Lakewood Elementary School

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

Once upon a time in a wonderful place called Lakewood Elementary, a valiant group of educators set out to build a PLC in the year 2014.  At first we didn’t know what we should do. What does a PLC look like? When would we have the time?  What should we use? 

Just like in the story of The Three Little Pigs, we started building our PLC with straws. We began by developing Design Learning Templates, but we didn’t know why. We copied and pasted, with not such deep thought, created a folder and quickly forgot. We read parts of Learning by Doing, and created a Guiding Coalition. Next, we gathered some student data and created a spreadsheet or two, yet questioned how to use it--what else do we do? We had 4 driving questions, and were in the process of learning the right work. One day a few of us visited a school that had built their PLC already. After seeing this model, we were ready to take the next steps to strengthen our own PLC structure.

We came back excited to spread the news of the amazing things we had seen. Our principal began utilizing Starting a Movement: Building Culture from the Inside Out to help us continue to grow. Now our walls were constructed with strong sticks of team norms, a school vision, and a mission.  With our handy agendas as a blueprint to keep us on track, we applied our data, pulled flexible groups, and saw huge gains come back. With our alarms set for early morning meetings before school, we built our foundation stronger with DLT’s and pacing guides that had purpose and meaning. We were on the road to building a stronger PLC structure.

 A fishbowl team meeting was presented to the whole staff and deepened our understanding. We then scrapped all of the straw and sticks and decided to construct something stronger. We acted quickly to update our mission, vision, and collective commitments. We laid the foundation of our master schedule with collaborative team meetings during the school day.  We separated boulders from butterflies and pushed learning to great heights.  We had teams of teachers attend Solution Tree PLC Conferences, and we used our data to differentiate instruction and planned for remediation and extensions.  We knew what to talk about and we knew why. Instead of “my class,” we said “our kids.”  Each one of them mattered as much as the next. We looked at learning as a continuation from one grade to another. We discussed students objectively using story maps.  Finally, our PLC structure was built on a solid foundation with walls of brick!

Our story isn't over, and we will continue to renovate.  With purpose and passion and so much to say, we know we have many more stops along our way.  But with all our kids in mind, we make data-based decisions, and together we will continue to fulfill our mission and vision!  

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Lakewood Elementary guarantees and implements a viable curriculum for all students by designating collaborative team time in the master schedule, focusing on the four critical questions in collaborative teams, and establishing vertical teams that align goals and instructional practices to ensure high levels of learning for all students. When the pandemic began and our school building closed, we immediately shifted these practices to accommodate the new virtual environment.  When we returned to the school building this year, we continued to collaborate virtually to meet social distancing requirements.  Our infrastructure was based on four primary elements: 

  • Master schedule with collaborative time
    • Instructional Leadership team designated uninterrupted time for each grade level to collaborate weekly
    • Specialists (ESL, GT, Math, and Reading), special education teachers, and the librarian attend grade level collaboratives
    • A Guiding Coalition was established and meets bi-monthly
    • Whole faculty wrote and agreed upon campus mission, vision and collective promises; reviewed/edited annually
  • Team Collaboration
    • Clearly define the learning of units through the use of Designing Learning Templates
    • Create pacing calendars for essential objectives 
    • Develop team norms
    • Write and track grade level team SMART goals in the core subject areas aligned with campus and district goals
    • Utilize weekly agendas including upcoming high priorities
    • Analyze data from District Unit Tests by TEKS objectives
    • Interpret historical data by TEKS objectives to prepare for upcoming units
    • Utilize historical Data Snapshot per grade level that houses reading and math data by student, including demographics
    • Create and use common and formative assessments
    • Analyze formative assessment data and use the information to drive instruction, including identifying students in need of intervention and extension
    • Expand the role of the librarian to include co-teaching and the facilitation of technology and Project Based Learning
    • Develop “I can” statements for lessons that are used as teaching tools.  Students reflect on these statements at the end of lessons to discuss mastery of goals.
  • Vertical Teams
    • Develop goals aligned for grade levels
    • Monitor progress using Writing Scoreboard and Goal Tracking Sheet- snapshot of writing development by grade level, used to show growth, progress, and determine next instructional steps
    • Align teaching strategies and share best practices between grade levels
  • Goal Alignment
    • All staff members ensure alignment of goals (district, school, grade level team, teacher, student)
    • Teachers conference with individual students to develop personal goals based on data
    • Students and teachers periodically monitor and assess the student’s growth towards their goals
    • As goals are mastered, students meet with teachers to generate new goals


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

In order to address the essential questions 3 and 4, Lakewood Elementary has created a system of intervention and extension called WIN time (What I Need) to provide students with additional time and support for learning when they struggle as well as when an extension is needed.  Within collaborative teams, teachers plan for flexible grouping across each grade level by:

  • Developing schedules to include 30 minutes of intervention/extension for math and 30 minutes of intervention/extension for reading daily while ensuring that no new instruction is taught at these designated times 

  • Utilizing additional support teachers and paraprofessionals during this designated intervention/extension time

  • Forming flex groups for intervention and extension by data results and essential TEKS for each individual student including an “on deck” system for students requiring more time to master essential learning or requiring extensions (prioritizing students’ academic needs)

  • Designing and using exit tickets, quick checks, and student conferences to monitor student progress

  • Preparing extension and reteaching activities in the Designing Learning Template document 

  • Extending learning of students through project-based learning activities

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

Lakewood Elementary has built our understanding of the PLC process and culture.  We have formed a Guiding Coalition, created and committed to our Professional Promises,  established a Data Analysis Protocol for common formative and common summative assessments, and continually built our practices by engaging in professional development.

