Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School (2020)
- Number of Students: 1,031
- Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: 57.8%
- Percent of Limited English Proficient: 2.2%
- Percent of Special Education: 17.1%
- White: 78.5%
- Black: 6.7%
- Hispanic: 7.9%
- Asian: 3.4%
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 0%
- American Indian or Alaska Native: 0.1%
- Multiracial: 3.4%
- Other: 0%
Our PLC journey was sparked by devastatingly low Student Growth Percentile (SGP) levels on the 2015/2016 College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) as well as a high percentage of students scoring below proficiency on the Georgia Milestones End of Course assessment.
For the majority of Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe (LFO) High School’s 50-year history, the community felt enormous confidence and pride in the education students received at the “school on the hill.” As with all institutions, LFO experienced many changes over the years. Due to population and business growth in the district, rezoning and new school openings, and an increase in the development of low-income housing, LFO’s demographics experienced a massive change; unfortunately, the long-standing, age-old instruction that had worked for educating previous generations fell short of meeting the needs of our new clientele.
In the fall of 2016, when the School Improvement Team began analyzing data from the entire district, LFO’s SGP score of 80.82 overall and 71.60 in ELA was the catalyst for immediate action.
Without the luxury of time to prepare, our Warrior faculty embraced the concept of Professional Learning Communities and started “learning by doing.” Our academic coach, assistant principal, and English and math teachers committed to weekly meetings that focused on analyzing data, creating common assessments, and re-assessing the curriculum. The teachers’ first “aha” moment involved an understanding that they could not teach everything. They stepped back, evaluated their standards, and determined what was most essential for their students to learn. Once their focus was honed-in, they no longer worried about “covering” the standards or teaching something simply because it had always been taught. They began to focus on each individual student’s mastery of the essential standards.
Hard work and dedication paid off as LFO received an SGP score of 97.69 overall and 97.29 in ELA for the 2016/2017 school year, an increase of 25.69 in ELA.
With a rejuvenated sense of pride, the pioneers of this movement began spreading the word to their colleagues and the excitement began to spread throughout the building. This coincided with district- and building-level administration delving into Solution Tree and the implementation of the PLC process. As a result, we began the 2017/2018 school year determined to continue the hard work of the previous year while instituting new procedures to help with data collection and CFAs. Throughout the school year, we focused on collaboration and cross-curricular discussions in all core areas to better understand what our students need to know and how we are going to know if they know it.
Once again, an SGP score of 88.82 overall and 95.40 in ELA reflected the purposeful instruction that was taking place at LFO.
As all eyes shifted toward the positive changes taking place in our Warrior Nation, the “school on the hill” continued to shine and many exciting innovations occurred at a rapid rate. Prior to the 2018/2019 school year, several administrators and faculty members attended a PLC at Work conference and visited the acclaimed Adlai E. Stevenson High School. Based on these experiences, there were broad-sweeping changes at the district and school levels. The Catoosa County School Board approved an early release day each week for students of the three district high schools. This allowed our PLC teams the time to meet during the regular school day. At LFO, administrators designed a sophisticated FLEX lunch schedule that provided time for students to receive tutoring and Response to Intervention (RTI) during the school day as well. After the formation of LFO’s Guiding Coalition, the coalition members helped provide more unity and a clearer understanding of the four critical questions of learning to their team members. These integral Guiding Coalition members were an interdependent team that collaborated and shared ideas and strategies, while also being a support system for those in the trenches each day.
Despite numerous personnel changes during the 2018/2019 school year, LFO’s SGP score stayed strong at an 87.02 overall and 83.70 in ELA. While there was a slight dip in the scores, the culture and climate of LFO had experienced a rebirth that eclipsed even its former glory.
While we have not yet received SGP scores for the 2019/2020 school year, there is little doubt of the increase in student growth at LFO. This year, our administration had two primary focuses: RTI and professional development. Our administrators, academic coach, and several teachers attended the RTI at Work Institute and returned to campus with a plan to revitalize our RTI process. They, along with our Guiding Coalition and early adopters, structured a Tier III intervention plan and offered guidance to classroom teachers on making Tier II intervention in the classroom feasible. Faculty members attended professional development opportunities based on their areas of need, which included Culture Keepers, PLC at Work, Assessment Coaching Academy, RTI at Work Workshop, Succeeding as a Beginning Teacher Workshop, and the Mathematics at Work Workshop. As a result of the revamped RTI process and professional growth that has taken place at LFO, our faculty truly believes that every student can learn at high levels, and they are all putting in the work to ensure that each and every student at LFO is being challenged and supported.
