Ringgold High School

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

Ringgold High School's PLC journey began in the 2014-2015 school year.  Although common planning time for teachers had begun four-years prior, we began looking for ways to maximize that common planning time.  Teachers began creating and implementing common summative assessments and using those results to help prepare students for their End-of-Course (EOC) exams.  While this was a small-step in PLC implementation, it began before we really knew or could articulate the PLC principles and practices.  Our journey continued in the 2015-2016 school year after the administration attended a data-team conference.  Teachers began taking smaller steps in collaboratively analyzing their data and using their results in lesson design.  Also, our teachers received training on rigor in the classroom through RESA and used their acquired skills in designing lessons.  The 2016-2018 school years became the catalysts of our PLC journey.  After attending our first Solution Tree PLC at Work conference and touring Adlai Stevenson High School, our knowledge and passion for the PLC principles grew and catapulted our journey to the next steps.  We invited Bob Eaker, who is a Ringgold High School graduate and PLC founder, to host a seminar which inspired us to continue our journey towards developing an effective and authentic culture of collaborative professionals. In the spring of 2018, the district provided the opportunity for county-wide algebra, geometry, 9th grade and 11th grade English teachers to collaboratively design essential standards.  Tier II intervention time was carved out of every class during the last twenty minutes of each block to provide intervention and reteaching time for struggling students.  In 2018-2019, a flex-schedule was created to provide Tier II remediation, Tier III intervention, and enrichment during the school day without students having to miss current grade-level instructional time.  By the end of this school year, every content team had created essential standards/learning targets and common formative and summative assessments.  Our district also allowed us to move to Early Release Wednesdays, a time where students could leave school an hour earlier than the regularly scheduled time.  Early-release Wednesdays gave content teams additional, non-interrupted collaboration time that was protected from any meetings or activities that would take away from true collaboration.  In the fall of 2019, we added an academic lunch support time to provide another opportunity for students to have additional time to succeed.  Throughout this journey, administrators and the academic coach have sat in and provided guidance to content teams to ensure that true collaboration was taking place.  We are learning more and more that true professional learning communities are not about checking off a box but rather are journeys that grow and evolve every year to better meet the needs of our students.  Our journey is showing us that when we say our value promise of, "Every Tiger, Every Day, Without Exception" we truly mean it for every student and will stop at nothing to ensure every student's success.  

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

The teachers at Ringgold High School meet a minimum of twice a week with their content teams.  Some teams that are further along in their PLC journey meet just about every day and report that they cannot imagine doing their work without their teammates.  Teams consist of teachers that teach the same subject content. Our singleton teachers in the Humanities, Fine Arts, Physical Fitness, and CTAE departments meet by department.  Because some of these teams do not teach the same content, they have agreed on common skills for their PLC initiatives to revolve around. For example, the CTAE department focuses on soft skills required in the business world.  To collaboratively help meet the school improvement goal of strengthening our students’ reading and writing abilities, the CTAE department also uses these skills as their guaranteed and viable curriculum. In addition, the CTAE teachers meet regularly to unpack the literacy standards. The department re-evaluates its curriculum to ensure that students are exposed to technical writing at higher lexile levels. The team creates assessments based on the literacy standards and provides a rubric for students to use.  Our content teams’ guaranteed and viable curriculum revolves around answering the four PLC essential questions. Teams chose essential standards for their content and broke those standards down into learning targets and I Can statements. Once the teams agreed on the learning objectives, they then created common pacing guides as well as common formative and summative assessments. During collaboration time, teachers analyze their students’ data and develop plans for reteaching and enrichment.  

 

Student learning is monitored through a variety of ways.  While End of Course (EOC) testing is used as a summative measurement, it is only one tool that we use to measure our students’ success.  District-wide algebra, geometry, 9th grade English, and 11th grade English teachers collaboratively created a benchmark assessment for their subject.  These benchmarks are given at the mid-point of the semester to help gauge student learning. In addition to EOCs and benchmarks, students identified as needing Tier III remediation also complete diagnostic assessments through their Tier III interventions to help us diagnose deficits and monitor student learning.  While these forms of assessment help us monitor student learning long-term, our greatest tools in measuring timely student learning is through our teacher-created common formative and summative assessments. Common assessments are given throughout the learning and at the end of each unit. Teachers document the students that did or did not master essential standards and then develop and carry-out plans to reteach and reassess learning.

 

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

Our first attempt at implementing timely intervention and enrichment for students started by carving out the last twenty-minutes of each block twice a week.  Teachers were expected to use this time for the sole purpose of reteaching and enriching student learning. While this model worked, we felt that it could be enhanced and better monitored through a different format.  As our knowledge of PLC practices grew and after the administration visited Adlai Stevenson High School in 2018, we determined that creating a schedule for Flex (flexible) time would be a more systematic approach to intervention and extension.  During the lunch hour, every student was assigned to a thirty-minute flex class. Students receiving Tier III reading interventions were given first priority of scheduling and were placed in a reading intervention flex class. Because the flex class was created with flexibility in mind, teachers were then able to pull the students that they needed for W.I.N. (What I Need) time.  Many content teams have also included buffer days in their pacing guides so that they have specified time to provide timely intervention and extension for their students before moving on to other skills. In addition to flex class and buffer days, students needing Tier III math remediation were strategically placed in year-long math classes instead of the traditional semester long class.  The year-long class schedule allows for students to have consistent math instruction and help throughout the year without having a semester long break from math. Also, teachers in the year-long math classes are able to implement Tier III remediation for students for twenty-minutes a day, three days a week to try to remediate skill deficits that the students have without taking time away from current grade-level instruction.

