Pacetti Bay Middle School

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

 Over the four years that Pacetti Bay Middle School has been fully committed to being a Professional Learning Community (PLC), we have seen a total transformation of school culture, from the ground up. Although our school has always been ranked as academically high-performing in one of the best-rated districts in the state of Florida, it was not until we started adhering to the PLC process with true fidelity that we saw our teachers and students reaching their full potential and truly living our school motto of “All Means All”.

 

Although previous to the 2015-2016 school year grade level departments worked together to establish rough guidelines for adhering to district pacing and test preparation, 2015 was the first year that we started a school-wide focus on truly working together as collaborative teams. To that end, several culture-changing protocols were put into place that year. Common planning periods were provided among core subjects in order to facilitate more cooperation. In addition, the leadership team made the decision to implement the expectation of three common summative assessments per quarter, with the goal of fostering communication among our Collaborative Learning Teams (CLT's).

 

During the next school year, after attending the summer SolutionTree PLC conference, the leadership team purposed to deliberately incorporate a more cohesive, true PLC structure into the school environment. To this end, all teachers, not just core subject teachers, were given common planning. In addition, the 2016-2017 year saw an increase in the expectations for teachers to provide both common formative and summative assessments during the course of the quarter. Pacetti Bay also focused on the creation of interdisciplinary teams, where students were scheduled in cohorts so that they had consistent core teachers. With almost 500 students per grade level,this allowed us to create the feeling of a much smaller community. It allowed core subject teachers to be able to easily and consistently communicate with each other regarding student progress, and track and address issues as needed.

 

Another major evolution during the course of the 2016-2017 was the implementation of our weekly PAWS (Positive Activities With Students) period. This is a period of time in which students can participate in academic enrichment activities or receive extra academic support and remediation in areas in which they are struggling. This involved a huge amount of work on the part of everyone from our tireless master scheduler to classroom teachers being asked to revamp their daily flow.  Although all of these new initiatives provided something of a culture shock, by the end of the school year we witnessed both academic and social benefits. Pacetti saw improving grades, test scores, and students reporting feeling more “dialed in” and having a place to express their interests or receive the extra help they might not be able to get otherwise.

 

Our third year of implementing the PLC process was one of refining and modifying systems to make sure they met the needs of all of our students. During this year, we saw our PAWs sessions become hotbeds of innovation that allowed students to dig deeper into their learning at a more personalized level. The leadership team brought the focus of shared remediation to our CLT groups. Within these groups, this was the year that the “All Means All” culture shift truly started to take place. Teachers started to share students among their grade level collaborative learning teams, implementing co-teaching and “student swap” days in which students might switch classroom teachers for a day in order to get remediation from the team member whose data supported the best instructional practices for that standard. This teacher-led instructional decision, first implemented by the sixth grade world history team, provided students with an opportunity not only for academic growth, but for finding connections with an adult they might not otherwise know. Our interdisciplinary teams started to implement common language and strategies amongst groups, and content area groups met several times throughout the course of the year to implement vertical alignment protocols.

 

In our fourth year of diving into the PLC process, Pacetti Bay continued to strive for improvement and leadership in every possible area. Some of our collaborative teams were recognized as district leaders in the PLC process, even facilitating district trainings for teachers, Instructional Leadership Coordinators, and principals. Additionally, several CLTs have takenthe initiative to reach out to other schools in the district to provide support and assistance in a “Virtual PLC” model. We continue to use our PAWs sessions as a dedicated period of time for enrichment and remediation, and our school wide commitment to common formatives and summatives per subject area allows us to provide each student with  a guaranteed and viable curriculum. The practice of sharing students among collaborative teams in order to provide them with additional support has become widespread across subject areas and grade levels. Students now know and expect school wide standards of academic and behavioral excellence because of this system.

