Battlefield Primary School

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

Battlefield Primary is a PreK through 2nd grade school located in Northwest Georgia in the city of Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. Catoosa County is the school district that we are a part of and it is known for innovative practices and commitment to excellence. One of the indicators of this commitment is the promise made to the community that we will prepare every child, every day, without exception to reach their full potential.

Our school's journey began when a member of our staff attended a Solution Tree sponsored conference on RTI in 2017. It was shortly thereafter that a group of educators from BPS attended a PLC Institute in St. Charles, Missouri during the summer of 2018. This group came back with a better understanding of how to make sure that learning was achievable for all students. Our schedule had previously been modified to incorporate an intervention/enrichment time. However, with the new knowledge acquired from the aforementioned Solution Tree training, we were able to apply the "loose/tight" concept and allow the teachers help create the rest of the schedule. The mission and vision of the school have also significantly changed. Upon returning from the PLC Institute in St. Charles, the principal and teachers that attended the institute redelivered to the staff what they had learned. The staff participated in a “Demo Day”. The staff wrote on drywall their understanding and beliefs of PLC. Then, with hammers and hardhats misconceptions were demolished. This led to a collaborative effort with the staff in the creation of the school's new mission statement, "Everyone, Everyday."

As the 18-19 school year progressed, the school was exposed to additional PLC training that was provided at the district level. Essential standards were created for math and work began in creating common formative assessments and learning targets. Much of this work was accomplished during a collaboration time that was created and built into the weekly schedule of the school. As the school's finances allowed, additional educators were sent to PLC Institutes that occurred in Atlanta, Ga. Book studies were also implemented with groups in the school to deepen the understanding of the PLC process. At the end of the school year, the guiding coalition was established to lead their peers in a deeper understanding of what it means to work as a collaborative team and using data to make a difference in student learning at BPS.

 

At the beginning of the 19-20 school year, after studying a Dufour award-winning model school, BPS continued to modify our schedule to incorporate the “ Press In” model to enhance our Tier 1 instruction. This allowed every first and second grade classroom to have two certified teachers during the guided reading block.  

 

During the 19-20 school year, the school strengthened their use of the reading essential standards and began planning our units, summative assessments, modifying existing CFA's, developing new CFAs and identifying learning targets. Student data drove much of the collaboration time and the teachers identified which students succeeded in Tier I instruction and which students would benefit from additional instruction or enrichment while addressing the four critical questions of a professional learning community. In addition, teachers within collaborative teams began sharing students for Tier 2  support. Using our CFA data, teachers with higher rates of proficiency pulled and met with students from classrooms with lower success rates.  Those teachers also shared with their collaborative teams the strategies that proved most successful.  This supports both adult and student learning; building a high capacity of instructional knowledge for the staff of BPS as well as exposing the Tier 2 students to different instructional strategies.  The related arts teachers at BPS, which includes music,  P.E. and media specialist, have participated in PLC trainings alongside grade level staff.  They have also followed up on academic classroom instruction by incorporating essential standard academic lessons into their daily lessons.  Examples of this include counting to the beat of music or performing simple addition or subtraction when completing exercises.  The related arts  teachers also use Kagan instructional strategies to answer questions three and four of the four critical questions. Our media center specialist is highly involved in the answering of  the critical questions for our school as well. She specifically is involved in answering questions three and four. During our intervention time she meets with a group of students to offer extension activities that are STEM related.  She also assists classroom teachers in the instruction of Tier 2 students that have not yet mastered a learning target.  The media specialist also helps the grade level teachers plan lessons and gather resources to strengthen the teaching of the essential standards. Training for the staff continued as paraprofessionals, cafeteria staff and office personnel were trained on the four critical questions and why they are important to our BPS culture. The guiding coalition also visited a model PLC school in the winter of 2019. Upon returning from this visit, the guiding coalition redelivered their learning to the staff by creating and hosting a school level PLC mini-institute. This had a direct impact on how our collaborative teams operate and how we structure our learning environment. Examples include student-friendly learning targets displayed in classrooms and used by students to self monitor their own progress, collaborative teams develop and monitor grade level SMART goals, and incorporating vertical planning between grade levels. Battlefield Primary School continues in its PLC journey to this day in its attempt to achieve the stretch goal that all students are reading and achieving in math on grade level and above.

