Baldwin Creek Elementary

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

The success of our school’s PLC process started at the district level four years ago. Without the commitment to "do whatever it takes" to operate as a model PLC district, we would not have seen the success we have. Because of this commitment, we were able to achieve the unthinkable by, adding key personnel, enhance schedules, create innovative systems, and provide opportunities for professional development for all through a variety of Solution Tree PLC institutes and conferences. With such a strong commitment to PLCs, our district has become a highly effective PLC driven by multiple collaborative teams at many levels. As for Baldwin Creek, we are at the heart of the movement. Because 95% of our staff have been to a PLC conference or institute, we are now speaking the same language throughout our building as staff and students. Our school’s culture is defined by our mission statement “Every Bobcat Every Day!” and is the creed by which we live.

Our school culture is special! Our staff genuinely believes that all students can learn at high levels. We work very hard in our collaborative teams to ensure we have wrap around services for each student and we focus on the “whole child." Our high standards of creating a welcoming environment starts as you enter our building. Through a series of welcoming cues and positive interactions, we set the stage for belonging to our school community. Our school and district have a shared belief and commitment that through our Professional Learning Community we will answer the four critical PLC questions to the best of our ability. Because of our commitment, our culture has grown into a “whatever it takes” building focused on differentiating our approach to meet the needs of our students. Under the guidance instructional facilitator, our highly effective collaborative teams vary from our classified staff, specials teachers, grade level teachers, BIT, Intervention, Special Education, and Data Teams to our Guiding Coalition. Through these teams we have created a Multi-Tiered System of Supports that help to ensure a Tier II and III time that is embedded into our everyday schedule in addition to collaborative Tier I instruction. Within this structure we have clearly defined our priority standards, proficiency scales, and common formative/summative assessments to support our standards-based grading practices. We believe this has given us a platform to give our learning community the feedback essential for higher level learning. The Baldwin Creek Learning community is now fully committed to instilling hope, perseverance, grit, and positivity in order to give our students the confidence needed to succeed in the 21st Century. For the last three years, we have "met" or "exceeded expectations" in the growth and equity sub groups category of the Wyoming State Accountability Model. Because of this yearly achievement, we were recognized as an ESEA National Title I Distinguished School in 2018. We are a grade 4-5 building that has excelled in the growth in our incoming students entering 4th grade each year academically, emotionally, and behaviorally with impressive data. As you review our data, please focus on the achievement of the cohort groups starting with data at the end of 3rd grade, and how much they grow through the 4th and 5th grades at Baldwin Creek. 

We also take time to celebrate our staff and students' successes through assemblies, media, and building celebrations. We celebrate the fact that we created a model PLC within our entire learning community.

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

School improvement efforts are continually being addressed during staff meetings, Wednesday Early Out (WEO) professional development time, PLCs, MTSS, and weekly grade level data review team meetings. A master schedule is developed every spring with input from staff that allows for interventions and enrichment opportunities for students. 

To ensure that classroom instruction and interventions are delivered methodically and systemically, grade level data review meetings are scheduled every week. In the course of the meeting, critical conversations occur around many data points including CFA, CSA, STAR, and WY-TOPP, and other common assessments. Furthermore, the continuity of delivering curriculum and assessment with fidelity, plus best instructional practices are woven into the meeting time. The data review agenda is set at the prior week’s meeting with teacher input and is facilitated by the Instructional Facilitator.

Our curriculum, proficiency scales, assessments and priority standards are constantly reviewed and discussed through district vertical teams and by Baldwin Creek collaborative teams. 

Our most influential team is led by our Instructional Facilitator and Title I/Reading Specialist called the Academic Intervention Team. This team includes special education teachers, paraprofessionals, and other certified instructors that progress monitor our students and deliver targeted instruction and intervention during our Tier III time. We have created a schedule that allows us to embed a Tier II and III time. This process is fluid and is frequently assessed by multiple progress monitoring tools. 

We also utilize a BIT (Building Intervention Team) process that uses a data tracking system to track and document a student’s process longitudinally. This team is also led by our Title I teacher. This team consists of classroom teachers, Title I Reading Teacher, Title I, Language Literacy Specialist, School Counselor, Principal, School Psychologist, Special Education Case Manager, Drop Out Prevention Coordinator, and Native American Liaison.  We meet weekly on the caseload and review strategies on the need each student has. We then use our wrap around services to come up with solutions to meet those needs both academically and emotionally. 

As staff and students, we value and embrace technology integration across all disciplines. Teachers use technology for engagement strategies and differentiation. Students utilize iPad apps and audiobooks for further enrichment.

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

Tier 1:  Initial Instruction

All students, unless receiving instruction on alternate standards through an IEP, receive initial instruction across grade-level standards based on the expectations and rigor of the Wyoming State English Language Arts Standards. Instructional sequences and pacing are based on the grade-level team’s decisions about how to provide instruction that allows students to connect their learning across standards. 

