Morton Grove School District #70 (2022)

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

Morton Grove School District #70 engaged in strategic planning during the 2016-2017 school year.  During this process the district brought together a group of stakeholders that included teachers, support staff, students, parents, administration, the local high school, the Mayor's office, the special education cooperative and local park district.  The district’s mission, vision, values and priorities were established as a result of this process.  Within the goals established was a specific focus of the district became adopting the Professional Learning Communities model to establish collaboration and a guaranteed and viable curriculum.  The majority of the strategic plan was completed in 2019 so the district has developed a Credo to guide and maintain this work.

Morton Grove School District #70 has had staff attend PLC at Work events, hosted a PLC at Work event and all staff have visited a model PLC school to further learn about PLC practices.  In year one the district began by having all instructional teams and departments establish their priority standards.  To achieve this goal the district followed the protocols outlined by Larry Ainsworth in his text Power Standards: Identifying the Standards that Matter the Most. Teams were then afforded the opportunity to have vertical articulation on their standards to ensure that no gaps, overlaps or omissions occurred.  Each year the district provides teacher teams with assessment outcomes that indicate which standards are assessed. From there, teams use that information to review their Promise Standards and make any needed adaptations. 

In year two instructional teams began focusing on the use of common formative and summative assessments. This process involved staff participating in an optional book club focused upon on the text Simplifying Common Assessments by Kim Bailey and Chris Jakicic.  Beyond this book study school and district administration attended weekly team meetings to help guide the process of developing common assessments while relying on the resources Collaborating for Success With the Common Core by Kim Bailey, Chris Jakicic and Jeanne Spiller and also Collaborative Common Assessments by Cassandra Erkens. 

During year three the district embraced the fifteen-day challenge and have used this framework to drive the planning and instructional process. This process from Maria Nielson was used across the elementary teams with a focus on both English Language Arts and Mathematics. The structure allowed our teams to better establish consistent use of both common formative and summative assessments.  The use of these assessments was paired in conjunction with the use of data walls to promote instructional conversations amongst instructors. The district relies on the formative and summative assessment data to promote a culture of continuous improvement for student success and the pedagogical development of teachers and teams.  

In preparation for year four all elementary teachers were provided with the portable professional development program focused on the RtI at Work model. All staff completed this training and provided evidence to the district administration. Teams incorporated the inverted pyramid into their work and will be preparing lesson plans that include prevention, intervention and remediation.  The district also partnered with two Solution Tree associates that provided ongoing professional development throughout the year to support the implementation of the framework into the district.

Entering year five instructional teams will continue to use the 15-day challenge model along with common formative and summative assessments and data walls. To further improve the practices of the instructional teams a common template has been developed that also promotes teams to begin using a common pre-assessment when appropriate. The use of this pre-assessment will occur in conjunction with a day for data analysis so teams are able to prepare instruction approaches prior to beginning the next unit. Additionally, teams are being asked to establish specific dates for reviewing data along with new corrective teaching days to rectify any learning struggles that students may have demonstrated on the common assessment.

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Our district has created promise standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics and has facilitated conversations to make sure for consistent and sequenced curricular framework. The district uses common formative and summative assessment data in conjunction with norm-referenced assessments to provide targeted intervention and enrichment for students. Instructional teams meet at least once each week to plan for our students and utilize data walls and a data analysis process to promote their instructional growth. For the development of assessments teams rely on question banks, create their own questions or may use questions from textbooks. Once teams have created the assessment they then take it as a team to make sure that they have common outcomes established when grading student work. Teams will also bring artifacts of student learning to team meetings to reflect on misconceptions and discuss how they instructed a particular concept.  Teams must provide at least one common formative and summative assessment for each unit that is instructed and then build in time for corrective teaching for students that have misconceptions.  Teams will then look at student outcomes and choose to regroup students amongst classrooms to best serve the needs of all students within the grade.  

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

A new master schedule was established that allowed for between 30 and 60 minutes of time to be used for delivering intervention and extension supports to students. The district has adopted the process of introducing prevention strategies, uses designated time for delivering intervention based on student shortcomings on common formative and summative assessments and has worked to create time for interventionists and special education staff to provide remediation. By adopting this approach, the district is able to make sure that a student needing Tier I, II and III support can receive it in a timely and directive manner.  The district has also partnered with Purdue University to implement the Total School Cluster Grouping model to make sure that more students are provided with enrichment supports. At the middle school level a new schedule was adopted during the 2021-2022 school year. This new schedule allowed for collaborative disciplinary teams to be developed. 

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

Instructional teams at the elementary level were formed into grade level teams focused on common outcomes. Special education and English Language instructors are members of these instructional teams. Additionally, the special education and English Language departments work collaboratively to address planning for how to close instructional gaps for their students when compared with non-identified grade level peers. The social-emotional team at Park View is comprised of two psychologists and two social workers and they work collaboratively to plan social-emotional curricular delivery and supports at the Tier I level.  This group also comes together weekly to address the larger needs of students identified as Tier II and Tier III.  

Singletons within the district work collaboratively with grade levels to create projects aligned to their content areas while being incorporated into the core instruction occurring at a specific grade level. Additionally, a township directory of other singleton staff has been created and staff are encouraged to regularly talk to and observe other colleagues. The district also has teams’ complete multiple reflective checkpoints throughout the year to further promote a system of continuous improvement. The district is also working with a model PLC school district in the area to arrange for ongoing professional collaborative learning opportunities for singleton staff that will begin in the fall of 2022. 

Morton Grove School District #70 was highlighted by the Chicago Tribune as one of twenty school districts in the state to not sustain learning loss due to the pandemic. 

The Park View PE team recently was awarded the National Blue Ribbon award for the sixth consecutive time. 

Those Who Excel award winners from the state of Illinois 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022.

Voted the 125th best school in the state of Illinois by with an A rating.   

The District newsletter has received Awards of Excelence from INSPIRA for the last three years.