Taylor Mill Elementary

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

Our PLC Story & Milestones in Our PLC Story

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Taylor Mill Elementary creates and implements a guaranteed and viable curriculum in many ways. To address DuFour’s question number one, “What do we expect our students to learn?,” each grade level begins with the state standards and district timeline to create their curriculum timeline. From there, we identify the essential content, or priority standards, that will be taught to all students in our core instruction. During weekly collaboration time, each grade level collaborative team spends time deconstructing standards for units of study, creating and refining common formative assessments, and developing and clarifying the success criteria and common pacing for the unit. This work is shared digitally through shared Google Drives so everyone has efficient access to this work. Each team also works collaboratively to create learning experiences and share teaching strategies to ensure common implementation of the curriculum for each unit of study. Additionally, weekly reflections are built into our grade-level collaborative team meetings that are evidence of commitment to our pacing guides and assessment calendars.

Teachers discuss the expected outcome and success criteria of a student product based on the standard. This ensures we are consistent with expectations. We also analyze student work and share successful teaching strategies to ensure that not only are all students continuously provided with common learning experiences but we are also building off of each other’s strengths.  Through these practices we work to ensure that every teacher on each team is clear about the essential knowledge and skills that every student must acquire.

At Taylor Mill Elementary we monitor student learning in aligned and intentional ways. We implement daily formative assessments that drive our instruction during the lesson. In addition to these, team-developed common formative assessments are administered during each unit of study to answer the second critical question of PLCs, “How will we know they have learned it?”  Each week, it is protocol that teachers from each grade-level collaborative team analyze the data from these CFAs, as well as student product samples brought by each teacher. We reflect on student learning as well as our teaching practices. Using this evidence of student learning, we discuss next steps for both students who have yet to learn the content and students who are ready for enrichment. This collaborative process not only answers the third and fourth critical questions of PLCs, but it also drives both our core instruction next steps as well as our targeted intervention or enrichment. Based on this evidence of student learning, we then discuss the strengths and weaknesses of our teaching practices and share strategies that worked. In addition to common formative assessments, we also use common assessments, MAP data, and KPREP data. Tier II and tier III reading and math WIN (What I Need) groups monitor progress using weekly data (System 44, Read 180, Daze, Dibels, ST Math). We enter this data on our data dashboard, a shared Google Sheet. This data dashboard helps triangulate data included in our assessment system to help monitor each student’s growth and achievement. Every six weeks, administration, counselors, school psychologist, general education teachers, special education teachers, and interventionists come together to analyze student progress monitoring data and any recent benchmark data to determine progress made and decide next steps for each student.

 

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

At Taylor Mill Elementary School, we created a master schedule that includes a forty-five minute reading intervention/enrichment block and a thirty minute mathematics intervention/enrichment block in addition to core instruction. These blocks are called WIN, What I Need, time. Exactly as the name suggests, each student is met where they are and provided with remediation or enrichment learning opportunities. The blocks are divided into three tiers and our school has created a TM MTSS Overview (linked) so that we have a clear description of each tier, both data used to determine student placement and progress and strategies implemented. During these intervention and extension times, students are receiving specific research-based intervention programs (Read 180, System 44, EIR-Early Intervention in Reading, Read Naturally, ST Math, and Do the Math) or extending their learning in a way that allows them to own and personalize their learning. Some examples of how students who have pursued personal interests during extensions are "A Spark of Genius," a student-led and produced podcast centered around topics interesting to our students and "Mysteries of History," where students explore and share a mysterious place/event in history.

Administrators, educators, counselors, and interventionists collaborate together at the beginning of the school year to place students into these intervention groups according to data collected from multiple data points including: KPREP-Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress, MAP-Measures of Academic Progress, DIBELs-Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills, System 44 data, Read 180 data, as well as teacher assessment data. Every six weeks we reconvene and collaborate to analyze triangulated data and determine placement needs based on most current data. During weekly collaborative time, grade-level teams continue discussions for placing students from Tier I in appropriate WIN classes based on the most recent evidence of learning and enrichment needs, directly tied to team-developed CFAs (Common Formative Assessments.) In addition, to academic support, Taylor Mill provides intervention support to students with behavior needs. Behavior needs are tracked through behavior referrals. The students are divided into tiers based on behavioral needs. Administrators, educators, counselors, and interventionists collaborate to determine the best research based behavioral intervention for each student. Current interventions include Zones of Regulation, PASS, Why Try, Feeling Buddies, and Social Skills. The same group meets several times throughout the year to review the data and adjust the intervention as necessary. The students’ weekly behavior data is communicated to families. Additionally, each week collaborative team members discuss student attendance, behavior and other student needs to make sure the needs of the whole child are being met.

 

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

Our elementary school developed a PLC task group with the goal of improving our work as a PLC. This collaborative team, formed in 2017, became devoted to facilitating continuous improvement, promoting a collaborative culture, and having a strong focus on student learning. In the year 2018-19 the task group focused their efforts on creating teacher-led collaborative teams, which has continued the following years. This PLC task group meets regularly to monitor and improve our high-performing, collaborative teams. We often discuss factors within our school that revolve around the loose/tight culture created in previous years and developing teacher capacity to adhere to this. Specific times were established for collaboration time, norms were created, agendas and assessment calendars were made, and discussions about learning opportunities around enhancing the effectiveness of our teams were implemented.  

As discussions and plans are put into place from the PLC Task Group, the PLC Task Group leaders will take information back to grade-level collaborative teams to implement. The grade-level teams connect multiple times per week to discuss student data and products.

Using this evidence of student learning, we discuss next steps for both students who have yet to learn the content and students who are ready for enrichment. This collaborative process not only answers the third and fourth critical questions of PLCs, but it also drives both our core instruction next steps as well as our targeted intervention or enrichment. Based on this evidence of student learning, we then discuss the strengths and weaknesses of our teaching practices and share strategies that worked.

To ensure teams remain high-performing, PLC Task Group leaders focus meetings on the loose/tight culture. (See Building Commitment with the Loose AND Tight for examples of discussion topics.) To be certain new teachers understand our loose/tight culture, Taylor Mill has a new teacher orientation day and they receive our “Gettin’ Googley With It” training.  This training consists of front-loading new teachers with how to utilize all of our digital components we use as a PLC before the school year even begins.  New teachers are also paired with a stretch partner outside of their grade level for additional support and someone to share different perspectives with beyond their grade level team members. 

To continue our work with building teacher capacity and our work as a PLC, we completed and are in the process of completing book studies around PLCs, such as Learning By Doing and Cultures Built to Last.  We also incorporate vertical alignment through our various task group/committees, such as our writing task group or CFA vertical collaborative group, which helps our teachers not only align the curriculum from each grade level, but get encouragement, support, and share ideas that can then be shared with their teams. This helps keep us connected as a PLC and not in silos, or in isolation. It helps us continue to see the bigger picture and continue to grow as a PLC.

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

KPREP (Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress) is a criterion-referenced test developed specifically to measure the Kentucky Academic Standards. Student performance levels (novice, apprentice, proficient and distinguished) are used to describe how well students perform to Kentucky-specific standards for grades 3-5.

MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) is an adaptavie, nationally normed test that measures student growth and achievement percentile. This test is used across our school district as a 3 times per year benchmark assessment for grades K-5.

Please see our list of awards and recognitions with links here: TM Awards & Recognitions

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