Creekview Elementary

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

Overcoming a mid-year administration change during the 2016-2017 school year, while grappling with the initial implementation of Professional Learning Communities we began our journey much like other schools on this path with great hope, a touch of skepticism and like many teachers, a love and dedication to our students and their futures.  With new leadership, we re-centered our school around the WHY of our work and the purpose for our organization's existence. Bi-weekly faculty shares and professional development days were utilized to build shared knowledge about professional learning communities coupled with the idea that instituting the PLC process is an ongoing journey toward ensuring student learning through the development of best teacher practice that is laser-focused on the three big ideas and the four guiding questions.  

We established a Guiding Coalition to serve as a touchstone in which the most influential teachers were vulnerable and brave enough to present themselves as “lead learners.”  Thus, the Guiding Coalition led in providing clarity while functioning as a professional learning community through inquiry conducting a book study of Learning by DoingAll Things PLC articles, and Global PD videos. 

We developed a common understanding of best practices in learning design and data analysis so that targeted essential objectives established our guaranteed and viable curriculum for every student.  An early focus was the implementation of common formative assessments to ensure that student learning data was comparable within grade levels and identified best practices that were shared with the team to impact all students.  The outcome was immediate in that our Tier 1 practices became more effective for a greater number of students which decreased the percentage of students needing interventions.  Our study created clarity around Tiers 2 and 3.  We prioritized and targeted essential standards and strengthened the existing RtI process. Our leadership gave teacher teams the freedom to select the most effective interventions determined by student by standard by skill.  Encouraging teachers to embrace a more fluid, responsive understanding of Tiers 2 and 3 produced rapid results because as students were assessed, teachers adjusted, in real time, as a team to target essential standards based upon learning needs. Teachers began to see leaps in student performance and they grew open to more in depth instructional coaching.  

With fast growth in enrollment, staff positions opened which afforded us the opportunity to refine our hiring process as we sought teachers who were committed to collaboration as an essential component of their professional success. Questions were posed during the team interview process to highlight a candidate’s understanding and practice of true collaboration for the purpose of their own professional learning.  

Summer finally arrived and we made the decision to send the administrators and Guiding Coalition to the PLC Institute, which was likely the most impactful event of this journey because the Guiding Coalition deepened their knowledge of the process and began to visualize a school where ALL meant ALL and educators would want to send their own children.  Once school started, a passion for collaboration was shared among the staff and our Guiding Coalition led our subject area content learning while our administrators supported the process.   Campus teams crafted grade-level goals addressing student performance and culture of collaboration that would guide us as we collaborated throughout the year.  Further, each team was provided a copy of the Professional Learning Communities at Work Continuum: Building a Collaborative Culture Through High-Performing Teams rubric as a reflection tool to evaluate the current level of proficiency at which their team was operating. The Guiding Coalition took on task of re-crafting mission and vision statements that culminated 10 months later with staff discussions and a consensus was reached to assume collective responsibility for our students: “all” means every single student, every single day.  The Instructional Leadership Team developed a data protocol so that each team’s data analysis would be narrowly focused, uniform and occur in a window of less than 48 hours following assessment. 

Throughout this multi-year journey, we have continued to financially prioritize so that additional staff can attend the PLC Institute each summer.  Teachers are now co-teaching, collaborating across grade levels to ensure alignment, and investing their time and resources so that other teachers’ skills are being developed along with their own.  Though the journey has been infinitely rewarding, it has been challenging at times. While there is much to celebrate, we know this is an ongoing process and we are committed to continuous improvement. A PLC is not something we do, but rather, a professional learning community is who we’ve become.

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Monitoring student learning became one of the focus action steps for teams across campus. The campus leadership team led the way as they engaged in professional development around lag and lead measures. The 4 Disciplines of Execution (McChesney, Covey & Huling, 2012) served as a resource for which the team focused the work around the identification of wildly important goals, utilization of lead measures, monitored progress towards goals, and the generation of systems for accountability. 

Lag measures were identified easily and the patterns uncovered after analyzing such data proved to be useful for pinpointing the wildly important campus goal. The determination of lead measures, however, proved to be more complex. Rather than simply working hard and hoping for the best, the leadership team challenged grade level teams to reach consensus on what measures would indicate benchmark progress toward goals and serve as a guide for decision-making around teacher actions, professional development, and instructional refinement.  Identification of lead measures such as tracking frequency of intervention, quantity of teacher instructional coaching sessions, and number of students utilizing curriculum access tools across grade level content allowed the teams to predict and influence student outcomes. 

