Bragg Elementary

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

In the summer of 2017,Bragg Elementary was selected as an Arkansas PLC At Work Pilot Project school.  During this time, Bragg was undergoing several changes including a new administrative team, moving into a newly constructed building, and an influx of two hundred plus students with half being intradistrict school choice applicants.  Prior to our PLC journey, our school community had a common planning time, but there were no collaborative expectations. There was not a focus on student achievement , and teachers collaborated on lesson plans, but had not been given the tools to work toward each student's personalized learning journey and success. We had not analyzed their data for intervention and extension, but instead recorded a grade and moved to the next lesson. The work was not about learning, but more about coverage. Once Bragg was selected to be in the first cohort, the staff celebrated and the journey began.

Through the Pilot, we had coaches and specialists that worked with our school in order to implement the PLC model with support each year to expand our knowledge.Year one, the focus was around common language, norms, unpacked standards, and learning different structures of the PLC process (see cohesive-school-organizations-diagram-of-structure.pdf) (see 2nd-grade-norms-5357.pdf). Our math teams vertically aligned essential standards, unpacked each standard into learning targets, and created a rubric of proficiency for each standard (see unpacked-essential-standards-4th-grade-docx.pdf) (see unpacked-5th-math-standard.pdf). Year two, the focus was centered around the RTI models for academic, social, and behavioral interventions. During year two, we established a behavior team that grew into a group of teacher leaders that developed school wide behavior expectations with tiered interventions for students, and detailed lesson plans for the staff to use when teaching the expectations (see behavior-matrix-and-expectations.docx) (see behavior-lesson-plan.docx). Our guiding coalition became the pillar of communication during year two. This team focused on reviewing and critiquing CFAs that had been created by grade levels, worked on team building activities to take back to groups, and turned into the avenue of communication between teams (guiding-coalition-agenda.pdf). Literacy teams followed suit with creating pacing guides, units of assessment, and rubrics of proficiency for each essential standard that the teachers unpacked (see 4th-grade-literacy-unit-plan.docx) (see copy-of-5th-grade-literacy-vertical-learning-progressions.pdf). Year three, the focus was centered around assessment and refinement of processes. Teams began utilizing a ten day tracking system and collecting weekly data in Excel spreadsheets to view and monitor as systematic interventions and extensions took place (see 4th-grade-10-day-cycle-tracking.xlsx). This turned into teachers sharing students for our multi-tiered system of intervention (WIN time). We had the opportunity to go through the Assessment Academy where we reflected on our own beliefs and practices with assessment and began to fine-tune our team created assessments to drill down to the learning targets embedded in the essential standards.

The PLC journey showed us that we were not executing our vision and mission for our students (see bragg-mission-and-vision-6692.docx). We also saw that our beliefs changed as we learned more and grew professionally in the PLC work. These beliefs and behaviors turned into our schoolwide collective commitments that drive everything we practice and collaborate around to ensure high levels of learning for each student in our collective care (see collective-commitments-1418.pdf).  

One tool that has helped our school facilitate a culture of continuous improvement is the PLC at work continuum. The continuum allows us to determine where we fall on the rubric, which gives us the opportunity to reflect on our overall stage of implementation, provide our evidence and justification, and create next steps and plans that we want to achieve. Furthermore, we are able to clearly see areas we can celebrate as a school. We have built a culture of action research and continuously strive for improved student achievement for all students. We have built a school where the teachers have reached a level of professionalism that they are becoming leaders of the work for other schools.