 

Our summer leadership retreat was very productive and will no doubt make even stronger strides in strengthening the collaborative process at The Bay. We are encouraged to find that our systems are refined to a point that we made simple color changes to our primary reporting format in One Note where we capture all of our collaborative process of the Four Questions with data review and reflection. We also strengthened our Leadership Team biweekly process where we have strong intentional data discussions in our highest areas of overall need in the school: attendance, lower quartile, and ESE achievement gap. Our teams are encouraged with the progress we continue to see.

 

Our 2019-2020 School year has started off in a very solid state. Our school grade releases indicated our highest score ever. We opened our year with just a few new staff that were quickly onboard by the ones familar to the professional learning community that exists at The Bay. Collaborative teams went to work quickly reviewing previous year data for their incoming students to get a baseline on where to start with instruction. One Note collaboration was quick to reveal solid lesson planning with common formatives and summatives. iTeams have been established and are already identifying students who may have higher needs across multiple disciplines. The greatest thing about this is that the gears that keep these wheels turning so smoothly are the teachers themselves who have come to realize that collaboration is the key to building a successful professional learning community.

 

As we look forward to the coming years, Pacetti Bay is dedicated to deepening our commitment to the PLC process and all of its component parts. By both continuing to build on systems we have already created and being open to new ideas presented  by both administration and teachers, we are confident that we are moving in the best direction possible to truly be a school where “All Means All”.

 

Our 2019-2020 School year has started off in a very solid state. Our school grade releases indicated our highest score ever. We opened our year with just a few new staff that were quickly onboard by the ones familar to the professional learning community that exists at The Bay. Collaborative teams went to work quickly reviewing previous year data for their incoming students to get a baseline on where to start with instruction. One Note collaboration was quick to reveal solid lesson planning with common formatives and summatives. iTeams have been established and are already identifying students who may have higher needs across multiple disciplines. The greatest thing about this is that the gears that keep these wheels turning so smoothly are the teachers themselves who have come to realize that collaboration is the key to building a successful professional learning community.

 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Over the last few years, we have worked tirelessly to perfect our system of monitoring student learning on a timely basis in order to provide students with appropriate and useful feedback. This effort includes a combined effort from both  district and school personnel and involves all members of the school community, from administrators to students and parents. In all things, we keep the four Big PLC questions in the forefront of our minds: what do we want our students to know, how will we know that they’ve learned it, how will we respond if they have not learned it yet, and how will can we extend and enrich the knowledge of students already at proficiency?

 

In order to answer the first of the four questions, Pacetti Bay starts by working closely with the district pacing guide. This document, based on state standards for each content area,  is created by our district specialists in conjunction with content area teachers in order to provide an outline for a guaranteed and viable curriculum for all students. At Pacetti, our collaborative learning teams meet at the beginning of each school year during the week of preplanning to  align the pacing guide with the year’s schedule and build common formative and summative assessments. Although each teacher has the freedom to teach their content area in their own style, our teachers share instructional ideas and resources so that each team member has access to the tools they need to be successful and to ensure that each student’s learning is measured in a fair and equitable way.

 

During the course of an instructional unit, teachers take advantage of our data disaggregation program, Mastery Connect, to gain a deep understanding of the information that our common formatives and summatives provide. This program allows collaborative teams to assess trends in their data broken down in standards, and compare data from classroom to  classroom as well. As a result, teachers can make instructional decisions about what strategies are the most successful and what areas students might be struggling in. By these means, many major problems are fixed in the formative phase and less remediation is required after the summative assessment. Because Mastery Connect is user friendly and immediately disaggregates data with little work from teachers, it’s proven and effective and useful tool for us to cut down the time between assessment and intervention, and provide the help that students really need.

 

Once we have figured out what students will need to learn and how we will assess it, we are able to move on to the remediation and enrichment portion of monitoring. We provide weekly opportunities for students to receive remediation in our PAWs sessions, as well as twice weekly lunch and learn opportunities. Our PAWs sessions also provide us opportunities to reach those students who have achieved mastery and are looking to enrich their knowledge.

