is identified through common formative assessments. This ensures our students have the reading skills required to truly be reading at or above grade level.
Students performing above grade level are working on collaborative projects, extending learning on grade level content. Their learning is deepened by considering content with depth and complexity through project-based learning.
Professional development is part of this system. Teachers are collectively working to improve their practice by guiding their own professional development, participating in coaching by our learning coach, and attending other professional development opportunities, such as our local Reading Summit. Training on teaching reading strategies is also provided monthly by our learning coach for our teachers, paraprofessionals, and reading interventionist.
3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.
Data meetings have been key to monitoring student learning. Every 6 weeks, we meet together as collaborative teams. Our teams consist of the grade level teachers, reading interventionist, learning coach, and principal. Teams bring their latest data, which includes Common Formative Assessments for GVCs, progress monitoring using DIBELS for reading and AIMS Web for math, reading levels from running records and the Benchmark Assessment System from Fountas and Pinnell.
Each team has decided what data is important for their learning outcomes. The gathering of data is guided by student need and what will give us the best snapshot of what a student can do, and on what skills they will need additional help. We work to tailor our assessments to include the rigor necessary for student achievement, as well as to ensure we are getting the right information to help teachers make those instructional shifts necessary to increase student learning.
Students’ individual needs are discussed and decisions are made on how to intervene, whether reteaching is necessary, or if we need to work on our Tier 1 instruction. Data is noted and shared with the special education team. If additional resources are needed to help individual students, those resources are allocated in that meeting. This might include restructuring small groups, providing instructional resources, finding time in a paraprofessionals schedule to meet with more students or free up a teacher to work with more deeply struggling students. We also plan to have students that are not reading at home to come down to the office and read with an adult there. There are no excuses made for student achievement, no matter whether the child is deeply struggling, high achieving, or working at grade level. All students can make at least one year of growth during a school year.
Our teachers truly own the work they do. We trust them. We support them. We know they have the capacity to reach the broad range of learners in their classrooms. This belief allows our teachers to build their own capacity to become better educators and allows administration to create an opportunity for a professional productive struggle as we work together to do what is right and what is best for all students.
Achievement Data Files
Additional Achievement Data
Our kindergarten through third grades consistently score above the district average on ACADIENCE (formerly known as DIBELS). In 2019, our kindergarten ended the year at 92% proficiency. This is the third year in a row we have ended the year first in proficiency in our district. We were second in proficiency for the district in second grade. They scored exceptionally well, and improved their proficiency from 77% in 2018 to 84% in 2019, surpassing even nation-wide average proficiency. Each grade is consistently scoring in the top eight or higher for proficiency in our district.
Our median growth percentile (MGP) data from 4th to 5th grade continues to remain strong. Year to year, our make significant growth between each grade, making up to a 53 point gain year to year.
Our special education students also have strong growth scores. In 2018, our MGP for language arts was 56, math was 66.5, and science was 53. This consitutes a year or more of growth for one of our more fragile populations. 2019 scores are pending.
Despite our transient population, we continue to outperform our distirct average and have some of the highest student growth percentiles in our district. Only 35% of our students in 5th grade started with our school in kindergarten. Even though we get many new students every year, our school makes a year or more of growth on average. We believe that this is due to our high expectations for all students, and our collaborative teams' committment to doing what is best for students. We work smarter not harder, and the PLC process gives our collaborative teams the framework to affect student learning in a positive way.
In 2018, our school was recognized for the highest proficiency scores in kindergarten DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Literacy Skills) scores. Ninety-four percent of students ended the year at or above expected proficiency in . In 2019, our kindergarten had the highest proficiency again at 92%. We were also recognized as one of three schools in our district with the highest student growth scores on SAGE in 2018.
This is a high honor, and specifically a product of our work in PLCs and our high expectations for all students.