Metzler Elementary

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

Metzler Elementary opened its doors in the Fall of 2005 with approximately 586 students. Our PLC journey began in the Spring of 2006 when the staff was trained as a whole to introduce the concept and benefits of Professional Learning Communities. As teachers began to show interest in learning more, our leadership team led book studies using Whatever It Takes and Learning by Doing to develop teacher leaders on each grade level. This strategic move increased curiosity about PLC and launched our teams into action. We implemented Professional Learning Communities with our school’s mission of working together as a team in mind. Our schedule was reconfigured to allow for an extra planning period each week for each grade level and eventually the time increased to ninety minutes. We understood the importance of the model, and began sending vertical teams to district and state conferences to increase their knowledge. As more staff members developed a deeper understanding of the benefits of working as a collaborative group focused on student learning, we began to hold teams and individuals accountable for their contributions to the larger goal.

Achieving buy-in from a growing faculty seemed to be the biggest hurdle. Once teams began meeting during their additional conference time, the leadership team noticed that their work was not always focused on student learning or utilizing the 4 PLC guiding questions. It was clear that systems were needed to guide our teams to be more effective and intentional with their time. Administration collaborated with teams to gather feedback regarding the procedures and processes each individual team used to document their group norms, student data and additional resources to enhance collaboration. Involving staff to develop a common protocol for documentation clarified the expectations, and teams began to operate more effectively, analyzing data, planning and monitoring student progress. Working through this process over the next few years created well developed habits in teams around using data, collaborating and intentionally planning their instruction. We saw increased improvement in our state assessment scores and earned an Exemplary accountability rating for the first time in 2008. Seeing success showed us all that we were on the right path. 

Early success doesn’t always mean continued success. We hit a rough patch with the introduction of the STAAR test in 2011-2012. As a campus, we knew we had to make changes in order to continue reaching our goals for achievement. With a new leader paving the way, we redefined our mission and vision as a campus, shifting our focus to student learning, not solely working together as a team. We began to incorporate innovative ways to provide professional development that allowed us to learn from each other, including personalized book studies, opportunities for teachers to observe peers in action and teacher led sessions in lieu of faculty meetings. We continued to send teams of teacher representatives to the PLC state conferences each summer for continued professional development to keep the foundation that had been laid strong. During one of these conference sessions, our principal learned about John Hattie’s research with Visible Learning. She brought it back to campus, and we are currently in our 5th year of continuing Visible Learning implementation. We were recently recognized as one of three Visible Learning Model Campuses in the world. 

Fast forward to today, our practices are well defined with expectations outlined for using data, monitoring student progress and planning collaboratively. 

Along with refining our campus practices, incorporating Visible Learning strategies into our school culture has strengthened our collective efficacy (1.39 effect size), bringing clarity to our purpose as a campus. Linking Walks and Impact Cycles allow us to collect data and gather input from students and teachers in a systematic way so we can identify areas to target for growth. These systems foster a culture of reflection on our campus where teachers and staff are not afraid to fail forward and make the necessary changes to impact student achievement. Each process loops continuously, and feedback drives revisions to ensure that every student succeeds. As a professional learning community, each of us are intentionally and purposefully driven by data, collaboration and reflection. A focus on continuous improvement has developed a campus culture that accepts and welcomes new ideas to ensure that all students' needs are met. 

 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

We monitor student learning by utilizing data from various types of assessments to make instructional decisions, including student reflections and goal setting. From planning instruction to analyzing learning outcomes and everything in between, our teachers consistently collect, analyze and use this data to monitor student learning as well as reflect on the impact and success of their teaching practices. 

Teachers make learning accessible for students by collaboratively planning and developing learning intentions and success criteria for content learning standards. Using the success criteria, students are able to take ownership of their learning by tracking their progress toward the learning standard. Our students are able to articulate what they are learning, how they are doing, and where they will go next. Self-reflection and feedback are important tools our teachers utilize to ensure that students are receiving the instructional strategies necessary for them to meet the learning expectations.

Expectations for our students include meeting all required essential standards by the state. When students are not meeting the learning standards, remediation and intervention (RtI) are provided and monitored to track student growth. Every 3 weeks our teams monitor progress and evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions in place for our students who need additional support, along with our specialists, special education representatives and administration. When students are not making progress, these larger teams brainstorm different strategies, interventions and create measurable goals for each student. Students who are continuing to make progress also have needs that change. Those needs are addressed in the same way.

We also use a school wide impact hour to provide time for all students to receive targeted instruction. For the 3rd year in a row, we have implemented an impact hour at the same time daily allowing us to incorporate time for students to work in multi-age groups, follow their passions and interests with learner pathways, and participate in deep and transfer level extension activities while other students receive targeted intervention. Within each grade level students are flexibly grouped based on the necessary interventions and extension opportunities needed at that time. Students own their own learning by rating themselves, utilize feedback from others, and track their progress on mastering standards to guide them during this time. As student needs change over time, instruction and student groups are adjusted in order to address these needs.

 

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

At Metzler, we have created and implemented a system of interventions and extensions to provide students with additional time and support for learning, which stem from our collective commitment for all students to make one year’s growth. 