 

 

 

 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

The four guiding questions of the PLC process spearheaded our work. We began by focusing on question 1: What do we expect students to know? As our first step, we identified our guaranteed and viable curriculum in ELA and Mathematics. Within this work, teams unpacked our essential standards and created learning targets (see unpacked-standard-r-l-5-3.pdf). As teachers progressed through learning the PLC process, we were coached to do the work to put the full learning cycle in place. Teams created unit plans ensuring all essential standards were mapped out for the year with adequate time for student mastery (see copy-of-2020-2021-fifth-grade-ela-mastery-map-1.pdf). The collaborative teacher teams created learning targets for each essential standard. Then, the teachers created common formative assessments for each learning target (see cfa-6-g-a-4-surface-area.pdf). When planning for assessments, teachers went back and planned for the "best first teach" using these assessments and targets to drive their instruction. Another piece of the unit was planning for common misconceptions students would face along the way. Teams proactively planned Tiers 1 and 2 into their daily instructional plans. Inside of these units, teachers utilized ten day cycles of planning that were intentional and targeted for student mastery. Teachers used Google Docs to not only create the cycles of instruction, but also for all team members to be informed of student learning needs in Tiers 2 and 3. They also created an Excel spreadsheet to collect continuous data around specific learning targets (see data-tracking-sheet-sample.pdf). Administrators led data meetings every three weeks where this data was displayed and shared. The results from this data were used to monitor student progress and provide intervention and extensions. 

In order to monitor student learning on a timely basis, we initially  implemented SMART goals as a semester measurement. After recognizing the high impact of SMART goals, we began to implement SMART goals per unit (see 5th-grade-teacher-created-smart-goals.docx). We saw that when we set a goal for the units, teachers became even more focused and driven. These teams created goals to drive the work of the team. Our teams have 80 minutes of collaborative team time to discuss their progress towards the goals and steps they need to take to ensure mastery. This is an area on the continuum that we have continued to grow and focus on. Bragg has influenced our district's practices as the entire district now uses SMART goals as a monitoring tool. All schools create SMART goals and bring the supporting data to quarterly meetings (see bragg-2nd-quarter-progress-report-1-12-2020.docx). Our work in this area has also influenced our neighboring schools. 

We try to live by this standard that Solution Tree has taught us: "Can you make every parent this promise? It does not matter which teacher your child has at our school.  Your child will receive the highest quality instruction, the best assessment practices, and extra time and support to learn at high levels".

 

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

Our staff has worked diligently to provide Tiers 2 and 3 support to allow all students to master the learning targets/standards for ELA and Mathematics. We reallocated resources to hire interventionists to provide additional Tiers 2 and 3 support in our RTI model (using-title-funds-to-pay-retired-teachers-as-interventionists.pdf). This allowed us more flexibility in scheduling services for student interventions and extensions. The implementation of our RTI work led to a culture shift that was one focused on making sure students got the opportunity to have a daily personalized learning experience.

As a school community we recognized a root cause of our student learning deficits that could be found in reading achievement. In order to respond to this need, we devised a daily intervention and extension model to ensure that all students could get to grade level in reading. In a true spirit of RTI and a learning community, we shared the load by dividing students among teachers and support staff. The model also provided students the opportunity to accelerate beyond their grade level. A foundational reading skills continuum was created by the teachers with including a definition of proficiency of each skill (see win-continuum-docx.pdf). As students master each skill, they immediately move to the next skill. In order to support this work, we use a data wall with every student’s picture and physically move their picture into the next group as they master a skill (see k-2-win-data-wall-docx.pdf). Each grade level has a specific colored card with the student’s picture, and this allows us to see at a quick glance if students are moving fast enough to get to grade level by the end of the year. If not, we immediately problem-solve and take action to accelerate the students that are behind. We were quickly encouraged to continue the use of this model within the first four weeks of implementation (see k-2-win-student-groups-docx.pdf). The data showed in several skills sets students grew from a 35% mastery rate to a 95% mastery rate. We will continue to utilize and refine this model to further our literacy gains. 

Now that our teams have seen the power of RTI, we continually strive to reallocate funding and time in order for every student to get exactly what they need. 

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 at Bragg, we have moved from a culture of teachers referring to “my” students to a culture of “our” students. The collective commitment to all students learning has empowered teachers to hold each other accountable for the work to be done. When teams meet, teachers are focused on what students have learned and still need to learn (see 5th-agenda-sample.docx). This time has come so valuable to teachers, that if they lost their collaborative planning time there would be a revolt. The following changes in practice have been embedded in our daily work: 

  • A Bragg Guiding Coalition has been working over the past three years to provide leadership throughout the school community in the sustainability of the Professional Learning Community model.