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

The mission of Ringgold High School is to, “Equip every student with the skills necessary for future success.”  One way that this mission is accomplished is through the discussions, growth, and learning experiences of our content teams.  Our school and district are committed to the development of our teachers and much of this development is dependent on their learning as collaborative teams.  This commitment to building teacher capacity is evident in the design of our schedule which allows for common planning time as well as an Early Release Wednesday so that content teams have protected time to meet at least bi-weekly.  As our PLC journey has continued, professional development has been targeted to help our teacher teams best answer the four essential questions of a PLC. In their content teams, teachers build their capacity as strong teams by answering the PLC questions: What do we expect our students to learn, how will we know if a student has learned, how will we respond if a student has not learned, and how can we extend the learning if a student has already mastered the learning.  Every content team time begins with team-created norms and is then navigated in to different tasks that are related to answering the four essential PLC questions. Another tool that has served as a driving force in growing our teachers’ capacity is through the leadership team. This team meets at the end of each summer break for our yearly Summit, a beginning of the year collaborative team time where we create vision and goals for the upcoming school year.  This team meets consistently throughout the year because we know that in order to effectively build the culture of PLCs in our school, it is essential for strong teacher leaders to be at the forefront of the movement. As the leadership team has grown their knowledge and beliefs in PLCs through conferences, professional development, and a book study, they have been able to take that knowledge back to their teams to help further and sustain the collaborative culture in the building.

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, Georgia high schools transitioned from the End of Course Tests (EOCTs) to the Georgia Milestones End of Course Assessment (EOC).  This assessment was a more rigorous level of questioning to determine proficiency for Georgia students.  The assessment is scored on a four-point scale as follows: 

Level 1: Beginning Learners that do not yet demonstrate proficiency

Level 2: Developing Learners demonstrate partial proficiency

Level 3: Proficient Learners demonstrate proficiency

Level 4: Distinguished Learners demonstrate advanced proficiency

The first chart included in this template includes the number of students that scored proficient or higher, scoring a level 3 or 4, on the EOC.  While some analyses include Levels 2, 3, and 4 in their data reporting, we focus on levels 3 and 4 to ensure that full proficiency and understanding of grade-level content has been mastered by our students.  Subgroup data has also been included in this chart to display that we are meeting the needs of “Every Tiger, Every Day, Without Exception.”  The next four charts included in the document display ACT, Dual Enrollment, Distinguished Learners, and HOPE Scholarship Eligibility.  While we offer a wide-range of AP courses in many academic core subjects, we have many students that choose to complete college-level courses in lieu of taking and completing AP exams.  Therefore, our AP exam numbers are not included here because the numbers of students testing are too few to report.  Our dual enrollment offerings provide a great opportunity to challenge and extend our students that have already mastered learning in the high school content setting and are ready to extend their learning through higher-level courses.  Some dual enrollment courses are offered on our campus while others are provided off campus in our partner technical school and community college.  For students that are seeking a post-secondary technical licensure or trade career, we have partnered with Georgia Northwestern Technical College and our soon to be career academy to offer a wide-range of courses.  For students seeking a post-secondary bachelor’s degree, we have partnered with Dalton State Community College to offer academic courses that will transfer to many Georgia state colleges and universities.  Along with our dual enrollment data, we have also included the number of students that are scoring at the distinguished level, Level 4, on the EOC as well as students that have qualified for the Georgia HOPE scholarship to add to the opportunities for growth and enrichment for our students.    

2017:

  • Led the county with the highest graduation rate
  • Three State Qualifiers and 1 National Qualifier in FCCLA STAR Events
  • JROTC Drill Team State Championship
  • GHSA Volleyball Region Champions
  • Dance Team State Champions
  • Marching Band Grand Champions

2018:

  • Beat the Odds recognition from the state of Georgia Department of Education
  • Led the county with the highest high school CCRPI score
  • Led the county with the highest graduation rate
  • 5-Star Climate Rating
  • GHSA Volleyball Region Champions
  • Five State Qualifiers in FCCLA Star Events
  • JROTC Drill Team State Championship
  • Dance Team State Champions
  • GHSA One Act Play Region Runner-Up
  • Marching Band Grand Champions

2019:

  • Beat the Odds recognition from the state of Georgia Department of Education
  • Led the county with the highest high school CCRPI score
  • Led the county with the highest graduation rate
  • 5-Star Climate Rating
  • JROTC Drill Team State Championship
  • JROTC Ladies Color Guard won state and finished 3rd in the entire country.
  • Four State Qualifiers and Two National Qualifiers in FCCLA STAR Events
  • HOSA Recognition for Hosting 42 Blood Drives 
  • GHSA Hip Hop Dance State Champions
  • GHSA Region and State Championship for Softball
  • GHSA Volleyball Region Champions
  • GHSA Girls’ Basketball Region Champions and Elite 8 in State Tournament
  • GHSA One Act Play Region and State Champions   
  • Shular Award winner for Best Music Direction 
  • Marching Band Grand Champions

 

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