We provide research-based interventions for students using the RtI process, which occurs during our school-wide impact hour. During this daily intervention time, teachers flexibly group students and work with them to address gaps in their learning. Data is collected from the interventions used and closely monitored and adjusted for effectiveness. Throughout our PLC journey, we have developed protocols to guide teams as they review student data, track student goals and adjust interventions as necessary. Using on-going assessments and tracking student progress on the learning intentions and success criteria, teachers are able to identify students who need re-teaching and address those needs with small group rotations during their content block. While these systems address the needs of struggling students, we recognize that students who are not struggling also have learning needs. Teachers invite feedback from others and collaborate with various colleagues across the campus to develop extension activities, learning pathways, and choice boards for students who have shown mastery of concepts on pre-assessments. 

We also teach students about the power of “yet.” Every student is in a different place with their learning and some will master concepts faster than others. Each student has strengths and areas to improve upon. Regardless of a student’s achievement level, showing growth is celebrated, informally as well as formally during quarterly learning celebration ceremonies. Our students understand that learning is a challenge, but one worth all the hard work. 

 
 

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

Our collective commitment as a campus is to ensure that all students make one year’s growth each year. To reach this goal, teams need time to plan, analyze data and monitor student progress. Our master schedule has been redesigned providing teams one 90 minute weekly meeting time, in addition to their daily conference period. To plan effectively, our teachers use the 4 guiding questions in their protocol. This includes determining the learning goals, deciding how to assess the learning, and developing lessons to support learning outcomes. During data meetings, teams reflect on formative and summative assessments and analyze data by grade level, class and student. Using the guiding questions in their data protocol, teachers discuss the varying instructional practices utilized and the impact those had on student learning outcomes. Collaboration around effective teacher practices has strengthened our teams, as they now learn from each other and see the connection between their instruction and student learning. Through our monthly progress monitoring meetings, teams also complete online profiles for students in RtI using current data. They discuss the effectiveness of the intervention for each student and make adjustments to the instruction based on the level of effectiveness documented. 

Teachers also participate in content vertical team meetings monthly to work with colleagues on deepening their content knowledge and aligning instruction across our campus. Our administration provides opportunities for our faculty to engage in personalized professional development. Once a month, teachers are invited to lead professional development sessions for their colleagues. Staff choose a session to attend based on their interest, goals or proficiency level and then provide feedback to the lead team to guide future sessions. 

Using John Hattie's 10 mindframes as a guide, we now see ourselves collectively as change agents, evaluators of our own impact and use our common language for learning, just to name a few. We utilize impact cycles as opportunities for teachers and the campus as a whole to measure our impact on student learning. Each teacher focuses on an instructional practice and collects data to measure the effectiveness of that practice and its impact on student learning. Teachers collaborate with others who share similar goals across the campus, as well as lead and participate in book clubs that align with their goals. 

Involving teachers in these experiences allows them to see learning through the eyes of their students and challenges them to continue learning. Our teachers model what learning is like for their students, showing them that it is a never-ending process that requires one to be curious, persistent, set goals, self-reflect, embrace challenge and collaborate. These effective learner dispositions were developed by teachers and now are modeled and used by students and staff across the campus daily. Learning is not a destination, but a continuous journey of ups and downs. We are all involved in the learning process. Our common understanding about learning has developed our teachers into lead learners on our campus, guiding and assisting students through their learning journey.

 

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

State Recognition and Distinction:

2008-2010-State of Texas Accountability rating: Exemplary 

2013- Distinction: Top 25% in Student Progress

2014-Distinctions: Mathematics and Top 25% in Student Progress

2015-Distinction: Top 25% in Student Progress

2016-Distinctions: Top 25% in Student Progress, Top 25% in Closing Performance Gaps, and Postsecondary Readiness

2017-Distinctions: Top 25% in Closing Performance Gaps, Reading,  Postsecondary Readiness, Science,  Mathematics, and Top 25% in Student Progress

2018-Top 25% in Closing Performance Gaps, Reading, Postsecondary Readiness,  Science, and Top 25% in Student Progress

2019-Rated an A school with a score of 94

2019-Distinctions Top 25% in Closing Performance Gaps and Science

**Data for grades K-2 can be found under the Resources tab, as there is no state comparison to complete the data template. 

 

 

Area

Name and Year of Award

Visible Learning

One of three international Visible Learning model schools, 2018

Visible Learning International Conference Presenters, 2017, 2019

Grants

Klein Education Foundation Grant Recipients 2006, 2007, 2012, 2017

Teacher awards

HEB Excellence in Education State Rising Star Teacher Finalist, 2014

School Clubs

Coding Club, Culture4Caring, Constructioneers, Husky PAWS, Jogging Club, Choir, Orff, Destination Imagination, Leadership Academy, KLME news crew, Safety Patrols, Name That Book

Destination Imagination Team: “DI-ritos” placed 8th in global competition 2019

Destination Imagination Team: “Miracle of the Diamond Flamingo-corns” placed 2nd in global competition 2018

Destination Imagination Team: “DI nomites, the sequel” placed 7th in global competition 2014

Destination Imagination Team: “DI nomites Reborn” State Champions 2015

Destination Imagination Regional Champions 2013, 2015

Klein ISD Coding Club Expo, 3 District Challenge 1st place 2018

Klein ISD Coding Club Expo, 2 District Challenge 2nd place 2019

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