  • School schedules as well as assignments of both certified and noncertified staff are developed around the need for every student to have a guaranteed opportunity for intervention and extension.

  • School schedules are developed around providing critical collaborative planning time (see master-schedule-with-win-times.pdf).

  • Bragg’s PLC work has influenced the district efforts to move us toward utilizing the process throughout all of our schools.

  • Teams have collectively taken ownership of their guaranteed and viable curriculum through the essential standards selected (see 3rd-literacy-grade-essentials.pdf).

  • Teams focus on student performance data for learning targets and make sure that the students continue to accelerate.

  • As teams analyze progress they do not blame the students, but instead determine how their instructional approach could get each student to mastery.

  • Teams create common assessments collaboratively to align with the learning targets.

  • Teams implement the full learning cycle with an emphasis on the re-teach and extension.

  • Students are tracking their own learning in a data notebook which builds students' capacity (see copy-of-copy-of-reading-informational-i-can-statements-20-21-4-student-binders.pdf).  

  • Students know they have multiple opportunities to demonstrate learning and will be presented with different strategie to be successful. They appreciate knowing exactly what is expected of them to be proficient. 

  • Teams work to ensure that students do not become stuck in interventions, but that master the learning targets as quickly as possible (see 5th-spring-2020-growth-data-after-win-time.pdf )

  • Teachers have developed a trust with one another to continually share their data.

  • As teachers recognize students are not learning, they begin a  problem solving approach to ensure mastery occurs .

  • Teachers look at data and discuss what instructional strategies work best (see 4th-data.pdf).

 
Through the leadership and development of the guiding coalition, we have made a habit of practice to collect and share evidence of learning to monitor our SMART goals and ensure success for every child. We have furthered our capacity by using the Arkansas Playbook State Resource to guide our teacher teams and recover student learning after the impact of COVID. We further built our capacity through Bragg's building principal, who is also a member of the statewide guiding coalition. Additionally, due to the principal's designation on the statewide coalition, the Bragg teachers were able to further their expertise by creating units of instruction for the entire state. These units were an effort to support educators in reopening schools during this unprecedented time and create resources to support the reengagement of ALL students in the fall of 2020. The collaboration with outstanding educators throughout the state further strengthened the knowledge of our staff (see first-grade_-ela-state-playbook-unit.pdf). 
 

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

K-2 WIN Time data highlights (see win-time-data-2379 above):  During January 2019 we began building and implementing our K-2 WIN time. The following data shows growth from January to May of 2019: 1st grade mastered 37% VC/CVC words in January and grew to 91% mastery in May after WIN time; 1st grade mastered 11% of blends in January and grew to 83% mastery in May after WIN time; 1st grade mastered 9% of diagraphs in January and grew to 69% mastery in May after WIN time.2nd grade mastered 30% VC/CVC words in January and grew to 99% mastery in May after WIN time; 2nd grade mastered 16% of blends in January and grew to 97% mastery in May after WIN time; 2nd grade mastered 33% of diagraphs in January and grew to 94% mastery in May after WIN time. We continued our WIN groups into the 19-20 school year and here is a glance at WIN data: Letter ID & Sound: 1st grade: August 31% grew to 100% mastery in March; VC/CVC: Augst 24% grew to 100% mastery in March.

3rd Math ACT Aspire (see third-grade-math-act-aspire.pdf above): From 2016-2018, we grew from 71 to 91 students in third grade while increasing student achievement. From 2015-17 (prior to the PLC pilot) to 2017-18 (1st year of PLC Pilot), we did not see a growth rate. The growth that we saw for third grade after completing the second year of the PLC pilot, was an increase from 58% to 78% in the ready and exceeding scores on the third grade math ACT Aspire.  We were stagnent before the full implementation of the PLC process.

