Krimmel Intermediate

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

When Krimmel Intermediate School opened in the 2007-2008 school year, our first building principal, Mr. W. Scott Crowe, instilled in the staff the importance of community and collaboration. Having attended several training sessions on the Professional Learning Community concept, he helped design a school building that would facilitate grade-level teams. Krimmel Intermediate opened with a diverse student population and was the first intermediate school in our district to be a 1:1 school. Knowing we had some challenges to face, Mr. Crowe realized the need for highly communicative teams that were willing to work and learn together. During our first year, students were scheduled into grade-level, interdisciplinary teams, and each team met weekly to discuss student achievement and progress. The teachers on each team worked closely together to monitor academic progress and provide interventions promptly to keep students from falling behind.   

After our first year in grade-level, interdisciplinary teams, our teachers felt that planning time with their grade-level, content-area colleagues with a focus on effective teaching strategies, consistency across the curriculum through horizontal and vertical planning, common assessments, data disaggregation, responding to struggling learners and providing enrichment to accelerated learners would help to ensure student success. The following year, we organized the master schedule such that grade-level, content-area teams had common planning periods so they could meet each week to discuss these important topics. Our teams struggled with focus at times and fell into old habits of lesson planning, lesson sequencing, etc. rather than focusing on the four essential questions. We implemented a team agenda and team norms to help focus the work. 

Each year, we honed our PLC process. We sent teachers to the PLC at Work conference each year, and our process continued to improve. During our weekly meetings, we encouraged our teachers to focus on the four essential questions. We saw changes within our teams and in student growth. Our teachers continued to work together to plan engaging lessons enriched with technology, discuss and evaluate teaching strategies, monitor student progress, and plan interventions and enrichments. A strong focus on our state standards (TEKS) and improving instructional strategies through data-based decisions helped our students experience increasing success.   

In 2016, a new principal, Mr. Prentiss Harper, was named. Mr. Harper embraced the PLC process and continued to encourage our teams to grow and develop. Since our school population had become increasingly diverse over the years, he also encouraged our teams to be more accountable to the process. Our team agendas were moved to shared Google Docs. This helped our leadership team review the work of each grade-level, content-area team, and discuss ways we could support them. We were able to make informed decisions using student data as well as help hone ideas already implemented to support the teams’ goals. 

Accountability within our PLC has contributed to our teams' and our students' success. Each team establishes team norms and goals at the beginning of each school year. Each week, our teams complete an agenda focused on the four essential questions. Team members hold each other accountable to the norms and discussions are focused on the team’s goals and the four essential questions.  

At the beginning of the COVID-19 At-Home Learning process, our teams transitioned seamlessly to an online model of their weekly team meeting. Teams continued to meet virtually every week to discuss ways to engage their students using effective online teaching strategies, their students’ performance on weekly formative assessments, and online delivery of interventions. Teachers encouraged students who struggled with the At-Home Learning content to attend small group Zoom sessions that were laser-focused on essential standards in order to narrow learning gaps. When students who needed the intervention most failed to attend, our teachers didn't give up. They reached out to parents to ask for their help in encouraging student participation. When students continued to be absent from online learning activities, our teachers reached out to counselors and administrators for help in getting students engaged. 

During COVID-19 At-Home Learning, a Google sheet was created and a column was added each week to document each student’s engagement with the curriculum and assessments. We were excited to share with our community that over 97% of our students engaged with the At-Home Learning content and were successful on their formative assessments thanks to our hard-working teachers and students. 

Through the years, our teams have gone from compliant with to invested in the PLC process.

 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

One of our district’s many strengths is its investment in a curriculum that is based on state standards and centered on student learning. Throughout the last few years, our teachers have volunteered to support what the district calls a curriculum refresh. Groups of content-based teachers and district staff routinely meet to make sure that our curriculum, scope and sequence, and assessments are aligned to ensure student learning. Also at the campus level, we have created a master schedule where teachers within a content and grade level have common planning periods so they are able to meet weekly to address the four essential questions of the PLC process. Our content-area, grade-level teams create and use campus common assessments throughout the year to monitor student progress. These assessments are created by the team before commencing instruction to make sure the essential standards are covered with depth and complexity. 

