Ashgrove Elementary (2021)

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

In 2016-2017, Ashgrove said we were a PLC and this directly tied to our weekly PLC meetings; we did not have an established system for working as a PLC. Data from that year was limited to PAWS (Proficiency Assessment of Wyoming Students) for third grade students and whatever else grade level teams chose to focus on. We were beginning the exploratory stages for adding the layer of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) to our structures; however, it was a process that involved only a few staff members.  At the end of the year, the principal retired.  The new principal that was hired worked in the school as a literacy instructional facilitator and was a leader on the district MTSS team.  This change in leadership was a catalyst for change across the school.

Beginning in the fall of 2017, the building leadership team began the process of becoming a PLC, although we didn’t know it at the time. The team consisted of the building principal, title I coordinator, building SLP, building instructional facilitator, and school social worker. That year, we focused on creating and implementing MTSS structures to sustain our work, including identifying areas of need and determining evidence-based solutions. To begin, the building staff collaboratively created a new vision and mission. Structures to support systems started to be developed. Grade level collaborative team meetings--no longer called PLC meetings, as we had a much broader scope of work and had learned that PLC is not just a meeting--started focusing on the what, why, and how of teaching.  The staff were trained in “Data Teams for Learning” and data became the focus of our work.  FastBridge was implemented as a universal screener, given to students three times per year.  Additionally, it was implemented as a progress monitoring tool to collect data and prescribe appropriate interventions. To learn about what more needed to be done, the principal, title 1 coordinator, and instructional facilitator attended a PLC at Work Institute.. The learning at this institute became our starting point for becoming a PLC.

For the 2018-2019 school year, a guiding coalition was created to ensure high levels of learning for all students, create shared staff accountability, provide evidence-based educational practices, celebrate successes, and address concerns.  This team consists of the building principal, title I coordinator, building SLP, resource teacher, school social worker, SPED case manager, instructional facilitator, and grade level representatives (grades 1-3).  To understand what our focus should be and how to accomplish this work, Ashgrove’s guiding coalition attended the Solution Tree PLC at Work Conference in the fall of 2018.  After this, the team returned with the goal of renewing our building’s commitment to being a PLC. 

During the 2018-2019 school year, the guiding coalition worked closely with our Solution Tree coach to break down the 4 pillars of a PLC. Based on this work, our building recommitted to our school’s mission, our vision, and defined our collective commitments to reflect our beliefs and practices.  Our coach guided us in developing and delivering professional development to all staff to build common knowledge and gain buy-in. The team realized the importance that all Ashgrove staff believe and support our purpose of ensuring ALL students learn. The PD sessions focused on building a common definition of what this means and why it is important.

As a part of this work, we continually refine our MTSS processes. Each fall, the school revisits mision, vision, and collective commitments to focus our work for the upcoming year.  In addition, our data is shared school wide, a SMART goal for the building is established, and teams are refreshed on why the work we do is important for every student. The guiding coalition meets, at least monthly, to plan for and provide professional development around PLC, create schedules that include critical time blocks for interventions, and participate in book studies to continue learning.  This team has representative members on each of our collaborative teams in the building. This allows the team to monitor and support the implementation of PLC tennants. The team relies on both work on collaborative teams and staff surveys around climate and culture to identify what PD is needed to keep our commitment to being a PLC strong. The structures we have in place, as well as student performance and placement in tiers, are shared with families to establish them as an important part of their student’s education.  Our goal of family engagement is to not only serve students but to gain partners in student success.


1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Ashgrove’s collaborative process ensures uniform and evidence-based instruction , as well as ongoing monitoring of student performance. Collaborative planning occurs at each grade level where teams follow the collaborative planning process and sequence (collaborative planning process is attached). Our district has spent time addressing a common curriculum for every grade level, which is the foundation of our Tier 1 instruction; our collaborative process builds on this broader work by narrowing down the focus of the specific content the grade level needs to teach. This process guarantees each team addresses the first critical question of working as a PLC - What do we expect students to know and be able to do?  To accomplish this work, each team looks at upcoming district units, works to chunk essential standards for instruction, continuously plans throughout the unit, and reflects on their planning processes. Teams use a collaborative planning unit tool to ensure they achieve all of these components (collaborative planning is included in resources).  Identifying grade-wide learning targets for each unit is an important part of the planning process and in making sure all teachers have the same understanding around what we expect students to know and be able to do.  These learning targets, geared towards measuring the essential standards, drive the content of the grade level CFAs, which in turn determine which students need extension or intervention.

To ensure Ashgrove is addressing the behaviors that can impact student success, a viable social emotional and behavior curriculum is guaranteed through social emotional education utilizing evidence based practices such as PBIS, Restorative Justice, Second Step, and conflict management program Kelso’s Choice.

Academic progress is monitored using a variety of tools, not just our district screening tool. During collaborative planning we rely on common formative assessments (CFAs), district unit assessments, and Fastbridge universal screening and progress monitoring tools.  Behavior is monitored using the SRSS (Student Risk Screening Scale) and Check In/Check Out data.  

All of these assessment types allow us to constantly monitor student progress across the year and they inform us if students have learned what we want them to learn (which is another critical component of working effectively and efficiently as a PLC).  Data is analyzed regularly as the grade level teams meet to address instruction, assessment, and plan for extension and intervention. .  This structure allows for the data team process to occur within three days of any assessment being given.