 

In addition to monitoring student learning through assessments created by our collaborative learning team, Pacetti Bay also takes advantage of several other monitoring systems such as IXL for mathematics and IReady for language arts. These allow teachers to track students’ progress in real time and provide material of appropriate rigor to each student at the right time. The use of programs such as Making Meaning in our intensive reading classes has also provided a second tier of intervention, allowing teachers to have a fuller view of their students’ needs and respond appropriately.

 

No matter what the monitoring system,  Pacetti Bay teachers complete the crucial final step by discussing data with both their collaborative learning teams (same grade level and subject) and interdisciplinary teams (same grade level but different subjects). Each student is placed in in interdisciplinary team, so with very few exceptions, students belong to a cadre in which every child has the same core subject teachers. Due to this protocol, interdisciplinary teachers are able to meet once a week to identify trends, strengths, and weaknesses and provide meaningful and targeted intervention for students. When all of these puzzle pieces come together, Pacetti’s system of monitoring and intervention provides a robust support structure for ensuring the needs of all students.


 

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

  Pacetti Bay Middle School has struggled for years at meeting the needs of our lowest quartile students, especially in the area of language arts.  In an effort to provide more intensive opportunities for students and teachers to work together on greatest areas of need, we decided to utilize an extension/remediation period on a weekly basis.  We came together as a leadership team and developed a plan for success and created our system of implementation. Our PAWS (Positive Activities With Students) grew from this leadership discussion. This system of extended learning is implemented on Wednesday mornings as the entire student population is reorganized into an adjusted learning environment.  Students who are in need of specific remediation are “PAWED” with a stamp in their planner into Closed learning sessions with a same grade level instructor who shows teaching expertise in an area based on team data review. These students are able to work in a small group delivery model many times with a different instructor using alternate strategies to enhance understanding.  Using this process with the formative process along the way has made a great improvement in initial summative exam scores.

Once PAWED students are released, other students are able to choose various extension and remediation activities based on individual choice and need.  The organization of opportunities is communicated to students and teachers through the use of a Googledoc spreadsheet that is filled out by teacher teams based on student needs.  Students simply write their top three choices into their planners and reorganize themselves in conference setting style sessions. If they reach a top choice that is already full, they simply move on to the next.  It has been a wonderful opportunity for students to approach the self-selected learning opportunities in a mature way that breeds individual responsibility.

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

In order to empower teachers to work as members of high-performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students, Pacetti Bay has deliberately implemented a two-tiered approach. The first tier emphasizes individual teacher development; the second tier emphasizes developing the strengths of our collaborative and interdisciplinary teams.

On an individual level, every teacher that is new to Pacetti Bay is assigned a mentor to provide him or her the support they need to become acclimated. Through this relationship, new teachers have an automatic checkpoint for questions of school policy, procedures, and culture. Through targeted discussions and checkpoints throughout the year, areas of strength and weakness can be identified and developed. In addition, a concerted effort is made to match mentor and new teachers in the same subject and grade level so that these new teachers can get immediate curriculum and student support.  

For more established teachers, in the past year Pacetti has implemented a professional development protocol that allows teachers to choose from several individual paths to further their own learning as needed and attend small group meetings about their chosen topic once a month. This has allowed us to build up experts on campus in a variety of different areas, such as ESOL, giftedness, reading strategies, and classroom management. These experts then bring their knowledge back to their collaborative teams and share it, to the benefit of all students.

On  a collaborative level, we have been very deliberate about creating systems that protect the abilities of collaborative teams to plan and implement effective strategies. For example, almost all teams have scheduled, protected common planning during the school day. This dedicated time allows teams to work closely together to analyze data, plan lessons and assessments, and design remediation and enrichment opportunities. Many of our teams have taken the initiative to extend this common time into their classroom experience by designing “swip-swap” enrichment and remediation days. After comparing standards-based data for an assessment, teachers plan a day in which they group students by need and each teacher works with a group of kids pulled from all teachers to provide the support they need the most. In this way, a student gets to experience a variety of teaching styles and have lessons specifically tailored for their individual needs. Our district has implemented the use of OneNote, and at Pacetti this is a highly valuable tool for collaborative and interdisciplinary teams to work together, have a common place for notes and resources, and be able to share easily with administration. Many of our collaborative learning teams also use schoology as a streamlined method to store and share resources and map out schedules.

