Uinta Meadows Elementary

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

2015-16 School Year

Five years ago a new principal entered the doors of Uinta Meadows Elementary in Evanston, Wyoming. At this time UME was considered a good school with a good culture. The staff of UME worked hard, but something was missing. The new principal realized that his team was ready to begin the journey of becoming a Professional Learning Community. 

2016-17 School Year

With little experience, expertise, or training in the PLC process, they decided to jump right in and “learn by doing.” UME started out, with the support of their superintendents, as the first school in Uinta County School District #1 embarking upon the PLC journey. They started growing their knowledge through a study of the quintessential book, Learning by Doing

UME took on bits and pieces of the steps outlined in the book realizing that this year was about learning. Oftentimes having more questions than answers they scheduled weekly team meetings with agendas focused around the four critical questions. 

UME was lucky enough to have a connection with PLC at Work, Solution Tree Consultant, Aaron Hanson. They contacted Aaron in the spring to schedule professional development for the 2017-2018 school year. Aaron assessed UME’s needs and scheduled a two-day PD before students returned in the fall. They knew that their next critical step was communicating the ‘why’ and making sure all stakeholders felt invested in the process. 

2017-18 School Year

Superintendents were completely on board with the PLC process at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year and ready to lead and support schools in their journeys. In early August each school in UCSD1 sent a team to training across the state to hear from PLC at Work expert, and Solution Tree Consultant, Dr. Thomas Many. UME sent the principal, instructional facilitator, and six teachers.

During that two-day workshop a new world regarding how education could be and should be, opened up for these UME educators. The team returned to Evanston and began sharing what it really meant to live as a Professional Learning Community.

Following Dr. Thomas Many’s workshop the team knew 100% of the UME staff were about to hear from Aaron Hansen and the timing was ideal. UME was off and running.

Aaron Hansen met with the guiding coalition on August 22nd and the entire UME staff on August 23rd. The primary purpose was to help everyone understand the ‘why’ behind PLCs. Staff needed to be enthusiastic, excited, and optimistic about the journey ahead in order for real, positive change to occur.

It was a success. The staff of UME quickly bought in because they believed the PLC process had everything needed to take them from a good to great. UME believed that all students could learn at high levels with the right systems in place.

We also created the UME PLC Flowchart - (refer to the “PLC Flowchart - Version 1.0 UME” in the attached documentation page). Aaron explained that as we gained knowledge and experience we would continue updating and refining our process. He was absolutely right. Here is the first flowchart and later the changes will be illustrated.

A critical next step was assembling a guiding coalition. The first guiding coalition at UME was created in August of 2017 with a representative from every grade-level team, the principal, instructional facilitator, and special education leader. This group made the commitment that all decisions regarding the school-wide system would be made collaboratively and with consensus from all stakeholders.

UME was learning what it would take to answer the Four Critical Questions of a PLC, starting with question one. Early that Fall grade-levels were tasked with the duty of prioritizing standards in math. They used the R.E.A.L. (readiness, endurance, assessed, leverage) process and met with grade-level teams across the district to collaborate and come to consensus regarding math district-wide essential standards. This was completed by December of 2017.

UME dove into another book study, It’s About Time - Planning Interventions and Extensions in Elementary School. Grade-levels organized common WIN time for 30 minutes four days each week. Support was provided so students could be grouped into smaller numbers according to skill deficits. The book study taught them that UME was on the right track, but not nearly intentional and committed enough. By the end of the book study in early Spring of 2018 three major commitments were made. Teachers began creating schedules for the 2018-19 school year with these commitments in mind.

One, Common Formative Assessments would be given approximately every three weeks according to the essential standards that were taught during core instruction. Data would be entered into spreadsheets and analyzed using a common protocol.  WIN groups would last three weeks until the next CFA was administered and analyzed.

Two, core instruction would be protected. Teachers would create schedules where planning, interventions, and extensions were at a common time per grade level. Planning would be student-centered and utilized for data analysis and instructional planning and sharing. WIN time would be dedicated to giving students zoomed-in interventions and extensions regarding essential standards-based upon CFA data and skill deficits. This was a giant step for UME as no longer would special education, ELL, speech, OT, PT, adaptive PE, etc pull students from core instruction.