Additionally, grade level teams committed to monitoring student learning through formal and informal systems. Formally, teams established two separate times within the daily master schedule to flexibly group students and provide Tier II and Tier III intervention. (See attached Skill-Based Proficiency Rubrics) Teams considered students who needed differentiation through remediation, acceleration, or depth and complexity.  While the campus was proud of the process that was developed for identification of needed targeted support, teams went a step further and created a routine for student reflection and goal-setting following summative assessments. The reflection process invited students to review and examine how they performed on questions and tasks that aligned with the essential standards teachers had targeted. Teachers led students through procedures that allowed them to analyze responses, set goals and monitor their individual progress toward goals as instruction and intervention progressed. (See Student Reflection Sheet 3rd Grade)

A school-wide data analysis protocol, allowing teacher teams and specialists to share information and ideas for designing learning, was implemented.  Using Common Formative Assessment: A Toolkit for Professional Learning Communities at Work (Bailey And Jakicic, 2012),  the instructional leadership team tailored the prescriptive protocol to meet campus needs. (See Data Reflection Response Sheet) During data meetings teachers identified trends, described which  instructional moves impacted higher or lower scores, and established action steps for how to address gaps in understanding and provide corrective instruction. Finally, the professional learning community identified high-leverage instructional practices that were most effective based on student performance data, and these practices were then implemented during the daily targeted intervention schedule.   Once students were receiving intervention, teams continued to use common formative assessments to monitor progress towards mastery of the targeted skills, and then utilized monitoring charts and rubrics to adjust groups based on the level of individual student success or challenge.

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

Stated in the Creekview mission is the promise of great learning for all. With the buy-in of the community of educators and a passion for the mission, a framework for supporting students was necessary to ensure great learning was occurring not for most or even the majority, but we had a collective commitment to all students. Structures were established to analyze student data systematically on a consistent basis with all staff members who serve students. (See Kid Talk Form)

Over time, grade level teams shifted from the mindset that the teacher-of-record was solely responsible for his or her individual roster of students to the mindset that there is a collective responsibility to serve, support, and nurture every student within the grade level. A result of that shift in mindset was the development of monthly “Kid Talk” meetings. During these meetings each grade level identified students who needed additional intervention and joined with instructional specialists to identify student goals for learning and strategies to ensure goals would be monitored and achieved. The desired outcomes were to analyze student performance data, pinpoint research-based strategies to support those students, and make recommendations for progress monitoring. The result of “Kid Talk” was an immediate response to student needs and accountability for adjusting instruction and intervention. Students were provided real-time support without barriers such as requiring completion of forms or meetings before students receive intervention or accommodations. (See Kid Talk Survey)

The instructional leadership team comprised of the administrators, specialists, special education teachers as well as the campus Diagnostician, Licensed Specialist in School Psychology, and Speech and Language Pathologist recognized a need to monitor students who were not responding to interventions.  In the week leading up to the support collaborative meeting, members of the team added names of students to discuss any existing barriers to learning whether academic or social. Then the team engaged in an abbreviated case study on each student listed through the sharing of facts, student history, relevant data, and the brainstorming of supportive or corrective action steps. This support collaborative served as a safety net for catching any student who was at-risk and further served as an accountability safeguard for monitoring growth and progress of some of Creekview’s most vulnerable learners. 

Finally, teachers wanted to broaden the scope of support to also include those high achieving students who needed to be challenged. Teams were determined to increase and influence growth for all students even those demonstrating mastery of grade level standards and answer that 4th essential question. The campus Gifted and Talented Specialist coaches individual teachers, attends grade level collaborative meetings and provides feedback on how to provide opportunities for extension through higher order questioning, project based learning, and cross-curricular connections.


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

Beginning with the end in mind, we examined, observed, and internalized procedures of schools who were further along in the PLC process, and we identified the non-negotiable components such as embedding protected time for team collaboration and intervention into the master schedule.  Perhaps even more challenging, our commitment to the idea of collective responsibility led to the development of a master schedule that allows time for our instructional specialists and special education teachers to collaborate with our teams daily to design learning for all.  The master schedule allows protected time for teachers to intervene daily with students to identify, monitor and reinforce specific goals related to the essential behavior learning targets aligned to campus and district expectations.This practice has resulted in better alignment in our plans to support individual learners which is reflective of grade level essential learning.  Common Formative Assessments were administered during each instructional unit to assess the effectiveness of teaching practices. Results were analyzed systematically using a protocol that included the following process completed by our teacher teams. 

1. Before the assessment, teachers reviewed the standards being assessed and identified which standard was being assessed by each questions. 

2. Immediately following the assessment teachers committed to entering data electronically within 48 hours of the assessment to score the work, specialists scheduled data reflection meetings with each team, and data reflection sheets were distributed to teachers. (See Data Analysis Protocol Template)

3. After data was scanned, teachers prepared for the data reflection meeting by completing the form prior to the meeting to limit any wasted time and gathered a copy of the assessment, district and school data results and individual results broken down by teacher, by student, and by standard.

4. During the data meeting, members of the team identified patterns that emerged from the data to identify celebrations or common misunderstandings. Teachers then discussed implications for adjusting instruction by answering questions such as "How aligned was our instruction to the assessment?", "Was there an instructional strategy that a teacher experienced success with that should be shared with the group?", and "What other resources do we need to support next steps for our students?"

