- Number of Students: 470
- Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: 42.9%
- Percent of Limited English Proficient: 0%
- Percent of Special Education: 13.5%
- White: 92%
- Black: 1%
- Hispanic: 3.9%
- Asian: 0%
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 0%
- American Indian or Alaska Native: 0%
- Multiracial: 3.1%
- Other: 0%
Upon receiving 2017 state assessment scores, the third grade team at Schofield Elementary in Republic, Missouri knew immediately something must change. Less than 50% of students scored in the Proficient and Advanced categories for the year in math. Trend data for third grade students in math showed inconsistent results with less than 55% of students scoring
in the Proficient and Advanced categories in 2016 and less than 36% scoring in the Proficient and Advanced categories in 2015. The team made a commitment to ensure this did not happen again.
Schofield Elementary's adopted mission is to develop and empower lifelong learners and leaders all day, every day. The significance of the term lifelong learner is visited every year and its importance cannot be ignored. Lifelong learners love to learn. When a student loves to learn, they continue to do so and as a result have a higher quality of life and contribute to society in a positive way. Lifelong learners complete high school and earn advanced degrees. Not only are lifelong learners happier and healthier, their families are also happier and healthier. Students that are not proficient with essential skills in math and literacy are not likely to be lifelong learners and the adopted mission was not being realized.
Educators began the year by revising the School Improvement Plan with a new sense of urgency. The process of revising the Building School Improvment Plan is cemented in the work of Schofield educators. Within this plan are Schofield Elementary's mission, vision, Collective Commitments and schoolwide goals. The following research focusing on the importance of lifleong learning and Schofield's mission with Schofield educators is reviewed annually:
Levin, Belfield, Muennig, and Rouse (2006) calculated that dropouts from high school have an average income of $23,000 annually, while a high-school graduate earns 48 percent more than this, a person with some college education earns 78 percent more, and a college graduate earns 346 percent more. High school graduates live six to nine years longer than dropouts, have better health, are 10-20 percent less likely to be involved in criminal activities, and are 20-40 percent less likely to be on welfare. These 'costs' far exceed the costs of demonstratively successful educational interventions. Graduating from high school increases tax revenue, reduces taxes paid into public health, and decreases criminal justice and public assistance costs, plus there is clear justice in providing opportunities to students such that they can enjoy the benefits of greater income, health, and happiness.
Levin et al. claim that the best predictor of health, wealth and happiness later in life is not school achievement, but the number of years in schooling. Retaining students in learning is a highly desirable outcome of schooling, and because many students make decisions about staying in schooling between the ages of 11 and 15, this means that the school and learning experiences at these ages must be productive, challenging and engaging to ensure the best chance possible that students will stay in school.
In addition to reviewing the research that helped create the school's mission and the mission statement itself, the school's vision and Collective Commitments were reviewed, as well. These important pillars of a Professional Learning Community were created with input from all staff members and guidance from the school's leadership team. They are revisited yearly for revisions and to set the tone for the work of the Schofield Elementary team. They are part of the building's School Improvement Plan that can be viewed HERE. They are also shared with new educators joining Schofield Elementary in a presentation led by the building principal. Schofield Elementary's Collective Commitments have been revised through the years and currently are as follows:
These are the promises we, the administrators and teachers, make to you and your students. We take these promises very seriously. If you ever feel we are not living up to them, please contact us (DuFour, DuFour, & Eaker, 2008).
1. We will proactively collaborate with and involve families in the education of their children by continually communicating daily learning activities and reporting mid-quarter and quarterly progress.
2. We will meet weekly to discuss academic data collected through benchmark assessments and common assessments to plan instruction for students.
3. We will provide time each day for students that need extra time and support or extended learning opportunities.
4. We will collaborate with the district’s literacy, numeracy and technology coaches once a quarter and as needed.
5. We will implement The Leader in Me Process and teach Schofield kids how to use the 7 Habits to be safe, respectful and responsible.