Three, UME realized to ensure high levels of learning for all students they had to change how classrooms were balanced. Up to this point, UME allowed parents to request teachers and some teachers would get a dozen requests while others received none. UME also had tiered classrooms where one classroom was “tier three” and had all IEP students along with students who were at grade level. These classrooms had a full time SpEd teacher or paraprofessional. Another classroom was “tier two” and had a mixture of students from below grade level to above grade level, with a few hours of support from a paraprofessional each day. The remaining classrooms were “tier one” and had primarily students who were at or above grade level with no additional support. Due to this unbalance of classes, they weren’t accomplishing Big Idea #1 (Ensuring All Students Learn). Unintentionally, the tier two and three students rarely achieved proficiency. The tiering of classes also made it very difficult to achieve Big Idea #2 (Collaborative Culture). Teachers held grudges about who had the easy class, who had the tough kids, who got all the requests, etc. It was a system that unknowingly focused too much on staff and not enough on students. Big Idea #3 would never be reached in this type of system. How could we expect teachers to bring data to a collaborative team meeting and focus on results when one teacher had the most fragile learners and other teachers had third-base kids?

All of these changes were set into motion to begin the 2018-19 school year. You might think UMW didn’t see any positive results by now, but that wasn't the case. UME started seeing changes in instructional practices, collaboration, and, most importantly, student results during the 2017-18 school year. 

This was the first year Wyoming students (3rd-5th grade) took the new state assessment called Wyoming Test of Proficiency and Progress (WY-TOPP). This state assessment was much more rigorous than our prior state assessment (PAWS). Scores across the state went down in math, reading, and science. Refer to the datasheets to see what UME accomplished, but in short, math scores went up significantly while everyone else's went down, reading went down very little while the state’s decreased a great deal and science remained the same. Remember, this is the year they identified essential standards, created CFA’s, analyzed data, and created WIN groups for MATh. It was no surprise to the staff when they saw tremendous growth in math in one year’s time. 

During the spring the Wyoming Department of Education partnered with Solution Tree to bring more professional development to educators across the state. To launch this new and improved PD initiative the WDE and Solution Tree selected 15 schools across Wyoming to take part in the PLC at Work Coaching Academy Year One Cohort. Dozens of schools applied, including multiple schools from UCSD1. UME was chosen based upon the PLC work and commitment in recent years. This was a celebration and validation of the work accomplished and the work ahead.

2018-19 School Year

Learning is a constant in a Professional Learning Community and the next school year brought many celebrations and challenges. It began with the PLC at Work Coaching Academy. UME had Solution Tree Consultant, Dr. Jamie Virga, come to UME for a needs assessment on August 10, 2018. He met with the principal and instructional facilitator, the Guiding Coalition, a group of parents, and lastly, a group of students. Jamie shared the needs assessment results with them in the Fall. He continued meeting with UME virtually three more times during the year. The needs assessment and meetings helped spearhead UME’s next steps. 

The most valuable part of being selected to receive the PLC At Work Coaching Academy support was attending the two-day workshops in the Fall, Winter and Spring. Our Guiding Coalition spent six days with Maria Nielsen and Brig Leane. These sessions catapulted the work with students. An important task given by Maria and Brig was to collaboratively build the four pillars of a PLC at UME. At that time we had a mission and vision statement, but it was fluffy and unremarkable. 

Teacher professional development now occurred every Monday morning from 8:00-9:30 a.m. This was a pivotal change for the good in UME’s journey. It allowed for frequent, ongoing, job-embedded collaboration in the PLC process on a weekly basis. 

UME devoted every Monday PD to developing its pillars. They used their learnings from Maria and Brig to build consensus around the meaning and purpose of a well- crafted mission, vision, collaborative commitment, and SMART goal. They found it imperative to add a fifth pillar: culture. The five most critical components that would ensure the creation and sustainability of a healthy culture where student learning is at the heart of every decision were lifted. Refer to “The Pillars of Uinta Meadows Elementary” document in the additional documents section.

