Hopkins Elementary School

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

Hopkins Elementary School strives to achieve the mission of, “A loving and supportive community where ALL students CAN and WILL achieve high academic and social emotional success.  Be Safe. Be Respectful. Be Responsible.” Hopkins has a student population of approximately 300 students kindergarten through fifth grade and is a suburban school located in Littleton, Colorado.  Several years ago, 24 licensed educators began leading the implementation of a school-wide reading intervention model in the Littleton Public School District. They quickly became a showcase for other schools as they developed a streamlined process for planning differentiated reading instruction, setting individualized reading goals for every student, utilizing progress-monitoring tools, and meeting monthly in collaborative teacher teams.  

 

The entire Littleton Public School District committed to the PLC at Work process three years ago, and Hopkins Elementary expanded this work beyond reading intervention. The four critical questions became the pulse of how Hopkins operates.  Collaborative teacher teams, which include specialists and interventionists, meet weekly on Wednesday mornings, and the four questions drive the work of the leadership team. The master daily schedule also includes time for building-wide math interventions, and students are shared vertically and horizontally by grade-level teachers.  For example, third, fourth and fifth grade teachers provide math instruction at the same time twice daily, which creates opportunities for all intermediate students to be shared for both intervention and enrichment purposes.

 

In order to build a successful professional learning community in a smaller school, Hopkins layered their approach to building a successful PLC.  Staff meetings shifted to a reoccuring focus on all four questions and professional development was provided on a monthly basis. Three of the monthly staff meetings are reserved for school-level and class-level data digs and a deep dive on question #2: How do we know if students are learning it?  They also meet after school collectively to examine discipline data (data includes office referrals and written post-behavior student reflections) by vertical teams including special education teachers, mental health providers, and specials teachers.  As a result of this approach, there has been a significant reduction in the number of students referred to the School Intervention Team (SIT).

 

In addition to the specials teachers (art, music, and PE) participating in building-wide work, they also meet weekly with other specials teachers across the district. This weekly collaborative time allows the opportunity to connect with other professionals that have specialized content, examine student learning, prioritize standards, and share instructional practices. 

Collaborative teacher teams at every grade level write year-long goals for student learning. In addition, utilizing the district guiding documents of “PLC Theory of Action Statements” and the “PLC Implementation Rubric,” teacher teams also reflect on their practice and set team development goals.  The Principal and Instructional Coaches deliver ongoing professional development during staff meetings that focus on best practices, which include the following topics: establishing norms, goal setting, unpacking standards, data digs, vertical rubrics, etc. These topics are outlined in a PD scope and sequence for the year (see attached artifact). 

Hopkins is not only committed to continuous improvement and achievement for ALL students, but it is also devoted to the professional growth and development of ALL educators.

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

The Hopkins Elementary School PLC has created a monitoring system in order to ensure that students are mastering the essential learnings.  From a big-picture level, the school leadership team monitors building-wide data and shares the data with the entire school staff three times a year (beginning, middle and end).  The staff reviews the data using protocols such as, “Here’s What, Now’s What, So What” and “20 Hunches.” Funneling down from the school-wide data analysis, the Principal and Instructional Coaches meet with grade-level teams throughout the year to review language arts data, mathematics data, and behavior data. This is an opportunity for reflective questioning, rethinking instructional practices, and determining differentiated support and/or professional learning opportunities for the team. Teams create their own tracking tools in order to support their analysis of the strengths and areas of improvement for each student.  Effective tracking systems allow the teams to spend the majority of their time discussing how to adapt instruction and planning for what’s next.  

On a weekly basis, collaborative teams analyze common formative assessments. The results from CFAs are not only about what students are learning but are also about the effectiveness of classroom instruction.  Fourth and fifth grade teachers noticed students lacking basic number sense. The team reflected on their delivery of instruction and realized that they had to deepen their own personal knowledge of basic number sense. The fourth and fifth grade teams responded to this need by meeting with the District Math Coordinator and primary grade teachers to increase their understanding. This experience allowed for a rich discussion on the instructional strategies that were needed for students to model their thinking with visual models to demonstrate number sense. It was the teacher discussion that leveraged the increase in instructional practices amongst the collaborative teacher teams. Following this collaborative process, grade-level teachers created a system to track the CFA data.

Another example of teams using CFAs to improve individual and collective teacher practice is Hopkins primary teachers analyzing phonemic awareness and phonics results. The teams realized that even with strong implementation of a new reading curriculum, the results indicated a need for additional phonemic awareness and phonics instruction to support early readers. The primary teams collaborated with the literacy coach to learn and implement new instructional strategies to support phonemic awareness development for students. One teacher from each grade level and our literacy coach are currently enrolled in a LETRS curriculum training to increase the instructional depth and knowledge in the area of phonemic awareness and phonics.   They collaboratively put students into flexible skill groups and delivered daily, intensive phonemic awareness and phonics instruction to all students. Our CFA data has shown an increase in the number of students on grade level in the area of phonemic awareness and phonics.