5. Following the data analysis, teachers made decisions about short term interventions needed, opportunities for extension and deeper thinking, and what evidence would be gathered to monitor student growth. 

Furthermore, Specials teachers (Art, Music, PE) formed a collaborative team to align and support the work of their grade level colleagues by focusing on the social and emotional well-being of students K-5. In conjunction with grade level teachers, the team identified essential social emotional learning standards. With those standards in mind, the team identified levels of mastery and assessment and intervention opportunities for students through a check in/check out system. Using the check in/check out system, students at high-risk were paired with a staff mentor on campus that could assist them in goal setting each morning and monitor progress towards their goal and conduct direct teaching of desired behaviors each afternoon.  Effectiveness was evaluated by office discipline referrals, which decreased immediately using this proactive approach. (See Skills Based Proficiency Rubric- Specials Team) 

Shared instructional practices have led to precisely targeted interventions rather than disjointed learning for our students participating in special programs.  Learning how important our culture of collaboration was to our students’ success, it became the focus of our school improvement plan, campus professional development and Instructional Leadership Team development.  The Professional Learning Communities at Work Continuum addressing culture of collaboration became our guidepost and teams set goals using the continuum as their metric for progress.  Our Instructional Leadership Team focused professional learning around coaching and wholehearted leadership maturing skills to establish and deepen relationships, have difficult conversations and support colleagues in holding each other accountable for true collaboration and data driven decision making. Time for celebration was built into every agenda and our leaders took every opportunity to praise and highlight teams focused on the right work, no matter how small.  In addition to celebrating teams, student learning is equally celebrated among the staff.  Celebrations continuously remind the team of our WHY and provide motivation to continue improving instructional practice through the PLC process as we are reminded that no matter the challenge, we are growing and so are our students.

A major take-away from the Solution Tree Professional Learning Communities at Work Institute is the idea that the collaborative process is just as much about growing and learning as professional educators as it was about student growth and learning. One of the greatest ways the Creekview community engaged in professional growth is to observe grade level teams engaging in the process of designing learning using a fishbowl protocol. The fishbowl protocol allowed one team to continue the work in which they were engaged while the remainder of the staff observed, paying close attention to how members followed norms, roles and responsibilities thereby improving collective efficacy. Additionally, the process included opportunities to provide feedback and ask clarifying questions. Following the activity, observing teams created action steps to improve processes and communication based on what they saw and areas they felt their team could commit to improve. (See Fishbowl)

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

Mia Hamm once stated, “It is more difficult to stay on top than to get there.” Since Creekview Elementary School opened, it has been a community of educators, students, families, and community members that have taken great pride in achieving high levels of growth and success. The school is lucky to have educators who model lifelong learning through the pursuit of excellence, growth through making mistakes and refinement of existing practices. It has never been enough to rest on our past accomplishments and has always been the intent of the Creekview collaborative teams to continue propelling forward. Thanks to the PLC process, the professional staff has developed into a community of analysts who strive to find ways to improve, shift and adapt based on student needs, use data to support decision making and determine how to maximize teacher capital. Our data has proven that since making the PLC process a habit, there is simply no other way to work that will allow us to continue to see such growth and success in staff and students.


Texas Education Agency Rating: Met Standard

Distinction:  Top 25 Percent-Closing Performance Gaps

National Great Expectations Model School

Honorable Mention and published artwork in the PBK Architects Calendar Contest

The Pearl Fincher Museum Art Contest representatives

Finalist-Tomball ISD District Rodeo Art Show



Texas Education Agency Rating: Met Standard


Academic Achievement in ELA/Reading 

Academic Achievement in Science

Postsecondary Readiness

National Great Expectations Model School

Choir Greater North Houston Music Festival- Superior Rating

Tomball Education Foundation Grant Recipients 

The Mental Health America of Greater Houston Art Showcase



Texas Education Agency Rating: A

Texas Education Agency Distinction:  Closing Performance Gaps

National Great Expectations Model School

Destination Imagination Regional 2nd and 3rd Place Team Challenge

Choir Greater North Houston Music Festival- Superior Rating

Tomball Independent School District, Battle of the Books, 3rd Place

Tomball Education Foundation Grant Recipients 

Stephanie Scott, Tomball Independent School District, Elementary Teacher of the Year

District Math Growth Awards - Grade 3 STAAR award-Meredith Holmes for 2nd highest approaching grade level in the district, Grade 5 STAAR award- Kelli Abueita for 1st place approaches grade level, 2nd place meets grade level, and 1st place for lowest limited growth on STAAR.

The Mental Health America of Greater Houston Art Showcase



Niesa Glenewinkel, Tomball Independent School District, Principal of the Year

NICHE Accolades 2019 (A overall, A+ teachers, A- diversity )

Destination Imagination Regional 2 teams finished in 1st place and moved on to State 

Finalist-Tomball ISD District Rodeo Art Show

Tomball Independent School District, Battle of the Books, 2nd Place