At LFO, we have embraced the PLC process and as a result, we have not only increased student growth but we have renewed the Warrior spirit within our community.
1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.
As afforded by Catoosa County Public Schools’ decision to allow for an early release day for all high school students, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School’s PLC teams meet each Wednesday for one hour. During our PLC meetings, each team focuses on the four essential questions that drive instruction.:
(1) What do we want students to learn?
As a district and a school, we have established our essential standards for each content area. A PLC team guarantees that every student taking the course will be proficient with these standards. The team has also created a pacing guide of when each essential standard will be taught along with student-friendly learning targets for each.
(2) How will we know if students are learning?
Each PLC team works together to formulate common formative assessments (CFA) and common summative assessments (CSA) aligned with their essential standards. Once a CFA is administered, time is of the essence. Individual teachers are encouraged to give feedback and begin Tier II intervention as soon as possible; furthermore, it is imperative that the team analyzes the individual, class, and overall data as soon as possible to plan for remediation or extension. The data analyst on each team compiles each member’s class and individual student data and leads the discussion regarding strengths and weaknesses. The relationships that have been built within each team are critical at this point as there must be a layer of transparency and honesty.
(3) How do we respond when students are not learning?
Based on the team’s findings, the students who have not shown proficiency/mastery of individual learning targets will receive Tier II remediation either in their classroom or with another member of the team. When disaggregating the data, it may become apparent that one member of the team’s students performed at a higher level than others. At this point, that team member is expected to share what worked well with their students, which will, in turn, provide the other teachers with new tools for their toolboxes. After receiving Tier II remediation, each student is reassessed and new plans are made based on the outcome. This process ensures that each student is prepared for the CSA and all future learning.
(4) How do we respond when students have already learned?
At the beginning of our PLC journey, the fourth question loomed on the horizon. Teachers would give students who had shown proficiency additional assignments while working with students who needed remediation. These assignments were not targeted and were oftentimes just more work, not more rigorous, meaningful work. Currently, our PLC teams are focused on understanding and implementing extension activities that are meaningful and create a deeper understanding of the content area. Many teachers have implemented STEAM activities in their classrooms, and our hope is to increase the number of students who are able to engage in this learning during the upcoming year.
In order to better support our teacher teams, LFO’s administration also built the master schedule in a way that allows members of each PLC team to have common planning; therefore, the teams have multiple opportunities to collaborate so strategies can be modified immediately when teachers realize that students are having difficulty with a learning target. With all of this in place, LFO’s teachers are truly able to monitor student learning student-by-student, standard-by-standard.
2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.
Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School has made a commitment to provide every student with on-grade level, Tier I, primary instruction, while still providing interventions to those students who need them.
When we made this commitment, every Warrior had to make some adjustments. The administration created a schedule that would allow students to receive Tier II remediation, Tier III interventions, tutoring, and extension during the school day without removing students from core instruction time. The PLC teams created a plan for using their CFA data to provide timely, focused Tier II interventions within each class block. Depending on the content and teaching styles within each team, Tier II intervention may look different from the outside but still has the same, positive impact on learning. Individual classroom teachers give immediate feedback to their students during instruction and also begin Tier II remediation as soon as possible. The RTI process is not one that has traditionally been a part of the high school educator’s wheelhouse; however, once LFO realized that our students were in dire need of help, the Warrior Nation stepped up to meet their needs.
At LFO, students receive Tier III interventions during our FLEX lunch schedule (See Resources). At the beginning of each school year, every ninth-grade student is screened using the NWEA MAP Growth assessment (See Resources). These results, along with their prior Georgia Milestones EOG scores, are used to determine which students need intensive intervention in the areas of reading and math. In order to reach each student where they are academically, MAP Growth results are distributed to each teacher, regardless of their content area, who will be interacting with the student. This ensures that all teachers will be aware of any deficits in reading or math that could negatively impact the student’s performance in their courses.