6. We are committed to proficiency for all students.
Schofield Elementary's vision is
T - Treating everyone with respect
I - Integrity in all things
G - Giving back to our community
E - Educating the whole person
R - Reaching our goals
S - Striving to become a lifelong learner
Some members of the team visited nearby schools in Southwest Missouri that were experiencing success and asked them about their practices. Others attended a Continuous Classroom Improvement Conference with Mr. Jim Shipley in Florida. In addition, educators attended the state of Missouri’s Powerful Learning Conference at Osage Beach. The Powerful Learning Conference featured Mr. Mike Mattos with Solution Tree and his battle cry of By student, By standard and how educators can ensure learning through implementation of the Response to Intervention model.
After their research, everyone got right to work. A daily Response to Intervention time was implemented at the beginning of the second semester during the 2017-2018 school year. This occurred first thing in the morning Monday through Thursday. The third grade students at Schofield Elementary know this time as W. I. N. (What I Need). A video of third grade educators setting up this time at the beginning of the year with students can be viewed by clicking HERE. Math priority standards for third grade were identified and taught during this time. Priority standards were chosen based on district priority standards, state resources and educator knowledge of third grade students. The team created a pre and post assessment for each priority standard and cycle of teaching. Assessments to determine next steps for instruction were given on Friday. Students that needed additional time and support were grouped accordingly. Students that needed extension were taught fourth grade math standards that aligned to identified third grade priority standards.
Each cycle of learning was shared with students and tracked using the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle in the classroom. Students set a learning goal that aligned to the current learning cycle with the teacher and recorded steps to achieve the goal. During the learning cycle, formative assessment data was taken, posted and shared with students. Students and teachers would decide on next steps based on the data. Progress on the goals was posted on the building’s data wall for third grade. An example of a classroom PDSA and the building data wall can be viewed by clicking HERE.
At the end of the 2017-2018 school year, 84% of third grade students scored proficient on third grade math common assessments for the year and 75% of the students scored in the At/Above Benchmark category on the district's universal math assessment (Star Math) at the beginning of their fourth grade year. Then came the Missouri Assessment Program or state assessment results! 83% of students scored in the Proficient and Advanced categories on the state assessment for math and 70% scored in the Proficient and Advanced categories in Reading. While educators focused on math priority standards during RTI, they became more adept at determining areas for focus and concentrated instruction in reading, as well. Not only did 83% of students score in the Advanced and Proficient categories for math on the state assessment, but each classroom scored at 80% or higher proficiency deepening the team's understanding of accepting collective responsibility for ALL students. A video celebrating the work of these team of educators can be viewed HERE.
Two additonal points that need to be included in this narrative are the adoption of RTI by other grade levels and 2018-2019 state assessment results. While the third grade team at Schofield were first to adopt and begin utilizing a daily RTI time, the other grade levels in the building were also beginning to adopt the process and all grade levels were fully implementing the process at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year. This leads to the second point of 2018-2019 state assessment results. While the learning experienced by third grade students was celebrated, secretly everyone was wondering if the results could be repeated during the next school year or if this was a one time event or stand out cohort of students. This question was soon answered. The cohort of students that attended a daily RTI time beginning in third grade and then again in fourth grade were again very successful on the state assessment. 86% of students scored in the Proficient and Advanced categories for Math and 76% of students scored in the Proficient and Advanced categories for Reading.
What about the new cohort of students in third grade? Well, they ended the year with 70% of students scoring in the Proficient and Advanced categories in Math and 65% scoring in the Proficient and Advanced categories in Reading on the state assessment. This was a huge celebration and affirmation of the implementation of RTI. To fuel or run the RTI process, a weekly grade level collaboration time was utilized by the team to accomplish the work described in this essay. Each Friday students were released an hour early and educators stayed to do the work of a Professional Learning Community. During this time work focused on the four questions of a Professional Learning Community:
- What do we want students to know?
- How will we know they have learned it?
- How will we respond when they do not learn?
- How will we respond when they already know it?
