Hickman High School
- Number of Students: 1,687
- Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: 32.2%
- Percent of Limited English Proficient: 3.2%
- Percent of Special Education: 8.3%
- White: 66.3%
- Black: 16.5%
- Hispanic: 5.5%
- Asian: 5.7%
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 0.4%
- American Indian or Alaska Native: 0.4%
- Multiracial: 5.2%
- Other: 0%
To know Hickman is to know the poem by former principal Eric Johnson titled “We Are Hickman” (A video performance of his poem can be found here). In his poem, Dr. Johnson states, “We are imperfect and recognize that every day is a day to grow. We bring our shortcomings to the light and work hard to improve because that’s what separates the great schools from the good schools”. This is the culture of Hickman High School. Hickman has journeyed from a building that struggled with the idea of a collaborative team to a school that embraces collaboration, utilizes data-based decision making, and empowers students to be stewards of their learning. We have accomplished this through our commitment to shared leadership. Shared leadership has empowered teachers to lead the way in changing Hickman's structures and school culture.
Hickman has gone through a process of putting practices into place to ensure the realization of our vision of functioning as an effective professional learning community (PLC). We feel the following practices have contributed to our progress.
· Develop and maintain a Leadership Council (LC), a teacher leadership team that helps make school wide decisions to promote a distributed and shared leadership approach. Such shared leadership has resulted in more authentic participation in school change
· Revisit our mission, vision and collective commitments each year as an entire faculty to ensure our policies, practices, and actions align with our ideals and to make sure they mirror best practice about be a highly effective PLC. Mission, Vision, Collective Commitments
· Establish an annual focus that guides our work each year in progressing as a PLC.
· Create Hickman’s School Improvement Plan (SIP), which includes a collaboratively defined school wide SMART goal that focuses on student learning and uses data to determine how we intervene with students for remediation and enrichment. School Improvement Plan
· Restructure our bell schedule and reallocate FTE to develop an RtI model that supports student learning and a culture of collective ownership and responsibility predicated on the shared belief that all students can learn. All members of the Hickman community are responsible for student learning and the resultant successes and failures are shared by everyone.
Hickman's focus on shared leadership is realized through an effective leadership team model centered around Leadership Council. Our PLC team model has played a tremendous role in our progress towards becoming a highly effective PLC. Leadership Council meets on a biweekly basis and adheres to the same culture of effective collaboration that are shared with our Professional Leadership Teams (PLTs). This common team culture includes, but is not limited to, following established norms, record keeping via Google Docs, and using the processes of dialogue and discussion in our decision making. Shared leadership teams visual
Two members from each leadership team are elected by that team to represent the team on Leadership Council. Additionally, LC includes two administrators, two department chairs, Director of Counseling, and two at-large members elected by the faculty. LC and the other leadership teams have led the charge in provide targeted professional development (PD) for our teachers that supports student learning as the focus in the classroom. Team visual with goals
Ongoing training for teacher leaders and administrators through the state of Missouri Regional Professional Development Center (RPDC) introduced concepts and guided the professional learning at Hickman about such topics as assessment capable learners, Decision Making for Results (DMR), and grading practices. Hickman teachers collaborate through monthly professional development sessions, called Faculty Dialogues, during their shared planning periods. Faculty Dialogues are structured cross-disciplinary conversations which have recently focused on topics such as instructional practices (AVID/WICOR), DMR, Response to Intervention (RtI) tier one intervention strategies, grading practices, and Culturally Responsive Teaching. Additionally, we monitor the impact of this collaborative process by gauging the level of implementation of the PD strategies in classes. The format we use is the PLT consultation process. We created a PLT rubric, adapted from Dufour's Seven Stages of Effective PLTs. The PLT rubric is used by a department chair and LC member who work together to meet with each PLT and discuss their level of implementation of PLC practices to gauge PD needs and provide needed support. DMR process, Dufour’s Seven Stages, and consultation rubric.
We have used the PLC process to develop a building-wide RtI system that is responsible for greatly reducing the number of students failing courses in core disciplines. In addition, the PLC process has helped us adopt universal grading practices and prepare for our transition to standards referenced grading. We will continue to rely on the PLC process to help us on our journey to becoming a more equitable school for all our students. Finally, the Hickman community understands that the PLC journey is never complete. We are committed to a process of reflection, refinement, and continuous education relative to professional practices. We are Hickman.
1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.
2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.
At Hickman, we believe that every student can be successful in both high school and the post-secondary world, when they are provided with to access appropriate supports. Our philosophy is documented in our Guiding Principles which is based on Hickman teachers’ recognition that students learn differently and at different rates. As a result, we no longer “punish” students whose path to content mastery may take more time and require additional instructional support than other students. Instead, we reward students’ hard work, persistence, and product with multiple opportunities to demonstrate content mastery with RtI support. Hickman teachers also decided to separate behavior from academic grades. We know that behavior is a valuable part of the school experience but reporting behavior with academics can obscure what content/skills the students have mastered. Behavior is now reported separately on a Citizenship and Employability Rubric (C & E Rubric), so all stakeholders know that students’ academic grades are based solely on their knowledge of course content. Additionally, Hickman teachers have begun using report card data, that includes the effort and conduct marks based on the C & E Rubric, to inform a more holistic intervention approach to prescribe intervention for individual students. Guiding Principles and Citizenship and Employability Rubric.