 

 

 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

As a district, teachers gathered together during the school year of 17-18 and began to identify the standards that would be essential to student learning. These essential standards have been brought back to Battlefield Primary and clarified further so that common formative assessments, and learning targets could be established. During collaboration time, pacing and rigor are discussed and agreed upon. Collaborative discussions focus on analyzing CFAs and student data. Strategies are shared and redelivery of instructional content is implemented for the students who did not learn the material initially. Additionally, every 3 weeks students who receive Tier 3 support are progress monitored. Three times during the year, a universal screener is used for all students. These benchmarks are used to show student growth and also measure grade-level progress. Since primary schools in Georgia do not have an accountability measure, we use our universal screener to monitor and measure student achievement.   Once a month, the academic school intervention team (ASIT) meets to discuss the progress of students receiving Tier 3 support. The ASIT team consists of the academic coach, classroom teachers, interventionists, special education instructors, the speech and language pathologist, the guidance counselor, and administration. During these ASIT team meetings, multiple points of data are used to determine what can assist the student in learning the essential standards. These multiple points of data include the student progress on the district approved Tier 3 programs such as Lexia and Dreambox, student attendance, behavior, and the student progress in tier 1 learning.

Battlefield Primary involves parents in the monitoring of their student’s progress. We have two  “What I Need” (W.I.N) nights that occur after the fall and winter benchmarks. On these W.I.N. nights parents are given their child’s data and how it compares to other students in the class/grade level. This data is given to the parents in a way that provides anonymity for their child and the other students.

 

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

At the beginning of every school year, each student is assessed through a universal screener. Currently, our school and district use Easy CBM and STAR. The grade-level teams, along with interventionists and special education teachers, look at the data and group students based on their needs into “Cub Time” groups. Our school has set a forty-five minute block/five days a week called “Cub Time”. This block addresses the four critical questions of PLC. Teachers use data from the universal screener to develop an intervention/extension plan based on student needs. We have an “all hands on deck” approach to “Cub Time” where we utilize all of our teachers, teacher assistants, media specialist, interventionists and the gifted teacher. This allows students who need the most intervention to work in small groups with intensive instruction. During this time students who need tier three support receive additional help through district approved and required programs. The programs for reading are Lexia and Wilson Reading. The program for math is Dreambox. It is also during “Cub Time” that students who have shown proficiency in math or reading are exposed to enrichment/STEM activities. As the school year progresses and common formative assessments are implemented, students who are not making adequate progress begin an intervention plan based on CFA learning targets needs. They are then retaught the material two times a week during a separate twenty minute “skills” portion of the day. During collaboration time,  data is used to create Tier Two groups based on student need and teacher strength. This has proven beneficial in two ways. One way being the student will be exposed to a different teaching style or strategy. The second benefit is it promotes the concept that students belong to everyone and not just their classroom teacher. However, we also want to expose the students in all tiers to enrichment activities. In an effort to do this, every Friday is a day set aside for classroom teachers to introduce enrichment/STEM activities to all students in the class.

 

A tiered approach to behavioral intervention has also been implemented through PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support). Every child belongs to one of four clubs in the school. In these clubs, each child has a mentor outside of their own teacher that supports the child and helps to promote positive behavior. If a student still has behavioral concerns, a Tier Two strategy is used to accommodate the child which often involves the child’s mentor. If a child is identified as needing additional help (Tier Three) specific behavior plans are created for the child. All students that are identified as Tier Two or Three are screened through a PBIS team that uses behavioral data in making their decisions.