The professional development and training UME staff received from Aaron Hansen, Maria Nielsen, and Brig Leane was spread across the district. Our superintendents and principals were eager to have their staff receive training from these consultants. Aaron and Maria were both contracted for another 10-15 days for the next two years. UME and UCSD1 were headed down a common path with the right pieces in place. 

In October all administrators of UCSD1 were taken to their first-ever PLC At Work Institute in Salt Lake City, UT. It was evident that UME’s next step was to take every certified staff member to an institute as soon as possible. Shortly thereafter, the principal scrounged up every bit of Title I and Title II funds available and asked for permission to send the entire certified staff to the PLC At Work Institute in Las Vegas on June 3rd-5th. Not only was he given permission, but the superintendents also helped fund the majority of the trip. This was the most impactful three days of training UME could have imagined. Teams learned together by attending common keynote and breakout sessions. They stayed late into the afternoons creating plans and solidifying next steps for the upcoming school year. Each Fall the principal attends this institute with new teachers.

On April 15th-16th the principal took fourth and fifth grade teachers to Salt Lake City, UT for a two-day workshop with Solution Tree consultant, Nichole Dimich Vagle. They were trained on Design and Five and how to best utilize assessment to drive student learning and achievement. This training aided in our understanding and ability to utilize all assessments to help students learn at greater levels. 

On April 17th-18th a few principals and teachers from UCSD1 attended the two-day RTI At Work Workshop with Mike Mattos. They received hands-on, personalized instruction around Taking Action and how to implement the RTI At Work Pyramid effectively. This was taken back to the UME Guiding Coalition where their own UME RTI At Work Pyramid was created. 

Monday morning professional development also allotted time for grade-level teams to begin each week in a collaborative manner. Teams also meet for at least one additional 60 minute period with the majority of teams meeting more frequently throughout the week to focus on the four critical questions. 

Many of UME’s Monday morning PD’s were centered around a new book study, Concise Answers to Frequently Asked Questions. This study helped ensure school-wide collaborative conversations that committed us to the basics, the Three Big Ideas, and Four Critical Questions. They also spent time refining grade-level agendas focusing on committing to norms and having courageous conversations. Teams grew together as they became even more intentional in teaching and intervening around identified priority standards for math. Teachers at UME began using R.E.A.L. to identify priority standards in language arts to assure a Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum, even though that wasn’t expected across the district until the following school year. UME continued to see growth in students and teachers. All of the UME community took ownership and pride in this continuous process.

The state report card for the 2018-19 school year indicated that UME was Meeting Expectations overall and Meeting Targets in Achievement, Growth, Equity and ELP.  The Growth and Equity scores were just a few points away from Exceeding Targets. Our growth from one academic year to the next, as noted in our datasheets, far exceeds the average growth across the state. This is evidence that the commitment to the PLC process was working. 

2019-20 School Year

The 2019-20 school year began by fine-tuning the UME PLC process flowchart for the sixth time. UME tackles this every time they see an opportunity to grow and become even more intentional regarding the work. The flowchart highlights the process for all stakeholders and helps assure a common understanding of the process and the commitments to all students. Refer to the “PLC Process Flowchart Version 6.0 - UME” document in the additional documents section.

 
Essential standards in ELA were selected by grade levels and then as a district. UME began this work a year prior but continued growing around the identified ELA essentials and how to utilize their programs and resources to uplift those standards for all students. With those essential standards in hand, grade-levels worked diligently to create common formative assessments and utilize a data protocol system in math and now in ELA. 

During the 2019-20 school year UME began studying Taking Action - A Handbook for RTI At Work. They used this resource to build a Response to Intervention. UME is at the point where they are becoming increasingly intentional at providing tier one, two and three instruction based on students’ needs. Taking Action has driven home the point of continuing to revisit strategies and systems for academics and behaviors and to use our setbacks and successes for constant improvement and evaluation.