Because student success is an integral part of the Hickman Culture, student participation in our Response to Intervention (RtI) process is required, not voluntary. Freshmen are introduced to this culture of success in their required Freshman Advisory classes. Freshman Advisory teachers deliver collaboratively created instruction predicated on the Hickman shared values of tradition, integrity, diversity, and academic excellence (TIDE). Advisory class is a shared Freshman experience where students develop habits for success, e.g., practicing executive functioning skills, regularly monitoring their grades with a support teacher, and recognizing their academic needs and self-advocating for support from classroom teachers. Content tutors are available to students during Freshman Advisory class when they identify a need for additional support in a subject. Teachers also identify students in need, based on their performance on formative assessments, and request they access tutoring for reteaching and enrichment.
3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.
Achievement Data Files
Additional Achievement Data
Reflecting on Hickman’s data there are reasons to celebrate success and address areas requiring further strategic intervention. Hickman students’ performance on the Missouri End of Course (EOC) exams for Biology, Government, and English exceed the state averages for those exams; whereas Hickman’s student scores for the End of Course (EOC) exams for Algebra 1 and 2 fell below the state averages for those exams. Rather than determine possible inferences about our EOC score fluctuations from one set of data, our process involves collaborative data analysis and conversations about how the Hickman community can collectively respond to student achievement challenges.
For the past decade, Hickman has strived to become a highly effective Professional Learning Community (PLC). Evidence that our school values collaboration is clear in that 88% of Hickman teachers responded, when surveyed, that they believe collaboration improves the educational opportunities and experiences both students and educators. We believe in collaboration, so we ensure that our collaboration is strategic, effective, and predicated on research and data analysis through our cross-disciplinary monthly Faculty Dialogues and Professional Learning Teams (PLTs). To improve this process, we have provided professional development for teachers on the importance and power of common instruction and assessments. We engaged in building wide training on the Decision Making for Results (DMR) process and then turned our attention to strategic data collection and analysis. The next step was to develop school-wide grading practices that focused on student learning rather than student behavior. As a result, teachers reflected on their instructional strategies and assessment methodologies which prompted extensive conversations about determining our prioritized standards and what a grade means.
Hickman is now differentiating between an academic grade as based on curriculum standards and a non-academic grade that is based on behavior. Both grades are used to prescribe an appropriate Response to Intervention (RtI) strategy for individual students. This work has informed, and will continue to inform, Hickman’s evolution as a highly effective PLC, evident, in part, through our efforts to improve student achievement and high-level performance on state and national exams. An example of this process is reflected in our Algebra 1 EOC scores. Hickman’s Algebra 1 team is fully engaged in the principles of PLC, RtI, and DMR. In response to student data, the Algebra 1 PLT developed an RtI system that focuses on gaps in learning based on objectives. In addition, the PLT created a tier 3 intervention model to help students who exhibit severe gaps in learning and consistently uses data from common formative and summative assessments for instructional decision making. Such strategic PLT efforts have substantially contributed to a 14-point increase in Algebra 1 EOC exam scores.
As a PLC, the Hickman faculty is continuously refining an academic delivery model aimed at college and career readiness for all students. The collaborative work of the Hickman PLC is reflected in student achievement on nationally standardized ACT exam scores, decreased dropout rates and increased graduation rates over time. Hickman students’ ACT scores have historically been higher than both state and national average scores on that exam. Hickman students have responded to intentional changes in instruction, assessment, grading, and school culture through their willingness to remain in school and an increased persistence to graduation. ACT, dropout, and graduation data
While Hickman’s data show some sustained or improved performance over time. We recognize that student achievement can fluctuate, and best instructional/assessment practices require ongoing analysis and adjustment. The Hickman PLC story is therefore not one of sustained success in all areas; but, rather a school culture that embraces data, is aware of shortcomings, collaborates on a plan of action, and is willing to address every challenge to support student achievement and prepare students for the varied opportunities in the post-secondary world.
· 2016 Exemplary Professional Learning Communities School
· 2019 Sustaining Exemplary Professional Learning Communities School
Awarded to David H. Hickman High School by the State of Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
· 2019 Missouri Municipal League Innovation Award
Awarded to David H. Hickman High School for work partnering with the City of Columbia, Missouri on high school dropout prevention
· 1993 Missouri Gold Star School
David H. Hickman High School was recognized by DESE for performing at a high level academically
· 1995-96, 1984-85 National Blue Ribbon School
Awarded to David H. Hickman High School by the U.S. Department of Education for demonstrated academic excellence
· Other awards and recognitions are identified on the following sites:
Hickman High School website: https://www.cpsk12.org/hhs
Hickman High School Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_H._Hickman_High_School