Kiski Area South Primary
- Number of Students: 300
- Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: 42%
- Percent of Limited English Proficient: 1%
- Percent of Special Education: 16%
- White: 95%
- Black: 1.7%
- Hispanic: 3.3%
- Asian: 0%
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 0%
- American Indian or Alaska Native: 0%
- Multiracial: 0%
- Other: 0%
We began creating our building and grade level PLC three years ago. Each year we have had a different building cohort professionally trained by a Solution Tree representative. Staff has also had additional professional PLC dialogue and readings during our monthly faculty meetings. In the early stages of developing our PLC we created building and grade level norms as guiding principles while working collaboratively. We also created time in our schedule during the school day for teachers to be able to collaborate, share ideas, break down standards, analyze student work and data, and create common formative assessments. Twice a week teachers meet to collaborate during our curriculum and data meetings. Additionally, time is allotted each day for extension and intervention to meet the needs of our students during our E&I period.
We have also identified essential standards and prerequisite skills at every grade level. The standards have been broken down into learning targets, time stamped, paired with the matching common formative assessments and stored in PLC binders at each grade.
We have aligned our practices to the following district and school goals and values. Our purpose is to ensure that every child is learning at the highest levels he/she ever has. Our district goals are: 1. We will help all students successfully complete every course and every grade level and demonstrate proficiency on local, state, and national assessments. 2. We will eliminate the gaps in student achievement that are connected to race, socioeconomic status, and gender. 3. We will increase the number of students who have access to and succeed in the most rigorous curriculum we offer. Our school goals are as follows: 1. Create a system within the district that fully ensures consistent implementation of a standards aligned curriculum framework across all classrooms for all students. 2. Create a system within the district that fully ensures consistent implementation of effective instructional practices that meet the needs of all students across all classroms and aligns with the PA framework for teaching.
1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.
After each lesson/skill is taught, the grade level uses a common formative assessment to monitor student progress. The results of these assessments along with teacher recommendation based on classroom observation are used to place students into daily extension and intervention groups based on need. These groups are fluid and can change week to week or day to day depending on students’ progress. The students are evaluated constantly during extension and intervention time and the data is shared between team members. This consistent and timely monitoring of student learning ensures that all students are learning the same material and are being remediated or extended based on individual need.
2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.
We have a multi-tiered system of intervention that is available for students. Every student gets 40 minutes of intervention time per day. During our 40 minute extension and intervention period, students are remediated or extended on skills based on need. This intervention is offered to 100% of our students daily. During this period student are remediated or extended on previously taught skills according to need. They have specific strategies put in place for for groups of exceeding expectations, met expectations, approaching expectations, and below expectations. The teachers remediate previously learned skills and the students get the advantage of having skills retaught and explained by different educators at their grade level.
We also run a targeted remediation program with our building substitutes. We have a schedule that is set up for targeted students to receive small group remediation from our building substitute based on individual need. These students are hand selected by our teachers to receive 20 minute small group sessions on teacher recommended skills. This intervention is offered to approximately 20-30% of our students. These are the same students that usually take part in our peer or cross-age tutoring program that takes place during homeroom time and bus room time.
Finally, we have morning tutoring that takes place before school and is by invitation only. This is for students who have further needs than the daily remediation and targeted remediation. All of the students that receive the invitation tutoring have also received and are currently receiving the first two levels of intervention. The teachers conduct the tutoring and it is offered to those in most need. This intervention is offered to 5-10% of our students.
3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.
When building collaborative teams to focus efforts on improved student learning, there has to be guidelines. We created building and grade level norms as guiding principles. These norms are reviewed yearly.
Our collaborative teams are required to meet twice a week in our curriculum and data meetings. During our data meetings which are facilitated by the cohort leaders, the participants are required to:
1) Gather evidence of current levels of student learning. 2) Develop strategies and ideas to build on strengths and address weaknesses in their learning. 3) Implement those strategies and ideas. 4) Analyze the impact of the changes to discover what was effective and what was not effective. 5) Apply new knowledge in the next cycle of continuous improvement.
Our curriculum meetings are facilitated by our principal and the participants are required to:
1) Unpack standards and turn them into learning targets/outcomes. 2) Create common formative assessments. 3) Analyze assessment results to address weaknesses. 4) Assess and analyze the delivery of curriculum as it pertains to student learning.
Achievement Data Files
Additional Achievement Data
Our achievement strengths were our science scores that were consistently in the 90th percentile or better each year. We are also well above the state average in math, ELA, and science in 3rd and 4th grade over the past three years. From cohort to cohort we are making steady progress and have good PVAAS growth.
A concern is that our growth is inconsistent in ela and math achievement year to year. Although we are well above the state average, year to year our growth has peaks and valleys and is not steady.
Our plan to help ensure consistent growth in both subjects is to rotate our reading specialist and special education teacher between 3rd and 4th grades during our extension and intervention period so that the students have equal remediation in both subjects.
Due to our ability to consistently grow students according to our PVAAS data, this past school year and during our 2015-2016 school year we recieved a special designation as a Title 1 Distinguished School by the state of Pennsylvania. Our designation was Reward School: High Progress. It is a great honor to recieve this award two out of the past three years. We received this honor because we are in the top 5% of Title 1 schools in the state according to our growth. Each time we received this designation we were rewarded with a Keystone Award from the state of Pennsylvania. In total, we have earned 10 Keystone Awards from the state. This year we were asked to present at the Title 1 Improving Schools Conference in Pittsburgh. Our presentation was titled, "Building Capacity and Getting Results Using Professional Learning Communities." We interactively walked the audience through our journey as a successful PLC.
In addition to the Keystone Awards, our building received the highest School Performance Profile Score (SPP) in our school district since its inception. Our highest score was a 90.4 out of 100.