UME continued receiving training as the PLC AT Work Coaching Academy moved into its second year. Jon Yost led this cohort over six days throughout the year as they delved deeper into the PLC process. On September 23rd-25th the principal, instructional facilitator and third grade team traveled to Bellevue, WA for the RTI At Work Institute. The team created the RTI At Work Pyramid for third grade and one for UME as a school. The highlights from this training were shared with the entire staff. UME spent time during Monday morning PD’s creating pyramids by grade level as part of the Taking Action book study. They had scheduled the Kindergarten, first and second-grade teams to attend the RTI At Work Workshop with Mike Mattos in March of 2020, however, COVID-19 hit. UME has committed to sending all certified staff to an RTI At Work Workshop and/or Institute as soon as they are available. 

UME teachers have been administering CFA’s, collecting and analyzing data, and creating WIN groups for a couple of years. However, improvement was needed in sharing and documenting instructional practices and strategies. On October 21-22 the principal took the fourth and fifth-grade teachers to a two-day PLC training by Solution Tree consultant, Janel Keating. One of the critical takeaways was a document her teachers utilize called the Team Analysis of Common Assessment (TACA). The TACA is completed by grade-level teams during a data team meeting where teachers are analyzing student data from a recent CFA. Teachers fill out the TACA and use it again the following year when they are about to teach the same unit or priority standards. It came at a critical time for UME. Refer to the "UME TACA Team Analysis of Common Assessment" form attached in the additional documents section. 

Another area of focus during this year was learning from each other. Teams gathered together with their principal and instructional facilitator for data meetings after benchmark assessment data is gathered in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. Student data is transparent for all teachers in that grade level to see, discuss, and analyze. The principal facilitates the conversations in a manner that enables teachers to feel comfortable discussing their students’ data, and most importantly, sharing instructional strategies so everyone can improve. This vulnerability and collaboration has improved each and every time we meet. 

Through this amazing and rigorous process the foundation of everything happening at UME is for students. UME knows that their positive work within a Professional Learning Community benefits kids and that gives them every reason to persevere and continue. They have been asked by numerous PLC At Work Solution Tree Consultants to apply to become a Model PLC and they wanted to wait for the data from the 2019-20 WY-TOPP. Due to COVID-19 students were unable to take the assessment and this was incredibly disappointing. UME thrives on the analysis of results for continual learning and growth. That being said they couldn’t wait another year. UME hopes the information shared depicts their journey and commitment to their mission statement “Ensure High Levels of Learning for ALL” and their Vision, “Every Student, Every Day.”

 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

We created our first UME PLC flowchart during the 2017-18 school year. Each year we update the flowchart  as we see an opportunity to grow and become even more intentional regarding the work. The flowchart highlights the process for all stakeholders and helps assure a common understanding of the process and the commitments to all students. It describes the process our school uses to implement a GVC and the strategies UME uses to monitor student learning on a timely basis. 

In the additional docuemntation section refer to - PLC Process Flowchart Version 6.0 - UME

UME teachers are becoming more efficient in answering the Four Critical Questions of a PLC, starting with question one. Understanding question one is the heart of a GVC.  We must know exactly what students must know and be able to do before we can effectively do anything else. Teacher teams have identified essential standards in math and ELA using the R.E.A.L. (readiness, endurance, assessed, leverage) process. Grade level teams met across the district to collaborate and come to consensus regarding math and ELA essential standards. Curriculum mapping done every August in math and ELA with collaborative teacher teams across the district.

You can refer to our attached document that lists all of the PD and training our teachers have received in order to ensure a GVC is implemented and followed.

In the additional docuemntation section refer to - Professional Learning Communities At Work Trainings for UME Teachers

 

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

UME dove into another book study, It’s About Time - Planning Interventions and Extensions in Elementary School. Grade-levels organized common WIN time for 30 minutes four days each week. Support was provided so students could be grouped into smaller numbers according to skill deficits. The book study taught them that UME was on the right track, but not nearly intentional and committed enough. By the end of the book study in early Spring of 2018 three major commitments were made. Teachers began creating schedules for the 2018-19 school year with these commitments in mind. 