The team analyzed data, planned instruction, created assessments and determined best teaching practices during this time. The collective efficacy and responsibility of the team increased exponentially as a result. The third grade team is now a high functioning professional learning community that is dedicated to the success of all the students in their grade level. They have served as a model for other grade levels in the building, as well. Click HERE to view a video of their collaboration time and HERE for a look at the tool grade levels use to track learning during each RTI cycle.
What a difference a few years and a few dedicated educators make in the lives of kids! Much has been accomplished, but there is more to be done. Jon Gordon writes, "Each year the best recommit themselves to being better than they were the year before." Schofield educators have and will continue to commit to being better each year. There is sincere dedication in their voices when they say, "Love our school!"
1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.
- In 2014-2015, the educators of the Republic School District began creating Units of Instruction based on the Missouri Learning Standards. Curriculum Development Committees were created to lead this work and seek input from all classroom educators. The Units of Instruction along with Pacing Guides and other Resources are available for educator access using the Learning Management Platform, Canvas. Educators used the Understanding by Desging Framework by Wiggins and McTighe to guide thier work. The Units of Instruction are dynamic documents that are reviewed and revised annually by the Curriculum Development Committees. Common Assessments and Priority Standards are included in each Unit of Instruction. The Common Assessments determine student proficiency with Priority Standards and progress towards proficiency with standards is reported to families on student Progress Reports (mid-quarter) and Term Reports (quarter). The district uses standards-based grading when reporting progress to families.
- In 2015-2016, the District began the process of creating a Comprehensive School Improvement Plan. This plan was created with feedback from all stakeholders. Feedback was solicited via surveys and then focus groups were created and utilized to guide the work of creating the plan. The creation and adoption of the plan took one year of time and is currently used to guide the work of the district including the creation of Building School Improvement Plans and Department/Grade Level Improvement Plans. The CSIP includes Community Priorities that align to Goals and strategies for accomplishing the goals. All systems PK-12 report their progress toward reaching CSIP goals quarterly to the Board of Education, building educators, families and students. Progress toward meeting BSIP goals is reported at the Middle and End of the Year. The academic goals of the CSIP and BSIPs are directly aligned to student proficiency with priority standards determined by district common assessments. Click HERE to the documents for reporting CSIP and BSIP Progress.
2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.
- In addition to creating a Comprehensive School Improvement Plan in 2015-2016, the district began early-release on Friday afternoons. This hour-long period of time was created for educators to collaborate about student learning. The time was and continues to be protected and occurs weekly allowing classroom educators to work as Professional Learning Communities. An example of the document educators use to guide their work during early release can be viewed by clicking HERE. This example is from second grade, but all grade levels have a similar plan.
- The educators at Schofield Elementary worked to refine their processes, discussions and habits during early release through reflection and professional development in 2016-2017, but the implmentation of a daily Response to Intervention time the following year was the key to optimizing early release and becoming a Professional Learning Community.
- In 2017-2018, a daily Response to Intervention time was implemented at the beginning of the second semester. This occurs first thing in the morning Monday through Thursday for Grades 2-5 and in the afternoon for K-1. Math and literacy priority standards are identified and taught during this time. Priority standards are chosen based on district priority standards, state resources and educator knowledge of grade level skills. Teams create a pre and post assessment for each priority standard and cycle of teaching. Formative assessments to determine next steps for instruction are given throughout each cycle and formally at the end of a cycle to determine if the content needs to be revisited again later in the year. Students that needed additional time and support are grouped accordingly. Students that need extension are provided enrichment activities or taught next grade level standards that align to identified priority standards.
- All students attend RTI daily. It is a non-negotiable for both students and staff. Specials teachers, special education teachers and building administrators push-in during RTI as support. They also collaborate with classroom educators during early release. One of our favorite stories highlighting the level of importance the students place on this time is the day a third grade boy and his peers arrived late to school because of a bus issue. He came in the doors, put his hands on his head and stated, "Oh, no. We are going to be late for WIN (RTI)!" We were expecting him to be concerned about breakfast, but no. He was concerned about his learning!
3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.