Our Guiding Coalition includes members from every grade level team, content area, enrichment teachers, librarian, and special education teachers.  They act as a steering committee where members refine our practices, establish the culture of our learning community, and become the pioneers of our individual teams.  Our enrichment teachers are an integral part of our learning community.  In addition to identifying essential standards and deepening enrichment instruction to meet the needs for all learners, they have identified students who are not making growth academically or socially and emotionally.  They partner with classroom teachers to address the cause of the academic struggle by building relationships and monitoring students regularly. Additionally, our librarian attends all grade level collaborative meetings and aligns technology and literature integration across the building.

 To guide our practices and work, we created Professional Promises which we revisit and commit to annually (see attachment).  These promises are used as part of our interviewing process because we are looking to add employees who collaborate and ensure learning for all.

We utilize consistent data reports that have four comparative sections (district, campus by teacher, by student, and by targeted sub populations) so the data can be analyzed in multiple ways.  We use a data protocol document to guide our discussions of CFA and CSA data. (see attachment)  This document includes questions to prompt reflection and discussion.  We identify grade level, teacher and student celebrations.  The highest yield strategies are shared.   We then identify areas of growth, focusing on the essential standards.  Reteaching and retesting occur for all students who did not master the essential standards regardless of the student’s overall score.  Ideas for reteaching and flexible regrouping are shared.  The celebrations, reflections, ideas, strategies, and next steps are recorded within the data sheets, so that the information can be utilized in the future.  

We are constantly deepening our understanding of Collaborative Professional Practices.  Staff members have learned about PLC best practices in fishbowl activities, attended Solution Tree PLC conferences, and collaborated with another Tomball school on essential standards. Throughout our journey, other schools have chosen to visit our collaborative teams to learn and grow.  As a staff, we have identified areas for professional growth and watched corresponding Solution Tree video clips to improve our practices.  We then took the practices we learned and worked to implement them in our collaborative team meetings.  For example, teams discussed the right work during collaboration, identified the practices having the largest impact on students, and implemented these high yield strategies (see attachment). Recently, we self-evaluated our teams using the (10-5-1) team rating scale and discussed the steps needed to move teams to the next level. 


Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

18 - 19 "A" Accountability Rating by the state of Texas

LES- State Distinction for Top 25% in Closing Performance Gaps, 2017

LES - State Greater Than Expected Student Growth in ELA/Reading, 2017

LES - State Masters Performance Mathematics, 2017

14 - 15 Academic Achievement in Reading/ Language Arts - Top 25% Closing Performance Gaps

Great Expectations Model School  2018-2019; 2019-2020; 2020-2021

STAAR Rated “A” School - only elementary who achieved this rating in the southern part of Tomball ISD - 2019

Deanna Porter - Tomball District Elementary Principal of the Year 2020-2021

Deanna Porter - Alumni of the Principals’ Institute - Cohort 9 - 2019-2020

Deanna Porter - Jones Graduate School of Business / Rice University Education Entrepreneurship Program (REEP) Fellowship Program for School Leaders 2014-2015

Betsy Castille, ESL Specialist - Tomball District Elementary Teacher of the Year 2019-2020

Kylie Wells, 4th Grade Teacher - STAAR results in 2019:

  • 1st place for entire district in Meets Grade Level on STAAR
  • 2nd place for entire district in Accelerated Growth on STAAR
  • 3rd place in entire district for Approaches Grade Level on STAAR

Jennifer Bull, GT Specialist - TISD GT Guru 2020-2021

Tomball Education Foundation Grants - most in the district (9 out of 18 grants) were awarded to LES staff members in 2018

9 Tomball Education Foundation Grants Awarded 2018

  • Laurie Taylor/Librarian -  $2,930.00 - Authors and Illustrators
  • Mary Dawn Lowrey/PASS Teacher - $2,375.00 - C-Pen Reader Pens
  • Jennifer Brough/2nd Grade Teacher -  $3,211.00 - Osmo 
  • Annette Hall/1st Grade Teacher-  $3,560.00 - Hands on literacy/ iPads & Math with Osmo 
  • Darra Reynolds/Kindergarten teacher - $1,050.00 - Q-Ball wireless microphones 
  • Kelly McNickle/Art - $3,628.00 - iPads and iPad stand for stop motion animation  
  • Kristi Donald/Math Specialist - $4,959.00 - SMART board table
  • Betsy Castille/ESL Specialist -  $3,180.00 - Academic Language Headsets
  • Leialoha Van Patter/PPCD Teacher - $2,188.00 - LED light board to increase verbalizations with nonverbal students

Tomball Education Foundation Grant Awarded 2019

  • Laurie Taylor/Librarian -  $4090.00 - MakerSpace and Project Based Learning materials

Tomball Education Foundation Grant Applications Submitted 2021

 Lakewood Harmony Choir

  • Level 2 Award at the Greater North Houston Choir Festival - 2016
  • Level 2 Award at the Greater North Houston Choir Festival - 2017
  • Sweepstakes Award at the Greater North Houston Choir Festival - 2018
  • Sweepstakes award at the Greater North Houston Choir Festival - 2019

 Lego Robotics

  • 3rd Place East Area First LEGO League Roboknight Qualifier Tournament Project Award 2020

Prodigy - 1st place in district for Prodigy Game Spring Tournament 2017

Rodeo Art - 2 students qualified for the Tomball Rodeo Art Competition 2019-2020

UIL -   2019-2020 

  • 1st place Chess for 2nd grade, 
  • 1st place spelling for 3rd grade, 
  • 1st place spelling for 4th grade,
  • 1st place ready writing for 4th grade, 
  • 6th place oral reading for 4th grade, 
  • 6th place chess for 4th grade


  • 4th place Ready Writing for 4th grade, 
  • 3rd place Spelling for 3rd grade 

Destination Imagination   - 2018-2019  6th place in Regionals