One, Common Formative Assessments would be given approximately every three weeks according to the essential standards that were taught during core instruction. Data would be entered into spreadsheets and analyzed using a common protocol.  WIN groups would last three weeks until the next CFA was administered and analyzed. 

Two, core instruction would be protected. Teachers would create schedules where planning, interventions, and extensions were at a common time per grade level. Planning would be student-centered and utilized for data analysis and instructional planning and sharing. WIN time would be dedicated to giving students zoomed-in interventions and extensions regarding essential standards-based upon CFA data and skill deficits. This was a giant step for UME as no longer would special education, ELL, speech, OT, PT, adaptive PE, etc pull students from core instruction. 

During the 2019-20 school year UME began studying Taking Action - A Handbook for RTI At Work. They used this resource to build a Response to Intervention. UME is at the point where they are becoming increasingly intentional at providing tier one, two and three instruction based on students’ needs. Taking Action has driven home the point of continuing to revisit strategies and systems for academics and behaviors and to use our setbacks and successes for constant improvement and evaluation.

UME teachers have been administering CFA’s, collecting and analyzing data, and creating WIN groups for a couple of years. However, improvement was needed in sharing and documenting instructional practices and strategies. On October 21-22 the principal took the fourth and fifth-grade teachers to a two-day PLC training by Solution Tree consultant, Janel Keating. One of the critical takeaways was a document her teachers utilize called the Team Analysis of Common Assessment (TACA). The TACA is completed by grade-level teams during a data team meeting where teachers are analyzing student data from a recent CFA. Teachers fill out the TACA and use it again the following year when they are about to teach the same unit or priority standards. It came at a critical time for UME. Here is their version of the TACA.

In the additional docuemntation section refer to - UME TACA (Team Analysis of Common Assessment)

We have tier 1, 2 and 3 support for all students around academics. If students are not showing growth in tier 1 and tier 2 (WIN and small groups) they move to tier 3 levels of support by joining SpEd teachers or paras who work with SpEd students for skills that should have been learned years prior. If they do not make growth they are taken to the SST (student support team) where we track the students progress, the specific interventions they have taken part in, offer suggestions and plans for next steps and schedule a follow up meeting in 2-3 weeks. Progress monitoring is being done at least every other week . If no growth is being made we refer them for SpEd testing. We don’t believe SpEd is a magic bullet. Most of these students receive the same level of support and services whether they are on an IEP or not. We help all kids. However, SpEd testing can provide a bigger magnifying glass to help educators pinpoint the deficits more especially so we can respond more strategically, whether they qualify for SpEd or not. 

We have tier 1, 2, and 3 support for all students around behavior. Tier 1 Behavior - PBIS to all students, classroom expectations coincide with overarching school rules (PBIS), Second Step taught to all students, Principal Power every 2-3 weeks to all students. Tier 2 Behavior - PBIS Team meets monthly to analyze data and adjust accordingly. Classroom teachers, support staff, counselor, support center and/or principal can help manage students who exhibit tier 2 behaviors. Tier 3 Behavior - PBIS Team can help identify students who are struggling where they are struggling and offer suggestions. Behavior INtervention Team (BIT) includes the Support Center certified teacher, 3 SC paras, counselor, Consulting Teacher (head of all SpEd at UME), counselor, principal and classroom teacher. We meet to discuss the issues, the interventions that have been done and the data that has been collected. We come up with interventions moving forward and track the data. We inform parents of the situation and use them in the decision making process. We reconvene in approximately two weeks to discuss progress. We continue with those interventions and strategies as they are working. We move toward a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and a Behavior Plan (BIP) if we are not seeing an improvement in behavior. The FBA helps us identify how to be more successful with the student. The BIP ultimately puts a very strategic and specific  plan into place moving forward. Students on a BIP gain more access throughout the day to the Support Center and counseling. We create a schedule where part of the day the student is in the Support Center getting the practice and knowledge they need to be successful in the classroom. We are phasing those students back into the classroom with adult supervision from the Support Center. The ultimate goal is to eventually have them back into the gen ed setting for 100% of the day without additional support. Teachers absolutely love our behavior system that’s in place and the amount of support they and their students receive through the Support Center.