 

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

Over the past three years, BPS has worked on building teacher capacity and staff understanding of the collaborative learning process. Over twenty staff members have attended PLC institutes in an effort to clearly define the "why" of professional learning communities and how the components are vital in student learning. Our school’s guiding coalition has had the wonderful opportunity to visit a Dufour Award winning school to observe the strategies used. We also brought in the former principal of Minnieville Elementary, now the associate superintendent of Prince William County, to help train the staff. Through administration, academic coaches, and guiding coalition, information has been redelivered to all staff members during in-service days, collaboration times, faculty meetings and grade-level meetings. Our guiding coalition even hosted a mini PLC institute to share information gained on our tour of a Dufour school. From training teacher assistants, cafeteria and janitorial staff, all members of the staff at BPS are included in the collaborative learning process.

The school schedule was modified to include collaboration meetings during the school day. It is during these meetings that Battlefield Primary is the most effective in focusing on improving student learning. While the norms are adhered to, the collaborative teams have created units of instruction based upon the essential standards. After the units are created assessments are then developed, both formative and summative. During our collaborative team time, questions three and four of the PLC process are addressed: what will we do to aid or extend student learning. Summative assessments are a time of celebration and showing what the students have learned. We have also begun to implement vertical planning across the grade levels so as to further enhance seamless student learning from one grade level to the next.

 Common Formative Assessments are the lynchpin of the PLC at Work process.  Through the use of common formative assessments, teachers are enabled to improve individual as well as collective teaching practices. Looking at CFA data collaboratively, discussing successful strategies, and learning new strategies has given teachers more effective teaching tools to take back and implement in their classrooms. When collective data from CFAs show the need for a better strategy across the grade level, teachers work together to research and find new methods and resources to engage and deliver instruction.

 

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

Data at the primary school level in the state of Georgia does not come from one source. The data, that is used, largely depends on what the individual school or district chooses. The reason for this is that the state of Georgia decided in the year 2010 that formal state summative assessments would not begin until a child reaches third grade. After this decision from the state, Catoosa County schools and Battlefield Primary decided that information from the universal screeners would be the best option for data. Battlefield Primary also uses data from CFA’s, the Tier Three programs such as Lexia, and a Georgia state measurement for kindergarten, known as GKIDS.

Below is a list of the specific programs used and what they measure in our school.

Easy CBM- a universal screener that currently measures reading and math in grades kindergarten and first grade. *Special note: When using this program to measure reading in first grade, the school has chosen to measure from the winter to spring benchmark. The reasoning behind this is that reading fluency is not measured in first grade until the winter benchmark and is then measured again in the spring. This allows us to have an “apples to apples” comparison.

STAR- a universal screener that currently measures reading and math in second grade. *Special note: This universal screener does not completely match up with the essential standards that have been identified by the school and district. This school year, 2019-2020, Battlefield Primary chose to use CFA data as a measure of proficiency in Math. In the future, CFA data will be used to measure reading, as well.

GKIDS-  The Georgia Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills measures student growth in the following areas.

  • English Language Arts

  • Mathematics

  • Social Studies (optional)

  • Science (optional)

  • Approaches to Learning

  • Personal and Social Development

  • Motor Skills (optional)

Lexia- a Tier Three reading intervention program that targets identified gaps in a student’s reading ability and provides data and instructional strategies for the teacher. Due to Lexia reports showing student names, a picture of a Lexia growth is included in the resources section of the application.

In looking at the data for kindergarten on the school year of 16-17, you will see that it mentions the acronym SLO (student learning objectives). During this school year, Georgia required school districts to assess kindergarten using a state approved assessment. The results of this assessment was that 92% of the kindergarten students grew 20% in their understanding of mathematical concepts. SLOs have not been required since that year.

 5 star school as measured by the state of Georgia in climate- school year 18-19

Top 5 ranked primary school in the state of Georgia as measured by Ga. CCRPI ( college and career readiness performance index)- school year 12-13

WInner of the Best School in Northwest Ga, sponsored by the Chattanooga Times and Free Press- 2014. Finalist for this award in 2015 and 2018

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