Harriet G. Eddy Middle School
- Number of Students: 1,130
- Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: 51%
- Percent of Limited English Proficient: 7%
- Percent of Special Education: 16%
- White: 21.1%
- Black: 17.6%
- Hispanic: 27.7%
- Asian: 17.8%
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 1.5%
- American Indian or Alaska Native: 0.5%
- Multiracial: 8.6%
- Other: 5.2%
Our journey with the formal implementation of the PLC Process began in 2016. Our District provided one year of Solution Tree coaching to support school sites to implement the PLC process. This work resonated so well with our staff that we continued with the coaching for a second year. Our staff wanted to see how the PLC process worked in a school setting. Our coach, Brig Leane, offered the opportunity for a team to visit his middle school.
During this visit, we were able to see high functioning teams in action as they addressed the four essential questions. The visit to Fruita Middle School was important in bringing the PLC process from theory into reality for our teachers. Brig did an exceptional job in facilitating our journey by providing tangible examples of how the PLC process benefits both the students and teachers. The focus on collaborative teams provided calibration of our educational experience. This allows all students regardless of the assigned teacher, to have the same chance of success. In addition, the PLC process provided an opportunity for our staff to participate in action research and learn from their colleagues. The PLC process was the catalyst of our belief in collective responsibility for the learning of all of our students.
With a formal understanding of the PLC process, collaborative teams begin to take shape. Staff began to speak to each other about “our” students and a common vision of student success. Common assessments were developed and teachers shared assessment results. We began to have a systematized PLC process.
The PLC process and focus on collaboration have resulted in not only academic gains but also improvements in organizational health and staff work wellness. Each year, we conduct organizational health and culture surveys. Over 90% of our staff feel connected to our school. 94% of staff agree that our PLC process initiative supports our International Baccalaureate Program. 100% of staff agree that our collective commitments support our PLC initiative.
Our staff, students, and community have faith and confidence in our educational experience. In addition to our PLC process, we earned authorization as an International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) World School. Staff collaboration is a compulsory and vital criterion to earn authorization. The collaborative culture that was cultivated and nurtured by our PLC work had a significant role in our successful authorization. To earn authorization, the entire school must implement the program with fidelity. Our collaborative teams developed IB aligned unit plans, learning experiences, and summative assessments. The trust and interdependence that developed from our PLC initiative were integral in ensuring a whole school implementation of the Middle Years Programme.
Our PLC process is central in creating cohesion and coherence amongst our three initiatives. Our PLC initiative provides our staff with a sense of togetherness and solidarity for our school. Our teachers possess the belief that our school serves all of our children. We share the commitment and responsibility for the academic success of our students. The trust, interdependence, and positive climate that is nurtured by our PLC process supports more than just academic success for our students. The PLC process supports our Campus Climate initiative by fostering collaboration and collegiality amongst our entire staff. For example, our staff participates in quarterly teacher-led classroom visits. These visits are completely teacher-facilitated and provide opportunities for our teachers to learn from their colleagues to improve student learning.
I have been asked how our school has been so successful in recent years. Many people attribute the success to our International Baccalaureate authorization. However, I am quick to point out that regardless of the school program, the PLC process is the engine that drives the bus. The collaboration, trust, and interdependence, that are created through the PLC Process are integral to our success. It is our intention for our PLC process to be foundational for our educational program. Our PLC process will endure the many changes that inevitably occur in education to support high-quality learning for all students.
1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.
Subject and grade specific teachers work in collaborative teams. Our bell schedule provides three hours a week of collaborative team time built into teacher contract time. Also, many of our collaborative teams have common preparatory periods throughout the week. Although collaboration during the preparatory periods is optional, many of our staff utilize this time. This results in seven hours a week of possible collaborative team time.
The first two PLC Essential Questions provide structure on how our collaborative teams monitor student learning.
What do we want students to know and be able to do?
Our collaborative teams analyze their content frameworks and standards to identify essential standards. From the essential standards, our collaborative teams further refine what are essential skills for student proficiency of the essential standard. Our collaborative teams discuss and come to a consensus on the high leverage and enduring skills that are essential for student proficiency on the state standards. These skills are prominently woven into the learning experiences and frequently assessed.
How are we going to know if they have learned it?
Based on the agreed upon essential skills, common assessments are created and administered to students. Using the assessment results, the collaborative teams discuss best practices and identify effective instructional practices to replicate and prepare for intervention. Students are provided multiple attempts to demonstrate their mastery of the essential skills. Student essential skills assessment results are prominently displayed in the classroom and discussed with our students and parents. Assessment is a core component of our instructional program. Not only to ascertain the level of student proficiency but as an important tool to support instruction. Common formative assessments are organically woven into the fabric of our learning experiences. Based on our common formative assessments, our teachers adjust their lessons to provide tier 1 interventions and identify students for our tier 2 Hive Intervention Program (HIP).
Our collaborative teams use a variety of tools including Google documents, forms, and sheets to share and monitor student data. Also, our staff utilizes computer-based learning and assessments to organize and analyze student assessment data.