At UME we understand that if we want students to learn at high levels we not only need systems of interventions for academics, but behaviors as well. Students will not learn at high levels if they can’t, or won’t, behave at high levels. 

 

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

All teachers have 75 minutes of common planning time daily. Minimum of one 75 minute planning time each week dedicated to the collaboration around the PLC process. All teams meet more than once a week to get the work done well. Monday morning PD’s are 90 minutes long. 45 minutes of all staff PD and 45 minutes of collaborative team meetings. 45 minutes of PD every Monday morning dedicated to the PLC process, which are the Three Big Ideas and Four Critical Questions. As we focus on those Three Big IDeas and Answer the Four Critical Questions we are improving learning for all students. 

Every certified staff member is on a collaborative team outside of their grade level team (refer to UME Leadership Teams). Each of these teams has a chair who facilitates the meeting, an agenda, “Purpose” statement, norms and goals. They meet at least once a month. The purpose of each team is to support the mission of UME which is to ensure high levels of learning for ALL.

The principal changes members of grade level teams and leadership teams if they are not functioning at high levels. Not as a punishment or consequence. He believes that if we have tried to move the work forward, but we continually spin our wheels as a team due to “adult human being factors” then it’s time for a change. It’s not giving up. It’s the opposite. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. 

 

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

 

Data Picture Explanation-Video

All of our third, fourth and fifth grade data comes from our state assessment, which is called WY-TOPP (Wyoming Test of Proficiency and Progress). Those students are tested in ELA and math. Fourth graders are also tested in Science, but they do not receive a writing prompt that is built into the ELA portion for third and fifth graders. The percentages you see are the percent of students who scored proficient or advanced, rather than basic or below basic. We receive a Target Score in four areas, which include: Achievement, Growth, Equity and ELP. Each target score has cut scores to determine whether or not a school is Below Target, Meeting Target or Exceeding Target. You can see that UME Met Target in three out of four areas during the 2017-18 school year. We were one point away from Meeting Target in the area of Equity. We focused our efforts and Met Targets in all four areas in 2018-19. We were only four points away from Exceeding Targets in Growth and Equity. 

 

Based on a cumulative average of those Target Scores we get an overall School Performance Rating of Not Meeting Expectations, Partially Meeting Expectations, Meeting Expectations or Exceeding Expectations. UME has Met Expectations every year since WY-TOPP was introduced in 2017-18. We have the goal to Exceed Targets in each of the four areas and to be a school that Exceeds Expectations. We believe the PLC process will get us there. 

 

The first row shows how we have done in third through fifth grade according to our School Performance Ratings. I just explained what that means above.

 

The second and third rows are the WY-TOPP ELA scores. UME is highlighted in grey. You can see how we are doing in comparison to other students in the district and across the state of Wyoming. What you tend to see is our third grade scores being equal to or below district and state averages. Fourth grade scores are about the same. Fifth grade scores are well above district and state averages. 

 

The third row is where I want to highlight the growth being made in ELA. When I say “growth” I mean the percentage of students who moved from Basic or Below Basic or Proficient or Advanced. This is where we follow the same cohort of students. Due to COVID-19 we were unable to administer WY-TOPP to our students this year. However, we still have three years worth of data that shows tremendous growth. While we don’t have a column from 2016-17 you can see the growth made in row three from 2016-17 to 2017-18 and again from 2017-18 to 2018-19. 2016-17 our state assessment was called PAWS. It was a far less rigorous assessment. We knew the percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced across the state would decrease in 2017-18. Not because the students were any less prepared, but the assessment was much more rigorous. UME 4th graders went down by 7%, UCSD also went down by 7% and the state went down by 10%. Our fourth graders went down by less than the rest of the state from third to fourth grade in ELA. Following that same cohort of students into the 2018-19 school year as fifth graders you see they went up by 15%, UCSD1 went up by 4% and the state went up by 5%. If you follow our fourth graders from the 2017-18 year you will see their scores are equal to the district and below the state. Follow them to the 2018-19 school year as fifth graders and they showed growth of 15%, while the district grew by 8% and the state grew by 7%. If you combine the growth made from the 2017-18 year to 2018-19, following the same cohort of students you see we grew by 18%, UCSD1 by 4% and the state by 5%. We moved more students into levels of proficient or advanced than the district and state by a long shot. 