4th Reading ACT Aspire(see 4th-reading-act-aspire--1.pdf above)From 2015-17 (prior to the PLC pilot) to 2017-18(1st year of PLC Pilot), the ready and exceeding score for the Reading ACT Aspire was 27% for 4th grade. From 2016-17 to 2017-18, the ready and exceeding score for the Reading ACT Aspire was 60% for 4th grade. In 2018-19, the ready and exceeding score for 4th Reading was 82% making this an increase throughout the four years of the ACT Aspire scores with the implementation of the PLC process while growing numbers of students and coaching a new fourth grade teacher team through the PLC process. 

5th Math ACT Aspire (see 5th-math-act-aspire.pdf above): From 2015-17 (prior to the PLC pilot) to 2017-18 (1st year of PLC Pilot), the ready and exceeding score for the Math ACT Aspire was 25% for 5th grade.  In 2018-19, the ready and exceeding score for 5th Math was 77% making this an increase  ACT Aspire scores with the implementation of the PLC process. 

2024 Cohort Tracked from 5th to 6th grade (see act-aspire-cohort-2024-5_6.pdf above): Cohort data for the class of 2024 in tracking from 5th to 6th grade showed tremendous growth in both math and reading for the ready and exceeding categories on the ACT Aspire. From 2016-17 to 17-18, math scores increased from 27% read and exceeding categories to 77%.  From 2016-17 to 17-18, reading scores increased from 12% read and exceeding categories to 46%.

2016-2019 Sum of Growth ACT Aspire (see act-aspire-data-plc-application.pdf above): According to the ESSA school rating scale utilized by the Arkansas Department of Education, Bragg Elemnetary School ranked as a letter grade "D" for school years 2016-17 and 2017-18. As we progressed in our expertise using the PLC process, we increased our letter grade to a "C" for the 2018-19 school year. 

The following examples demonstrate our preponderance of evidence expected and monitored by the guiding coalition before COVID and during COVID. This inspection of the data has become a practice embraced by our staff and will continue to be a critical part of our work. All data conferences for the 21-22 school year have already been set. 

19-20 classroom data listed below was prior to COVID: The data we will provide was evidence of all of our practices from sharing kids during core instruction and intervention/extension rotations. This data highlights the progress kids made towards mastery.

2nd grade data: (see 19-20- 2nd-grade-data.pdf): By using data tracking sheets, focusing on skill sets in WIN groups and having a common, teacher created assessment, we have seen tremendous growth this year! Student mastery for silent-e words went from 36 % mastery in August to 80 % mastery in March. Student master for digraphs went from 46% mastery in Augst to 80% mastery in March. Student mastery for syllable division went from 27% mastery in August to 75% mastery in March. 

3rd grade data:(see 19-20 3rd-grade-data.pdf): Third grade teachers use the following process. The first CFA is given. Then, literacy collaborative team meeting is held to discuss data and place students into intervention/extension groups. The following day they reteach the skill and divide students between both literacy teachers into their intervention/ extension groups. Then, they reassess to see if students have achieved mastery or need to remain in intervention. This process has significantly increased student mastery. 

4th grade data:(see 19-20-4th-grade-data.pdf): The fourth grade team emphasizes that students require multiple opportunities to show mastery and work towards their student goals. Even when SMART goals are not met, teams analyze data and continue working towards student mastery. 

20-21 classroom data listed below was during COVID district regulations and restrictions: The data we will provide and discuss for 20-21 showed us that our kids were not moving with the acceleration as the years before. COVID restrictions negatively impacted all kids, but our older studnets had a more difficult time mastering more complex skills and targets withouth our PLC systems in place. Not being able to share students and with the structures we had built with the PLC process was detrimental for our students. Also, we had to follow strict time district mandates that negatively impacted student progress as well. We could only work with one student at a time for less than 12 minutes during a 24 hour period. After following these new restrictions and seeing our students struggle, we had to select the most important essential standards and learning targets for them to master in the current grade level to be most successful in the upcoming grade. 