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

During our journey, we have prioritized creating and implementing systems of intervention and enrichment and created systems of support to ensure classroom teachers and specialists are collaboratively supporting student needs.  Time has been allotted in the master schedule and all specialists flood each grade at the intervention/enrichment block to provide intervention along with the classroom teacher during targeted instruction in their classrooms. Other essential elements include:

  • All teachers are responsible for delivering intervention and extension instruction within the classroom along with specialists who flood each grade level during intervention time. 

  • The Student Intervention Team reviews case studies, meets with parents, and plans intervention and extension learning opportunities for students with significant learning needs at both ends of the learning spectrum.

  • The Gifted and Talented Facilitator provides flexible extension opportunities based on student needs.  Students will be flexed in and out of groups as needed.

  • The Special Education Teachers, Speech Language Teacher, Reading Interventionist, and Gifted and Talented Teacher meets monthly with each grade level team in order to analyze evidence of student learning and regroups students based upon their needs.  The groups are fluid and change, based upon this collaborative conversation where the team determines the support needed and the instructional delivery model.

  • All specialists and classroom teachers plan targeted instructional groups on a joint document looking at priority standards, skills to promote this standard, targeted goals, and the CFAs. They plan “I Can” statements and learning targets to ensure there is absolute alignment between the classroom teacher and specialist.  

  • All students have access to tier one instruction and support is pushed into the classroom when needed.  Student are not pulled out of tier one instruction. 

  • Vertical grade-level teams, along with the School Counselor and School Psychologist, meet monthly to have collaborative conversations to look at behaviors, review discipline data, and determine interventions that can take place in the classroom and any other social/emotional support the student may need. 

At Hopkins Elementary School, all teachers are responsible for delivering intervention and extension instruction. This collective responsibility and approach ensures that all students receive the instruction that they need, when they need it.

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

100% of Hopkins licensed staff members have participated in district staff development with an external consultant. Hopkins teachers have worked through the three-day training with Tom Many focused on the three big ideas that drive the work of a PLC: a focus on learning, a collaborative culture, and a results orientation. In addition, Hopkins embeds training during staff meetings, leadership meetings, and coaching cycles with grade level teams.

Hopkins has implemented a coaching model that focuses on partnering with collaborative teams around improving their practices and around improving student learning.  Classroom teachers, the Instructional Coach, and the Literacy Coach engage in 2 coaching cycles per year based on Diane Sweeny’s “Student Centered Coaching.” They look at evidence of student learning in every conversation. 

In addition to grade-level coaching cycles, teachers participate in individual coaching cycles based on need.  Teachers choose goals based on the PLC Implementation Rubric and co-create a coaching plan. Teachers also participate in book studies throughout the year to help support instruction in the classroom. 

 

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

Student Referred to Student Intervention Team (SIT)

 

2015-2016

2016-2017

2017-2018

2018-2019

Behavior Referrals

8

7

5

4

Academic Referrals

11

9

9

7

 

2016-2017 Math i-Ready Diagnostic Assessment Results 

 

i-Ready On-Level Beginning of Year (Standard View)

i-Ready On-Level 

End of Year 

(Standard View)

Tier 1 

(On or Above Level)

40%

75%

Tier 2 

(1 Level Below)

46%

22%

Tier 3 

(2 or more Levels Below)

14%

3%

Positive Trend Evidence

Percent of students at Tier 1 increased while the percent of students at Tier 2 and Tier 3 decreased from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.


 

2017-2018 Math i-Ready Diagnostic Assessment Results 

 

i-Ready On-Level Beginning of Year (Standard View)

i-Ready On-Level 

End of Year 

(Standard View)

Tier 1 

(On or Above Level)

36%

76%

Tier 2 

(1 Level Below)

54%

20%

Tier 3 

(2 or more Levels Below)

10%

4%

Positive Trend Evidence

Percent of students at Tier 1 increased while the percent of students at Tier 2 and Tier 3 decreased from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.


 

2018-2019 Math i-Ready Diagnostic Assessment Results 

 

i-Ready On-Level Beginning of Year (Standard View)

i-Ready On-Level 

End of Year 

(Standard View)

Tier 1 

(On or Above Level)

38%

78%

Tier 2 

(1 Level Below)

52%

18%

Tier 3 

(2 or more Levels Below)

10%

4%

Positive Trend Evidence

Percent of students at Tier 1 increased while the percent of students at Tier 2 and Tier 3 decreased from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.




 

2016-2017 Reading i-Ready Diagnostic Assessment Results 

 

i-Ready On-Level Beginning of Year (Standard View)

i-Ready On-Level 

End of Year 

(Standard View)

Tier 1 

(On or Above Level)

46%

75%

Tier 2 

(1 Level Below)

44%

18%

Tier 3 

(2 or more Levels Below)

10%

7%

Positive Trend Evidence

Percent of students at Tier 1 increased while the percent of students at Tier 2 and Tier 3 decreased from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.