 

The fourth row shows our math scores in WY-TOPP during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. It also follows the same cohort of students to show the growth made from one year to the next in row five. You can see that third graders are below the district and state averages. Fourth graders are slightly above district and state averages. Fifth graders are well above district and state averages. 

 

When the state of Wyoming moved to WY-TOPP for the 2017-18 school year the fourth graders at UME still moved 11% more students into levels of proficiency, while the district grew by 1% and the state went down 1%. The fifth graders at UME grew by 4%, the district went down by 4% and the state went down by 5%. When you add up the percentage of students, who moved from Below Basic or Basic to Proficient or Advanced, from 2016-17 to 2017-18 you see that UME grew by 15%, the district went down by 3% and the state went down by 6%. The trend looks similar from 2017-18 to 2018-19. UME 4th graders went up by 9%, the district down by 1% and the state up by 2%. The fifth graders at UME went up by 9%, the district up by 1% and the state up by 6%. When you combine the growth of fourth and fifth graders in math from 2017-18 to 2018-19 UME went up by 18%, the district by 0% and the state grew by 6%. Again, that growth at UME far exceeds that of the district and state. 

 

You can see the percentage of students who score proficient or advanced increase each year. We see more rapid growth in the area of math. That is not a coincidence. We focused our PLC efforts in math during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. We identified essential standards, wrote proficiency scales, developed and administered CFA’s and placed students into WIN groups in the area of math. We were not at all surprised to see such tremendous growth in math. We followed the same process in ELA during the 2019-20 school year. We were excited to take WY-TOPP this year and dully expected to see similar gains in ELA as we have seen in recent years in math.

 

I believe the three years of growth according to WY-TOPP for our third, fourth and fifth graders is evidence that the PLC process is working. We are getting closer to realizing our mission of ensuring high levels of learning for all. 

 

Kindergarten, first and second grade lays the foundation for success for the upper grades on WY-TOPP. The best data we have for grades K-2 are benchmarks assessments. In the past we used a program called FAST. We adopted a new ELA resource for the 2019-20 school year. mCLASS (DIBELS 8) is the benchmark screener that comes with that resource/program. We only utilized the reading portion for grades K-5. We will utilize mCLASS math and mCLASS (DIBELS 8) reading for grades K-5 during the 2020-21 year and beyond. mCLASS is not a diagnostic assessment for grades 3-5. However, grades K-2 receives a battery of short assessments that give us an overall composite score that is more diagnostic. We can’t compare FAST scores from 2016-17 and 2017-18 to mCLASS reading scores in 2019-20. They are completely different assessments. The growth I can show you is from the 2019-20 school year in the Fall to the Winter.  

 

The percentages you see in the data picture are percentages of students who are at grade level or above. You can see the percentage at UME and the district by grade level in the Fall and the Winter. There are no state comparisons because not everyone in the state uses mClass. We don’t have Spring scores due to COVID-19. We are extremely proud of the growth at UME from fall to winter. K-2 had set SMART goals for the spring to have over 80% of students at grade level. We have every reason to believe that would have been the case. While we do not have three years of consistent data in grade K-2 we can assure you tremendous growth is taking place from CFA to CFA, standard by standard, student by student in ELA and math. 

  • 2018-19 school year selected into the Professional Learning Communities At Work Coaching Academy Year 1 Cohort (this was an extensive application process where only 15 of approximately 150 elementary schools were selected based on the the work being done by those schools around the PLC process)

  • May of 2019 Certified as a Level One High Reliability School

  • 2015-19 National PTA School of Excellence

  • 2015-2019 Wyoming Summer Reading Champions (this is an award given each year to the school whose students read the most minutes over summer break)

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