4th grade 2020-21 CFA data: (see 4th-cfa-math-data--4-nf-b-3-8425.pdf):  Teacher created CFAs give immediate student data to monitor progress and evaluate instructional effectiveness. The immediate data is meant to guide teachers who may need to shift instruction to meet the needs of their students. These teachers realize that when students do not master targets, there are additional steps and learning opportunities needed for all students to be successful.

4th grade Literacy 2020-21 data: (see 20-21-4th-grade-literacy-unit-3-data-tracking.pdf): The team SMART goal for Learning Target 1 (LT1): I can determine the theme of a story was: By November 3, 2020, 85% of students will be able to determine the theme of a story as measured by the teacher created CFAs. We did not meet our goal, however 82% of students mastered learning target one by November 3, 2020. 

Kinder 20-21 data:(see 20-21 Kinder Math Data numbers 1-10 - K.CC.A.3 (#s1-10).pdf) SMART goal for "I can read numbers 0-10". By October 2, 2020, 80% of students will be able to read the numerals 0-10 as measured by the district quarterly assessment.  We exceeded our goal with 88% of students showing mastery by October 2. 

5th grade Math 20-21 data: (see 20-21 5th Math Data - 5.NBT.B.7b.pdf): SMART goal for "I can multiply and divide decimals to hundredths using concrete models and strategies based on place value". By December 15, 2020, 70% of students will be able to multiply and divide decimals to hundredths using concrete models and strategies based on place value as measured by the district quarterly assessment.  We did not meet our goal with only 33% of students showing mastery of all learning targets by December 15. As a result of the data, teachers extended this unit of instruction by 13 days to reteach, assess, and intervene for mastery. This is an example of how COVID interrupted student progress and best practices. Not being allowed to share students, pull a group longer than 12 minutes in a 24 hour period has hindered student performance. This data reinforces how important the PLC process is. 

The data examples from 19-20 to 20-21 show the negative impact of COVID on student learning when teacher teams are not allowed to follow the PLC process. When faced with situations where students are not mastering skills, and teams are unable to share students nor provide accelerated interventions and extensions due to strict COVID restrictions, kids' needs were not met. We are excited for our 21-22 school year plans to begin WIN groups the first week of school, while sharing our kids for instruction and creative grouping to recover learning lost due to virtual learning and COVID. 

 

  • Presented at the state summit for ADE for PLC Pilot schools for 16-17;17-18
  • Did a breakout session for ADE Summit Zoom 19-20
  • Hosted school visitors from Jonesboro, Blythville, and Stuttguart to help teams begin the PLC Process
  • Had three teacher teams a part of the Arkansas Playbook Team that PLC Pilot schools go together and created statewide unit plans with essential standards to help teams move into the COVID school year for 20-21
  • Bragg spoke at the legislative meeting to provide evidence of the success of the PLC process and to continue the support of Solution Tree in Arkansas
  • Building Principal serves on the statewide guiding coalition and provides Arkansas schools with professional development centered around the PLC process
  • Building Principal is a graduated Master Principal from Arkansas Leadership Academy
  • Leadership Team completed Team Institute through Arkansas Leadership Academy
  • Bragg had the opportunity to have a Celebration Day with Solution Tree, state representatives and ADE representatives, district board members, and distrcit leadership (see celebration-day-year-3-pilot-1.pdf)
  • Johnny Key, Arkansas Commissioner of Education, "bombed" one of Bragg's Team Zooms in May of 2020 to thank our staff for all of the hard work and progress we have made with the PLC process
  • Building Principal is presenting in the following Summer of 21 professional development events in Arkansas to share Bragg's PLC journey and work: Great Rivers Co-op; Arch-Ford Co-op; ADE State Summit; 1003 conference in Pine Bluff
  • Principal and teacher teams are participating in the continuing PLC process supporting team work for ADE with the leadership of Missy Walley
  • Principal is coaching a regional school/district to support the PLC process during the 21-22 school year

 

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