Capacity for working as members of high-performing collaborative teams has been built through observation, professional development, quarterly data team meetings and weekly early release meetings. One of the keys to continuous improvement is comparing your results to those in your profession that are getting it right. The educators at Schofield Elementary have been very open to this practice. They began by visiting area schools that were seeing great results in student learning. They then observed effective teams within their own builidng during early release collaboration and RTI.
In addition to observations, educators have attended many professional development opportunities to build their capacity. These opportunities include the Professional Learning Communities at Work Institute, Response to Intervention at Work Workshop, the Missouri Powerful Learning Conference and district-hosted speaker Austin Buffum's session on Response to Intervention. In addition, they attended a Greater Ozarks Cooperating School Districts professional development session focusing on Professional Learning Communities.
This professional development has provided the why behind the importance of creating systems that provide additional support and extension for students when learning grade level standards for literacy and numeracy. In additon, educators have learned the importance of utilizing data in their conversations to determine next steps for instruction and identification of effective practices. Quarterly grade-level data team meetings are held to determine if district, building and grade level learning goals are being met and action steps are being followed. An agenda for grade-level data team meetings can be found HERE. Educators also meet weekly during early release to review student data, determine cycles of learning for RTI, create lessons and assessments.
In addition to collaborating during weekly release, one of Schofield's educators attended a session on vertical collaboration at schools during his visit to the Missouri Powerful Learning Conference. He brought the information back to Schofield and launched Schofield's Vertical Collaboration Team. This team meets regulary and works to lead vertical meetings building-wide. This work has been instrumental in helping each grade level identify supporting standards and key vocabulary. It has further advanced the collective responsibility of the educators at Schofield Elementary. This work has been shared with other building elementaries, visitors and at professional conferences. Click HERE to view an agenda from a vertical team meeting.
Achievement Data Files
Additional Achievement Data
The achievement Data for the Missouri Assessment Program has been in transition for the past several years. Over the past 7 years, the assessments and the standards being assessed have changed in Missouri. As standards changed, the results of the MAP assessments were evaluated and in some cases the results were thrown out. This has caused the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to issue a caution about using the data as a method of comparisons from year to year.
The data provided in the attached files compare Schofield Elementary and the State of Missouri. The data reported shows the results of the MAP assessment for 2017-2019.
The State defines a subgroup as having 30 or more students who fall into that category. The subgroup data for The State of Missouri and Schofield Elementary School lists 2 years of data because of changes that occurred in the assessment program. As you can see from the data, there are gaps in the reports because on the number of students who were listed in a subgroup. We have included the scores of Schofield Elementary School and the State of Missouri.
As you can see from the data, the Scofield Elementary disaggregate student performance is significantly above the scores for students in the State overall.
The work of the Schofield Elementary students and educators has been shared and celebrated in many ways. Educators have visited Schofield to watch the daily RTI time and the weekly early release time. In addition, the educators and students have presented their work in multiple venues in front of various stakeholders. Celebrations have occurred across the building and grade levels. Simply saying we are proud of our kids and their learning is an understatement.
Several schools in the Southwest Missouri region have visited Schofield Elementary in the last two years. They have observed daily RTI time and weekly collaboration with debriefing sessions before and after their observations. Schools within the district have also visited, but the most unique visit was the middle school and high school educators from our district. This was a unique opportunity to collaborate K-12 and everyone was very excited!
Building principals and classroom teachers have presented their work at local professional development forums and at the State of Missouri's Powerful Learning Conference. Students helped present the work to the Board of Education last year sharing their experiences and thoughts about RTI. Two teachers that were instrumental in launching RTI at Schofield have won the district's RepMO Hero Award at the buildng level and one has won at the district level.
Students and classroom teachers celebrate each time they meet a goal in literacy or math and share their celebration via social media and classroom newsletters. Students celebrated building-wide when earned 100% on the Annual Performance Report from the state in 2017. Everyone has truly enjoyed sharing with colleagues and celebrating the success of Schofield kids! A few photos of our celebrations and presentations and be found HERE.