This work is supported by a set of Procedural and Cultural norms that guide the work of our collaborative teams. The procedural norms codify our commitment to completing student assessments by a deadline to identify and plan for student intervention. Procedural norms also support the co-grading of student assessments to support interrater reliability. This results in better instructional calibration across our collaborative teams. Collaborative team Cultural Norms support our emotional and professional processes.
2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.
The belief that all students can learn is a core value at Harriet Eddy. We believe that all students can learn. However, we understand that students learn at different rates. Harriet Eddy incorporates a multitiered system of supports to address the unique learning needs of all students.
Our teachers use formative assessments to frequently assess our students’ level of proficiency. Based on these assessments, our teachers provide tier one interventions. Tier one interventions result in differentiated instruction incorporating small group activities within their core classes. Teachers also exchange students to provide larger access to tier one interventions. One teacher will provide tier one interventions while another teacher provides extension opportunities for students that have demonstrated essential skill proficiency.
Our master schedule incorporates two advocacy classes. These advocacy classes are 30 minutes in length and are twice a week. When students need more time outside of tier one interventions, they are referred to our Hive Intervention Program (HIP) for tier two intervention. On Wednesdays, students needing tier two interventions meet with their core Maths or English teacher for a 30-minute class for a four-week session. Our collaborative teams incorporate action research to develop remedial lessons. Staff analyzes instructional practices and student proficiency data to determine high leverage instructional strategies. The identified strategies are then incorporated into tier one and two interventions.
Using a two week cycle, our Maths and English collaborative teams use common assessment data and work with our counseling staff to identify students that need tier two intervention. Many receive help for just one session to catch up on a specific skill, while others have an opportunity for ongoing support. While our HIP students are receiving tier two intervention, all other students are receiving academic tutoring or enrichment.
In addition to our Hive Intervention Program, we offer intensive Maths and English intervention classes for students that require more time in addition to tier one and two interventions. Our Maths and English collaborative teams use common assessments with state assessment data to identify students that need intensive intervention. These yearlong support classes are in addition to their core grade-level classes. We believe that students need to be in grade-level classes to be proficient at grade level tasks. Our support classes are designed to supplement core grade-level instruction to meet the unique needs of our students by providing specific and targeted intervention. Once students demonstrate proficiency, students are removed from the class and enrolled in an enrichment course.
3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.
We believe that our teachers have an exceptional collective capacity and emphasize lifelong professional learning for our staff. We have received two years of Solution Tree coaching and we provide financial and time resources for participation in ongoing professional learning. We have participated in Solution Tree professional development for RTI, PLCs at Work and Assessment. Our participating teachers then develop and facilitate professional learning for our staff.
We have a dedicated Instructional Leadership Coalition (ILC) that is made up of one staff member from each collaborative team. Our ILC is charged with providing leadership on our PLC process and International Baccalaureate (IB) instructional initiatives. ILC staff have attended numerous Solution Tree and IB workshops and conferences. Ongoing professional learning is a core value of Harriet Eddy and is woven into the fabric of our school. It is an expectation for staff to participate and implement professional learning with an open mind and belief that we can all improve.
The ILC provides monthly professional learning during our staff meetings. Each year, we conduct an initiative survey with our staff. This survey provides an opportunity for staff to provide feedback on the effectiveness of our initiatives, professional learning, and the direction of the school. Our ILC uses this data to assess the strengths and opportunities for our staff. Professional Learning topics are then determined for the next year and ILC professional learning is scheduled. For example, the Spring 2019 survey indicated that assessments would be beneficial for our staff. During the summer, our ILC traveled to Macon, Georgia and participated in the Solution Tree Assessment conference to prepare for the upcoming year.
Our staff participates in quarterly classroom visits. The classroom visits are organized and facilitated by our teachers. These visits provide relevant professional learning for our staff from our staff. During these visits, our visiting teachers conduct action research by observing instructional practices and providing teacher feedback. In addition to our classroom visits, we participate in quarterly vertical articulation days with our regional High School. These professional learning days are developed by our region’s Middle Years Programme Coordinators and our collaborative teams. The focus of articulation and professional learning is based on the needs of our collaborative teams and action research during classroom visits.
In addition to formal and staff facilitated professional learning, our collaborative teams conduct action research, collective inquiry, and share common assessment data. Also, our teams evaluate their processes and data analysis protocols. Our staff believes that ongoing analysis of common assessment results is vital to our educational process. Our collaborative teams routinely provide and receive feedback based on the proficiency of their students compared to other students learning the same essential standard.
The school administration meets with the collaborative teams twice a year and completes the collaborative team PLC inventory. This process supports the evaluation of collaborative team norms, responsibilities, and processes. Collaborative teams select a goal and develop an action plan that is evaluated each year.
- 2018 International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme World School
- 2018-2019 California PBIS Coalition Award Recipient
- 2017 & 2018 Educational Results Partnership Honor Roll School
- 2018 California League of Middle School Educator Award
- 2017 District Mathletes Champions