Grade-level teams have selected priority standards and, through the collective development of proficiency scales, articulated the prerequisite skills for the standard, built shared knowledge about mastery, and are beginning to articulate ways a student can move beyond proficiency towards advanced understanding of the standard. Teams work to ensure learning of the priority standards through differentiation and by providing students with multiple opportunities for mastery. Priority standards are assessed unobtrusively and obtrusively, students are provided feedback about their progress toward/beyond the standard, and parents receive feedback on these standards through formal processes such as quarterly report cards.  

When designing instruction, grade-level teachers utilize our core resources, Journeys and Step Up to Writing. They may supplement instruction with other resources including novels, teacher-developed materials, language-supports, and web-based programs such as IXL and MobyMax. 

Structures have been set up for teams to meet two times a week to discuss curriculum design and student progress. Teachers reflect on the impact of the instruction by reviewing their data with teammates, sharing effective strategies, and designing intervention/enrichment T2 opportunities.


Tier 2:  Intervention/Enrichment 

The schedule at BCE has thirty minutes of intervention/enrichment built into the schedule five days a week. Teams utilize this time to collectively respond to their data by providing targeted interventions to students who have not mastered the focus priority standard and enrichment to students who are ready to move beyond the standard. Tier 2 (referred to as Proficiency Power Up) groups are flexible and students move fluidly between groups based on their mastery of the group’s focus. 


Tier 3:  Intensive Intervention Focused on Foundational Reading Skills

Tier 3 (also known as Bobcat Blitz), has thirty minutes, four days/week dedicated to students who are performing below the 40th percentile on our screener, STAR Reading, to receive intensive, targeted instruction on foundational reading skills such as decoding and comprehension. Once students are identified by our screener, a team of interventionists gives each student a decoding-focused diagnostic that combines the Aimsweb Oral Reading Fluency assessment with a Beginning/Advanced Decoding Survey. Based on these diagnostic assessments, students showing a need for instruction in word study (phonological awareness, orthographic knowledge, mental-orthographic imaging, morphological awareness, and/or semantics) are placed in groups with varying levels of intensified instruction using evidence-based programs. If a student does not show a need for instruction in word-study, the student is placed in a group focused on developing comprehension strategies such as identifying main idea/details, inferencing, literal comprehension, and vocabulary. Progress monitoring is completed every 21 calendar days. Once progress monitoring is completed, the team reviews the data and makes decisions for intensification based on the student’s response/lack of response to the intervention.

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

In order to meet the academic and social needs of our students, we are committed to embedded, ongoing adult learning. Classroom teachers, special education teachers, related service providers, paraprofessionals, and content-area specialists all serve on one of our teams working collaboratively to build shared knowledge and refine our practices. This collaboration prompts collective inquiry through team-selected professional development (PD) such as book studies, action research, and attending in- and out-of-district PD. The district also supports ongoing PD through a once-a-week early release schedule that allows for school-wide PD. Decisions are made by determining if the PD will support staff in meeting student needs and if it supports the overall vision for our school.  Instructional and Team Coaching is provided throughout implementation. Currently, PD is focused on developing ourselves as a Professional Learning Community and meeting the social-emotional needs of our students. 

In our collaborative teams, our focus is on Language Arts and Math priority standards. At a Tier I level, general education staff and specialists meet frequently to analyze student data. Students at the Tier II level are grouped by-student-by-standard (Buffum et al., 2012) based upon current performance on grade level Common Formative Assessments (CFA) and Common Summative Assessments (CSA). At a Tier III level, data from state standardized tests and district common assessments such as STAR Reading and STAR Math, are gathered and compared for every student at Baldwin Creek. Students’ grades and general education teacher observations and anecdotal notes are included in this data collection. A student performing at or below the 40th percentile is targeted for further diagnostics and possible intervention. Special Education and Title 1 departments coordinate to provide skill-based interventions that are research and evidenced based. This process has led to the widespread sharing of instructional skills and strategies based on results of student data to meet pre-determined SMART goals.

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

2017- PAWS math for 4th grade 13% of achievement growth from 2015-16 to 2016-17. PAWS Math for 5th grade was 75% proficient and advanced; PAWS Reading for 5th grade was 71% proficient and advanced; PAWS Math for 4th grade was 70% proficient and advanced

2018 The WYTOPP math for 4th grade was 53% proficient and advanced with an increase of 13% from the Spring 2017 PAWS which was 40%.

WY-TOPP Math for 5th grade was 71% proficient and advanced while the state average was 53% proficient and advanced; WYTOPP Reading for 5th grade was 72% proficient and advanced while the state average was 59% proficient and advanced.

2018 - Star Assessments showed growth from fall to spring for both 4th and 5th grades. The 4th grade showed an increase from 67% proficient in reading in the fall to 73% in the spring and an increase in math from 51% proficient in the fall to 64% in the spring. The 5th grade grew from 72% proficient in the fall to 74% proficient in the spring in reading and showed growth from 70% proficient in the fall in math to 75% proficient in the spring.

2019 WY-TOPP Math for 5th grade was 60% proficient and advanced while the state average was 55% proficient and advanced; WYTOPP Reading for 5th grade was 60% proficient and advanced while the state average was 55% proficient and advanced.