The RTI Administrative Team, consisting of administrators, the academic coach, and classroom teachers, utilizes comparative data to establish a cut-point for grade-level proficiency. Students who are two or more grade levels below in math or reading are placed in a specific Tier III RTI group based on their individual needs. These groups are small, eight to twelve students each, and are designed to be very fluid. They maintain their fluidity based on teacher recommendations and progress monitoring as students master essential learning targets. The intervention teachers are content specialists who have a true belief that all students can learn at high levels. This hand-selected group of teachers, along with our academic coach, design targeted lessons for each group of students based on their individual needs. As our motto for interventions is “Pull Up a Chair,” which was taken from a breakout session with Dr. Robert Eaker, the teachers pull two to three students at a time for more individualized learning. Through the close relationships that develop during this time, the teachers see phenomenal growth, both socially and academically.
At LFO, we love to celebrate our students’ successes. Once MAP Growth results and prior data are reviewed and students are identified as needing Tier III interventions, we have a meeting with those students. At this time, we explain that our interventions are designed to help the student remediate missed skills and also to better prepare them for their future classes and life. Students are assured that we will monitor their progress and when they have shown proficiency in the necessary skills, a culminating celebration will ensue. This positive approach to remediation results in students who set goals and work hard to attain them. Celebrations are planned to recognize students who no longer need Tier III interventions; these celebrations involve awards, music, food, and fellowship. The administration also has a separate celebration with the intervention teachers to recognize their hard work, effort, and belief in the abilities of our students.
During FLEX lunch, teachers are offering STEAM activities, the Tome Society, Academic Decathlon, and other enrichment activities. Our current goal is to continue to perfect our intervention process and to add a viable curriculum for more focused and intentional extension opportunities.
3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.
Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School’s PLC teams have one goal - to improve student learning. We have the time, the resources, the support, and the knowledge to ensure that every student performs at high levels.
Our PLC teams have the time to focus on student learning due to (1) Catoosa County Public Schools’ early release policy for high school students on Wednesdays, which allows teams a designated time to meet during the school day; (2) LFO’s master schedule, including common planning for all PLC team members, which allows for flexible collaboration and fluidity in grouping for Tier II remediation; and (3) LFO’s FLEX lunch schedule, which affords students the opportunity to receive Tier III interventions as well as extensions and tutoring.
During designated PLC time and the teams’ independent collaboration throughout the week, whether meeting on campus, with other singletons on another campus or in a virtual setting, the teams work interdependently to continuously extend their knowledge and reexamine the outcomes of their work with each of the four critical questions. As this is an ongoing process, our teams are at various stages in their journey; however, each high-functioning team is focused on student learning and the members hold each other mutually accountable.
Every PLC team (a) follows an agenda that is shared with the members in advance, (b) has group norms and assigned roles that keep their focus on the four critical questions, (c) has essential standards and SMART goals that focus on specific learning targets, (d) has a comprehensive data collection process, and (e) has a way for students to track their learning (See Resources).
Our administration budgets in such a manner that members of each PLC team are provided opportunities to attend Solution Tree institutes, workshops, and summits. These individuals and teams return to LFO ready to redeliver and take action.
Achievement Data Files
Additional Achievement Data
*Data source for Student Growth Percentile levels: GaDOE CCRPI Scores https://data.nwgaresa.com/
The following information is an explanation of Student Growth Percentile, which is a component of Georgia's CCRPI Accountability System. All information below is from the state's accountability website: https://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Accountability/
How much growth are students demonstrating relative to academically-similar students? Progress utilizes Student Growth Percentiles (SGPs) to measure progress in both English language arts and mathematics. SGPs describe the amount of growth a student has demonstrated relative to academically-similar students. A third progress indicator measures the extent to which English Learners are making progress towards English language proficiency. Progress scores utilize weights based on growth level to acknowledge the level of growth demonstrated by each student.
Georgia State Champion Academic Decathlon Team
2018 Catoosa County Superintendent's Medals for:
- The Creating Hope Award
- Highest Student Growth Percentages in ELA and Math (growth is not computed in science or ss).
- Highest Growth in Subgroups: Students with Disabilities ELA and Math; Economically Disadvantaged ELA and Math
The Georgia Governor's Office of Student Achievement
- Beating the Odds School for 2016-2017 and 2017-2018