R. O'Hara Lanier Middle School

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

R. O'Hara Lanier Middle School began our PLC journey in the 2016-2017 school year.  The campus did not meet standard in the Texas State accountability system for the fourth consecutive year. The campus had previously endured a reconstitution of staff and administration but still failed to see necessary improvement of student outcomes. The staff recruitment and retention was heavily impacted by the public perception of the failing school together with the modest, industrialized surroundings. The district supported the campus in offering a significant stipend to recruit successful, tenured teachers. After a lofty recruiting process, five teachers elected to join the Lanier faculty under this distinction. While, the veteran instructional practices were beneficial, it was clear that in isolation these practices would have minimal impact. 

In the summer of 2016, a small team of teachers and the principal at that time, attended the Professional Learning Community at Work Institute in San Antonio. This institute began our first glimpse of the possibilities of true transformation. The team in attendance returned to campus and presented the Three Big Ideas and the Four Critical Questions to the staff. These became fundamental elements of instructional planning. The collective results evidenced the impact of the work. At the culmination of the year, Lanier had finally risen to a Met Standard rating. Although the campus reached this milestone, student achievement revealed there was still significant improvement that our students deserve. 

In the summer of 2017, the newly assigned principal, Bridgette Percle, inspired by her recent professional development in RTIatWork and PLCat Work, and with the support of the district, secured a Lanier team of 15 teachers and two administrators to attend the Professional Learning Community at Work Institute. Our team acquired more fundamental realizations that we are becoming a Professional Learning Community not attending one during planning times. We also recognized the importance of identifying essential learning outcomes for each content area unit. Upon returning, the Campus Leadership Team evaluated necessary changes that would need to occur to fully embrace the process. Bridgette and her team revised the master schedule to include a dedicated collaborative time. This time would now include a structured agenda with role assignments and norms established by the team. Additionally, the team made an additional revision to the master schedule to include an embedded flexible Tier II intervention time to ensure all students access to our guaranteed and viable curriculum. As we embarked on this leg of the journey, data became a cornerstone of the collaborative conversations. Teachers became increasingly proficient at monitoring student data and collaborating on best practices to obtain optimal outcomes. The end of the year state accountability results would again evidence the impact of this work. Student achievement increased and student progress increased by an exciting 32 percentage points. 

The student success was now tangible and the culture of the campus also began to positively ignite. The Lanier teachers and staff embraced our motto of “all means all”.  The summer of 2018 an additional large cohort of Lanier teachers and returning administrators attended our second PLC Institute in San Antonio. This time we were grounded in the work and ready for the next step. During Team Time at the institute, our team created a road map of how we would improve our common formative assessments and student data tracking. The principal, Bridgette Percle, was ignited by the PLC beliefs and embraced the importance of the collective inquiry and action research. She decided that PLC would be the vehicle that Lanier would operate in. The leadership team shared the enthusiasm with the preliminary results evidencing the PLC impact. The leadership team spoke this truth into every aspect of our planning and operational systems. Quickly, the model was exemplified to the staff and the results became evident. Our greatest growth was seen with the teams who most effectively collaborated the year before. This created a contagion for the work we were committed to doing. 

Our guiding coalition focused on the improved PLC agenda, continued learning target identification and shared development of formative assessments. We reshaped our Mission statement to include our PLC belief that all students can learn at high levels. The structured data discussions reformed how we share students and expertise in best practices. We not only share best practices but share students who are most in need for particular learning targets; ensuring that they receive the best instruction from the best practitioner. We use formative assessment data to drive our flexible intervention and enrichment groups. These have become sustainable best practices that the entire school community has an intrinsic investment in. The collective culture of collaboration is now our way of life. We began the year with teams developing collective commitments. We ended the year with the remarkable evidence of this shared understanding. For the first time in over a decade, based on the Texas state accountability system, Lanier is the highest rated middle school in the district. We have risen from an F to a B. Lanier received a state distinction for Student Growth and Mathematics Performance. We are a state “Recognized” campus to be proud of as a result of our “All In” focus of continuous improvement for “All” students.

The school year 2021/2022 brought about changes to Lanier Middle School.  Bridgette Percle left the district.  Margaret Meadows was named principal of Lanier and Velasco Elementary school.  The two schools share a city block.  Velasco serves grades 3 and 4, and Lanier serves grades 5 and 6.  We knew our students would have severe learning gaps because of the multiple disruptions caused by COVID.  We have continued with our dedication to collaboration, learning target identification; and common formative assessments.  The results have been refreshing to see.  Our students are making up lost instruction and are making gains in many areas.  We are committed to our belief that all students can learn at high levels; despite what obstacles are put in our path.

 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Lanier Middle school utilizes the dedicated collaborative time in the master schedule to identify essential standards and related vocabulary in each unit. The team then unpacks these standards into learning targets. The team creates formative assessments based on the identified learning targets to collect data on student mastery of essential standards per target. Upon weekly meetings to celebrate successes and delineate the student data, the teachers identify who will reteach which standard and to which students. The data is collected in the weekly data collection tool and the ongoing data for overall mastery is maintained in a student data listing available to any staff member who provides instruction to that student. This process allows us to improve student learning in the formative assessment process so that our summative student learning is improving.