The 2019 WYTOPP Math for 4th grade was 46% proficient and advanced with an increase of 8% from the Spring 2018 WYTOPP which was 38%. The 4th grade showed growth in ELA with 39% proficient in 2018 and 45% proficient in 2019.

In 2019, our most significant growth in Star Reading and Math took place in the Fall to Winter assessments. The 4th grade increased from 66% proficient in reading to 70% proficient and 48% proficient in math to 62% proficient. The 5th grade grew from 68% proficient in reading to 72% and in math they showed an increase from 62% proficient to 68% proficient.

As we celebrated positive overall growth in Star in 2019 from fall to spring, we noticed a slight dip in WY-TOPP scores in the overall percentages from 2018 to 2019 in 4th and 5th grade achievement status scores. What the status percentages don't tell you is the overall growth each grade level cohort has achieved during their time at Baldwin Creek. There are a couple factors that we believe contributed to the dip in the achievement status data of WY-TOPP percentages. In the spring of 2018, Wyoming administered the newly adopted state assessment WY-TOPP. WY-TOPP has proven to have more rigor and difficulty with content, format and administration than its predecessor PAWS. Because of this, statewide averages dropped as well. So, inherently our trend data with overall achievement status is going to look lower than previous PAWS years, but we have kept up with our state average comparisons. Second, Baldwin Creek has shown tremendous growth and success with our incoming students coming from the primary building. Through the PLC process, we were able to create Multi Tiered System of Supports that are also reflected in the application. Due to our success in implementing MTSS, we were recognised as an ESEA National Title I Distinguished School for "closing the gap". I have provided some examples that show achievement growth and closing the gap on, and increasing the gap in statewide averages even though the overall achievement status scores are not as high as previous years. Again, if you focus on the cohort group's growth data in 4th and 5th grade, it shows positive growth in achievement in many areas in 2019 even though it appears the status data dipped. Because of the K-3 building's PLC collaborative work, they achieved positive growth in 3rd grade WY-TOPP scores from 2018 to 2019. We hope to once again build upon that success and continue the positive growth trend at Baldwin Creek Elementary.  


Cohort 1 Class of 2025

3rd grade 2016 PAWS

Primary Elementary Building             State Average

English                     63%                   58%              +5% Above State Average

Mathematics             54%                   53%              +1% Above State Average  

4th grade 2017 WY-TOPP

Baldwin Creek Elementary                  State Average

English                        68%                  64%            +4% Above State Average

Mathematics               70%                  58%            +12% Above State Average 

5th Grade 2018 WY-TOPP

Baldwin Creek Elementary                 State Average

English                        70%                 59%               +11% Above State Average

Mathematics                71%                53%                +18% Above State Average


Cohort 2 Class of 2026

3rd grade 2017 Paws

Primary Elementary Building        State Average

English                     60%              59%                    +1% Above State Average

Mathematics            40%               52%                    -12% Below State Average 

4th grade 2018 WY-TOPP

Baldwin Creek  Elementary           State Average

English                      56%              49%                   +7% Above State Average

Mathematics              53%             45%                    +8% Above State Average 

5th Grade 2019 WY-TOPP

Baldwin Creek  Elementary           State Average

English                       60%             56%                   +4% Above State Average

Mathematics              59%              55%                   +4% above State Average 


Cohort 3 Class of 2027

3rd grade 2018 WY-TOPP

Primary Elementary Building             State Average

English                       39%                 51%                -12% Below State Average

Mathematics               38%                 51%                -13% Below State Average

4th grade 2019 WY-TOPP

Baldwin Creek  Elementary               State Average

English            45%                           49%                  -4% Below State Average

Mathematics    45%                           53%                  -8% Below State Average







2018-19 ESEA National Title I Distinguished School. Selected by the National Association of The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and State Program Administrators (NAESPA), for its overall achievement and work in “closing the gap” with equity groups. 

Principal is a 2021 Wyoming National Distinguished Principal of the Year Nominee

Principal selected for the 2020-21 ESEA National Title I Conference Selection Committee 

Principal slected to present a seminar for the Rocky Mountain College 2021 Educational Leadership Cohort on Educational Leaderhip

Meeting and Exceeding Expectations for the last 5 years on the Wyoming State Accountability Model for growth and achievement

2019-20 Fremont County School District #1 Teacher of The Year and Wyoming Teacher of the Year Nominee from Baldwin Creek Elementary

2020-21 Fremont County School District #1 Teacher of The Year and Wyoming Teacher of the Year Nominee from Baldwin Creek Elementary

2020-21 Wyoming Arts Council Arts in Learning Innovative Teacher of the Year-In partership with the Wyoming Department of Education

Baldwin Creek Instructional Facilitator Presented at the National Math Recovery Conference with a Focus on Systems of Support in Math

Recipient of the 2020 Wyoming Department of Education Safe Schools Grant

State Recognized PE Program K2 News

State and District Recognized Student Enrichment Media Program - The Bobcat News K2 News 

60% of Certified Teachers Have Earned a Master's Degree 

Lander Journal - "I'm going to love telling the folks in Washington D.C. about Baldwin Creek." ~Jillian Balow, Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Education