Our teams use the data from each assessment to determine which students have mastered the standards and which need additional support. Students who have mastered the standards participate in enrichment activities that help further their learning allowing teachers to spiral back to essential concepts for struggling learners. Students who are not successful on a common assessment are given multiple reteach opportunities and are then given retest opportunities to show mastery of the tested standards. Our teachers use spreadsheets to track each student’s progress on each common assessment and each standard in order to ensure individual student progress and provide just-in-time support. On a daily basis, teachers use short formative assessments such as exit tickets, online quizzes and activities, and quick checks for understanding to make sure that students are on track for success. Teachers are able to intervene quickly when formative assessment is an embedded part of their daily lessons.     

Frequent monitoring of student growth occurs on an on-going basis and student progress or lack thereof is discussed during weekly team meetings. Students who continue to struggle after on-going intervention are recommended to the grade-level RtI committee for further discussion and intervention. The RtI committee meets regularly to review the efficacy of current interventions and provide further support to students who continue to struggle. The RtI committee has access to school-level interventions such as the mentor program and other programs that require additional time, planning, and/or funding. The interventions put in place by the RtI committee go beyond the first tier and second tier interventions that teachers have been empowered to employ to achieve student success.

 

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

In the early stages of our PLC implementation, we only offered before and after school tutoring opportunities, but we quickly realized that many students who needed intervention were not able to attend before and after school due to transportation issues. As a result, we transitioned to hiring a tutor to work with small groups of students during their elective periods on math and/or reading.  Understandably, the students grew resentful of these interventions because they were being pulled from electives that they enjoyed.  

After conducting more research on an embedded intervention period, the campus improvement team designed and built-in a thirty-five minute period specifically for interventions and enrichments. In order to target students with the most need, teams analyze common assessment data during their weekly meetings, discuss how we are responding to our struggling learners (interventions already in place), how the current interventions are meeting the students’ needs, and create a plan of intervention to meet each student’s individual needs.  This weekly discussion helps the team make informed decisions about necessary changes to interventions for our students who are continuing to struggle and plan celebrations for those that are progressing. The teachers then assign students to specific intervention groups based on their individual needs. Students who previously needed interventions, but are now on back-on-track are moved out of their assigned intervention group. Students who continue to struggle after several attempts at intervention are recommended to the grade level RtI committee. Changes are made approximately every three to four weeks to allow for enough time to gather additional data to inform our decisions.  Maintaining the fluidity of the intervention groups helps to meet the needs of students on a more consistent basis. 

Each small intervention group focuses on a specific skill or standard in which the assigned group needs extra support or extension. Using data to inform their decisions, the team intentionally plans which teacher will take each group based on each teacher’s strengths and preferences. The teachers work together to create intervention activities that meet the needs of the students. 

During this embedded time, we also have our advanced learners working with their GT mentors and group members on project-based learning activities.  Our fine arts and athletics departments use this embedded time as well to work with students on extension activities if they are not already pulled for core content-area intervention groups.  Now that we have made progress with our current intervention and extension process, we plan to add enrichment activities during the flex time for students to pursue areas in which they have personal interests, such as cooking, coding, chess, etc.

 

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

It is paramount that we build teacher capacity to effectively collaborate with other team members to improve the learning for each and every student at Krimmel Intermediate. Collaboration time is built into the weekly schedule to facilitate conversations that are proactive, reflective, and based on student data and centered on the four essential questions to create learning opportunities that are focused on areas that need improvement and provide opportunities to challenge our students that are achieving their goals.

Content-area, grade-level teams meet weekly to discuss where they want their students to be, evaluate how they assess student success, and what to do when students meet this goal or fall short. Using SMART goals, guided questions, team norms, and focused agendas, teachers, along with instructional specialists, strive to provide learning opportunities for every student with measurable, achievable goals and intervention/extension activities.

Each team focuses on providing growth opportunities for each student. By analyzing best practices and high-yield strategies based on John Hattie’s research, teachers focus their efforts on improving student outcomes. Emphasis is placed on growth for every student. 

Collaboration time for teachers and well-communicated expectations for these meetings give ownership to all teachers, creating a communal, greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts approach that is responsive to where students are and where they need to be. Every student, class, and content has specific challenges that these collaborations address as a body of expert educators.  

Furthermore, teachers are encouraged to “fail forward” by trying new ideas and instructional strategies and then reflecting on their own practices as part of the PLC process. Our teachers analyze the team’s data to determine which practices and interventions are most effective and then hone their practices so they utilize the most effective strategies and retire those instructional practices and strategies that are not effective in improving student success.