The focus on building teacher capacity is continuous and ever-evolving at Pacetti  Bay. In addition to the school based protocols, we are also recognized leaders in the district for working to build up teachers and teams. We host summer leadership cadres, planning and setting the direction for the next school year. In addition, we have attended the SolutionTree PLCs at Work conference for the last four years, and last year we served as host district for the conference.  In all things, we are constantly focused on developing our teachers and collaborative learning teams for the good of our students.

 

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

Top Notable Data Trends--Increases over a 3 year period          
1)  Total Points--          1) Pacetti- 44 pts        2) District-15 pts            3) State-3 pts    
2)  Acceleration--           1) Pacetti-17 pts         2) District-4 pts               3) State-5 pts    
3)  LQ Math Gains        1) Pacetti- 10 pts        2) District-5 pts             3) State-  (-6) pts  
                                                                                                                                                                                 Pacetti Bay has earned a grade rating of an "A" since it's first year in 2007.  The grade has teetered around the A/B cusp many years but ultimately ended up on the postive A side.  With the investment into the collaborative process and the movement into a Professional Learning Community, Pacetti has continued to grow making a positive change of 44 full points over the last three years.  Although our data continues to show areas of need, we are slowly working on overall improvement or maintenance in all areas as we work on those areas of concern.  This is the highest rating PBMS has ever attained and we attribute this progress to the new school culture that centers around funtioning as a Professional Learning Community. Along with an icreased Total Points, Pacetti also had its best ever School VAM of 3.91 increasing from a 3.54 in 2016.  

Latest Accomplishments:

Top 50 Florida Public Schools With The Best Teachers For 2020 http://a.msn.com/01/en-us/AAIOI3H?ocid=se

School Grade of A (11th year)  with 44 point gain over the last 3 years. 

At Pacetti Bay Middle School, we are so proud of the hard work and achievements of our students and staff! As the largest middle school in the district, we strive to ensure that every student and staff member is seen, valued, and recognized for their accomplishments. Some of the highlights include:

Students:

  • Battle of the Books district champions
  • Tropicana Speech Competition  winner 2019
  • 2018 2nd Place District History fair winners; state finalist
  • 1st and 2nd place in district science fair
  • Winner of Young Inventor Award at the District Science Fair this year as well as runner up for the engineering category
  • Technology certifications: more than 90% of students in our Computer Science Discoveries course receive certification in one or more of the following areas:

○     1.   Programming & Logic

○     2.   Gaming

○     3.   Web Design

○     4.   Communication

  • 8th grade students participate in many community service
  • Continued high academic performance:

○     90% Pass rate for civics state EOC

  • WEB program: a mentorship and leadership program where 8th grade students are nominated by their teachers as leaders and paired with 6th grade students to help them adjust to life in middle school.
  • Award-winning band, theatre, and athletic programs recognized on the district and state level

 

Staff

  • Music program volunteer named top Senior volunteer for the region
  • Our band teacher has conducted the the following all-county/ honor bands over the last three years:Collier, Flagler, Pinellas, Brevard, North Florida Honor Band, Nassau. He has also presented clinics at the Florida Music Education Association State Staff Development Conference in 2016 and 2019.
  • 2018-2019 Be the Change Grant from Character Counts
  • 2017 Teacher of the Year District Finalist
  • Collaborative learning teams presenting to other teachers, principals, and Instructional Learning Coordinators on district level about implementing the PLC mindset in their schools
  • Virtual PLCs with other schools in district via schoology
  • Science teacher awarded the INK (Investing In Kids) Grant for improving access to educational activities for engagement.

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