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

Lanier's tiered intervention has been a model presented to our district. Tier I encompasses the learning of all students in the classroom setting. This might be featured a small group with stations and blended learning. Tier II may begin in real time or later in the day where students and teachers participate in our Flex Tutorial time called "Pride Time". This is a dedicated daily time in the master schedule for Tier II reteach. It is a 65 minute flexible block and students may be seeing a different teacher each day depending on the student need and the teacher's area of instructional strength. Additionally in our collaborative time, teachers share data with the campus interventionists on students who may need additional support on the remedial skills necessary to mastery the learning target. These few students participate in a Tier III support on alternating days or in small groups every day as the need is discerned by the PLC team. We also have an embedded "Two Plus More" time where teachers have an extended conference once a week to support students who may need a little additional instruction in addition to Pride Time. Students who have mastered the standard are able to participate in extension activities during Pride Time and project based learning opportunities during Tier I time. Once per grading period we infuse a "Training Camp" to augment the daily Tier II support. This is a two week period where essential standards are revisited for students who still do not show mastery. This system has been a successful practice to ensure a guaranteed and viable curriculum is alive and well for ALL students.

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

Our high performing collaborative teams utilize a set of team identified norms and base their time together on the collective commitment to ensuring all students learn at high levels. The teams have identified roles and a set agenda for driving their time together. The team provides norm checks to one another as well as celebrates successes during their time together. The campus participated in a school wide book study on Best Practices at Tier I where our fundamental instructional practices have also vastly improved. The teams utilize articles from All Things PLC provided by the guiding coalition to enhance practice. The teams have evolved and now understand the vital importance of collaboration. Teachers share students and high performing teachers share best practices. All students participate in a learning tier; even high performing students. A data wall is utilized for a visual representation of our data collection. The prescriptive agenda and related roles assists the teams in ensuring that all students have the opportunity to master the essentials to be grade level ready.

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

Lanier has exceeded our campus SMART goal of a C rating and and has risen to a B state accountability rating with 2 State of Texas Education Agency Distinctions. Our English Learning Population was a staged performance with the state and we are now proudly performing at a level 1. Our LEP scores are the highest in our district cohort schools.

In 2019-2020 student outcomes continued to increase throughout the year. The Student Achievement Data Overview attached here includes a link that illustrates the logitudinal growth on benchmark assessments. 6th grade ELA doubled the mastery standard and was the highest in the district. The department formative assessments showed greater mastery at Tier I than we have ever experienced before and  allowed us to continue identifying targeted students and quickly intervene with these students on essential outcomes. Screener data revealed student growth was at .69 in Math by Decemeber and Reading was .53. Our SMART goal was .50 in both by December.

In 2020-2021 Lanier has continued to sustain best practices in integrating Professional Learning Communities. 

Lanier administrators have collaborated with the campus improvement team to identify the steps necessary to maintain and catapult the continued upward trajectory of student achievement. The campus is even more motivated to take all Lanier learners #ToTheTop through our Professional Learning Community. The steps to achieve this are:

  • Continuing ongoing daily targeted intervention per student per standard; 

  • Continue collaborating to provide varied instructional strategies to meet the needs of all learners;

  • Continue to share best practices, focus on results and provide professional development to further strengthen the instructional practices

  • Dedicated collaborative time; dedicated campus wide intervention time

While we did not have STAAR tests last year, we anticipated that we would have seen an increase in outcomes based on data collected throughout the year. Our benchmarks showed marked growth in the cohort groups. We are continuing the practices we have in place with a renewed focus on bridging the learning gaps students may have based on loss of opportunity for school in last spring and during virtual learning.

Our district is highly supportive of our campus goal attainment. Utilizing 1:1 technology we are ensuring that every student, virtual or face to face, continues to receive daily intervention. The MTTS (comprehensive RTI) team meets with the content area teachers to ensure students holistic needs are met.

We hired three new teachers this year. We enveloped these teachers, before the school year even commenced, in our Professioanl Learning Community way of being. We provided professional development in the protocol for collaborative data disaggregation, CKH framework and strategies for increasing student engagement and providing student support. Each new staff member attends professional development and is coupled with a successful, tenured mentor.

Additionally, Lanier is employing virtual means to engage with parents and community this year. This provides family and community a continued venue to connect with campus happenings while social events at school are not possible.

Due to our campuses committment to ensuring high levels of learning for all students we have been able to improve the campus culutre and holisitically essentially improved the school.

Texas School to Watch, TASSP 2021

Presented at the District Level on the PLC/Tiered Intervention Process

National Showcase School for Capturing Kids Hearts (2018-2021)

No Place for Hate Designated Campus

TEA State Recognized Campus; Overall campus Rating of "B"- the highest performing middle school in our district

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