 

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

The 2019-2020 November Q2 learning assessment gauged students’ current level of mastery on topics from 1st semester as well as readiness skills needed for future learning. On this test, students experienced some questions for which they had yet to receive instruction. 

Successes

Our 2018-19 6th grade cohort grew in reading by 11 points and math scores grew 6 points from April 2019 to November 2019. Our African American 6th grade cohort jumped from 78% in reading to 89% when they took the Q2 assessment in Language Arts in 7th grade, and they grew from 74% to 89% in math.  Our 2018-19 6th grade Hispanic cohort launched from a 75% to a 92% in reading. These students also showed growth in math as they grew from an 82% to an 89%. Our 2018 6th grade cohort of students who receive specialized services started off with a 43% success rate in reading and grew to a 69%, while in math, the same group of students achieved 19 points growth starting at 56% and blossoming to a 75%! Our economically disadvantaged 6th grade students also saw growth in reading from a 71% to an 88% and in math from a 74% to an 88%.

Our 2018-2019 7th grade cohort grew in reading by 6 points from an 83% to an 89% and our African American cohort experienced 8 points of growth from a 74% to an 82%. The Hispanic cohort also showed promise with a 4 point growth from 80% to 84%. Our 2018 7th grade cohort of students who receive specialized services showed amazing growth from 28% to 53%.  Our economically disadvantaged 7th grade students also saw growth from 79% to 85%

The decrease in 7th to 8th grade math scores can be attributed to our 7th grade advanced students moving to Algebra and being taking out of the 8th grade math data set.

 2019-2020 November Q2 Learning Assessment - Comparing our campus to district performance,  we find that our 6th grade students are 8 points above the district in reading and 11 points above the district in Math. Our 7th grade students share a similar story with reading scores at 7 points above the district and math 11 points above the district. Moving to 8th grade, our students performed two points above the district in reading and math, one point above the district in science, and one point above the district in Algebra with 100% of our students showing mastery.

TEKS DATA DIG STORY FOR 20-21: Through the implementation of PLC protocols at Krimmel, we spend significant time reviewing the skills and teaching strategies that would be needed to ensure that our students would not experience learning gaps caused by 9-weeks of at-home-learning during the Spring of 2020. Our teams worked to scaffold on-grade level TEKS with previous TEKS. Teams reviewed the skills that were learned at home and the impact they have on current skills being taught. We determined the best strategies to ensure that all students were able to fill identified gaps that might have been caused while still pushing forward with new skills. You can see this in our campus data in math, with TEKS 8.3c. Teachers spent time in PLC discussing the best ways to use the student's historical data to drive instruction during this uprecedinted time. We have seen our historically, struggling sub-populations such as our hispanic and sped, show growth and are projected to out score our 2019 STAAR results. We see the same growth in science as we work to use data to drive our PLC conversations and instructional plans as noted in Science TEKS 8.5B. The success of our PLC data conversations using targeted data talks has allowed science to be in a postition to out perform previous STAAR results. Through our PLC process and incorporating our intervention teachers, we have shown growth in multiple sub populations specifically special educaction as demonstarted in MAth SPED data.

Several teachers are Klein Education Foundation Grant Winners 

1:1 Pilot Program in Klein ISD

High School credit classes: Algebra, Geometry, Biology, LOTE, CTE

Destination Imagination Global Finalist 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

$250,000 HP Grant in partnership with Hildebrandt Intermediate

Superintendent’s Initiative Awards for Teens for Jeans and Outdoor Classroom / Garden

No Place for Hate Designations

Community recognition for our Hurricane Harvey relief efforts  

Community Problem Solvers Award

District Championships in Athletics

Our outstanding Fine Arts department achieves frequent distinctions

National Scholastic Writing Gold Medalist 2013, 2019, 2020

National Scholastic Writing Silver Medalist 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

2019-2020 Regional Scholastic Writing Awards: 21 Gold Key Winners, 26 Silver Key Winners, 23 Honorable Mentions

Do the Write Thing National Winner 2018 

Name that Book Competition -  2nd Place 2019, 1st Place 2020

GT Humanities Pilot Campus

Honorable Mention State School of Character 2019-20

Promising Practice State School of Character 2019-20

Met Standard on State Accountability Systems 2007 to present

Campus Distinctions: Science 2014, 2018; ELA 2014; Closing Performance Gaps 2014

Gold Performance Acknowledgements: ELA 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011; Writing 2009, 2010, 2011; Science 2011, Social Studies 2010, 2011

 

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