 

2017-2018 Reading i-Ready Diagnostic Assessment Results 

 

i-Ready On-Level Beginning of Year (Standard View)

i-Ready On-Level 

End of Year 

(Standard View)

Tier 1 

(On or Above Level)

42%

80%

Tier 2 

(1 Level Below)

44%

13%

Tier 3 

(2 or more Levels Below)

14%

7%

Positive Trend Evidence

Percent of students at Tier 1 increased while the percent of students at Tier 2 and Tier 3 decreased from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.


 

2018-2019 Reading i-Ready Diagnostic Assessment Results 

 

i-Ready On-Level Beginning of Year (Standard View)

i-Ready On-Level 

End of Year 

(Standard View)

Tier 1 

(On or Above Level)

40%

77%

Tier 2 

(1 Level Below)

48%

19%

Tier 3 

(2 or more Levels Below)

12%

4%

Positive Trend Evidence

Percent of students at Tier 1 increased while the percent of students at Tier 2 and Tier 3 decreased from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.


Hopkins Elementary students have demonstrated high levels of growth and achievement over the last four years as a result of our school-wide focus on learning and results.  Our academic achievement percentiles on the School Performance Framework exceeded the state expectation for the past three school years and met or exceeded the state expectations for growth.  In 2017, the Colorado Department of Education recognized Hopkins Elementary as a John Irwin Award winner. This award is given to schools that receive an “Exceeds Expectations” rating on the Academic Achievement indicator of the School Performance Frameworks in Math, English Language Arts, and Science.  This recognition is a culminating award of the commitment over the past four years.

 The percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency on the CMAS/PARCC assessments has shown a positive growth trend over the past four years.  Hopkins has also continually performed above the state average in the percentage of students meeting/exceeding benchmark expectations in ELA, Math, and Science. (see data chart).  

As a school, we continue to analyze and monitor our student achievement, growth, and common formative assessment data.  Hopkins believes in looking at data holistically and individually so that we can meet the needs of each student and determine the skills necessary to ensure all students make high levels of growth.

All K-5 students participate in the i-Ready benchmark assessment at the beginning of the year, mid-year, and in the spring.  This adaptive assessment allows tracking of student performance and growth throughout the year. In the 2018-19 school year, the percentage of students on-level has increased, while the percentage of students one or more levels below has decreased in both Reading and Math.  Teachers are using this data in whole-school data digs and then in grade level PLCs to help inform instruction.

All students are given Common Formative Assessments on a 2-6 week rotation based on individual targeted goals. The formative assessments are discussed at weekly meetings to adjust goals and instruction.  Overall, our formative data is showing that students are responding to instruction (see progress monitoring chart). Our students who are not showing adequate growth are taken to a Student Intervention Team (SIT) meeting.  These meetings are a collaborative effort between classroom teacher, parents, and learning specialists to analyze data and determine root cause as well as next steps for students not making the expected growth. The number of SIT referrals has drastically decreased from the 2016-2017 school year to the 2018-2019 school year.  This is a direct result of the collaborative work happening during weekly meetings. In addition to students being referred for academic support, our teachers are looking at behaviors that have been impacting the students access to instruction. Due to the interventions that have been implemented around behavior, the number of students referred for behavior SIT meetings has decreased by 42%.

  • 2015 -2016 Colorado Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award

  • 2016- 2017 Colorado Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award

  • 2016 -2017 Colorado John Irwin Schools of Excellence Award

The Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Awards are given to schools that demonstrate exceptional student growth. On the school performance framework that is used by the state to evaluate schools, these schools "exceed" expectations on the indicator related to longitudinal academic growth and "meet or exceed" expectations on the indicator related to academic growth gaps.

The John Irwin awards are given by the Colorado Department of Education to schools that demonstrate exceptional academic achievement over time. These schools received an Exceeds Expectations rating on the Academic Achievement indicator of the School Performance Frameworks reflecting exceptional performance in Math, English Language Arts, and Science.

  • 2018 Littleton Public Schools was Awarded with Accredited with Distinction Rating

The Accredited with Distinction rating was awarded to Littleton Public Schools for eight consecutive years.  This rating is awarded by the Colorado Department of Education, as a result of the District earning 80% or more of possible points on the District Performance Frameworks.  It is also based on achievement on state literacy, math and science tests, on annual academic growth and on postsecondary readiness as measured by graduation rates, dropout rates, scores on college entrance exams and enrollment in college.

  • 2017-2018 Curo Award (Whole special education team)

  • 2018-2019 Curo Award (Kindergarten Teacher)

Littleton Public Schools recognizes the amazing contributions to the lives of students with disabilities through the Curo Award.

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