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

To give teachers a structure for consistently implementing Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 instruction, an MTSS handbook has been developed to guide staff in implementing the practices and processes that ensure students in need of intervention or extension are identified.  This handbook also offers guidance around programs and best practices that are important to keep in mind when specific intervention and extension activities are planned.

Grade level teams meet twice weekly to discuss student progress and instructional plans. These discussions and decisions are data-driven and allow teams to address another critical question of being an effective PLC - How will we know if students have learned what we want them to learn? Using “data walls,” teachers discuss student performance on CFA’s and unit assessments, adjust intervention/extension groups, and plan classroom instruction in order to meet student needs. Understanding student performance allows teams to address the final two critical questions of working as a PLC - How will we respond (intervention) if students have not learned, and how will we respond (extend the learning) if students have already learned?

Students needing intervention are placed in appropriate evidence-based Tier 2 interventions, monitored for growth using FastBridge and CFAs, and assigned new interventions as appropriate. (How will we respond if students have not learned?) Students placed into extension are progress monitored using CFA data and universal screeners. (How will we respond if students have already learned?) If data indicates, they are moved into a Tier 2 intervention during these data discussions. Grade level teams rely on classroom data on CFAs to determine who is teaching intervention, who is teaching extension, and what instruction should be focused on during each. When teachers believe a need for Tier 2 behavior intervention is needed, the teacher will work with the District Board Certified Behavior Analysis, School Social Worker, and Principal to determine the appropriate intervention.

Monthly, grade level problem solving teams meet to discuss Tier 3 students of concern - which is an additional layer to ensure everyone across the building is helping respond to students who are not learning what we want them to learn.  During these meetings, teachers and other building experts collaborate to discuss additional concerns such as behavior and attendance. These students are identified and those concerns are referred to appropriate teams for further discussion. Tier 3 interventions are assigned and adjusted based on student data.  Based on the results, the student will be referred to one of several behavior or academic interventions. Students receiving Tier 3 interventions are monitored weekly on the appropriate progress monitoring tool.  If students are not showing progress (looking at 6 or more data points) the problem solving team decides how to adjust the intervention by increasing intensity, duration, or frequency.

A behavior tiered fidelity inventory and (academic) MTSS implementation survey have been implemented to monitor appropriate intervention utilization and system success.  These inventories are completed annually to ensure fidelity and to determine if adjustments to the MTSS systems are needed.

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

Ashgrove ensures that ALL students have opportunities to learn at high levels (grade level or beyond) by implementing fidelity checks to gauge the implementation of curriculum/behavior expectations at all tiers. We set yearly school and grade level SMART goals around student performance. To ensure fidelity of implementation and alignment to the goals and district units/assessments, we focus on essential skills, priority standards, learning targets, CFAs, and planned interventions. Ashgrove grade level teams use the Collaborative Unit Process and the Collaborative Unit Tool, which allows our teams to monitor their implementation of the agreed upon guaranteed and viable curriculum and progress toward SMART goals.

The guiding coalition discusses school-wide academic and behavior data regularly to reflect on current practices, structures and curriculum.  This data allows us to monitor our fidelity in answering the four critical questions of PLC: What do we expect students to know and be able to do? How will we know if students have learned it? How will we respond (intervention) if students have not learned? How will we respond (extend the learning) if students have already learned?  The Ashgrove guiding coalition consists of at least one member from each of our PLC teams within the school; therefore, if we see a drop or concerns in the data, we can discuss each team's focus on these four questions and support any team needing help in addressing any of these areas. This data is also shared with the whole staff for school-wide improvement planning. In addition, data is shared and discussed with the Ashgrove Parent Action Committee, in which all parents are invited to attend. 

To continue developing teacher leaders within the school, the guiding coalition plans intense professional development at the beginning of each school year.  The four pillars of PLC - mission, vision, values, and goals- are always included in this PD to ensure new staff are exposed to our guiding philosophy and to remind returning staff why we do what we do.  This PD is followed up with monthly all-staff meetings that are focused on improving our shared knowledge around working as a PLC by addressing any issues, concerns, or questions brought to the Guiding Coalition. In addition, each year, one person rotates off the guiding coalition and a new member is brought on in order to increase the leadership capacity of all staff.

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

Due to COVID-19, instruction was moved from on campus to remote learning for the end of the 3rd quarter and all of the 4th quarter of school.  This disruption to traditional instruction and assessment practices created a situation where the state assessment, Fastbridge screeners, and 4th quarter District Assessments were not given.  As a result, we focused on District Summative Assessments through the 3rd quarter to evaluate our program effectiveness. We also relied on Winter FastBridge to assess student performance.  In looking at the winter FastBridge data, the team came to the conclusion that if we had a full year of teaching in-person, we would have come close to reaching the same or slightly higher end of year scores as we had the previous year.  The 2019-20 Data Analysis for 2020-21 Instructional Planning document summarizes our findings in more detail.

In the fall of 2020, Ashgrove received district recognition regarding our work around PBIS implementation, as we reached 80% of students successful at Tier 1, 15% successful with added Tier 2, and 5% successful at Tier 3.  (graph is attached)

From 2016-2017 to now, our school has moved from "not meeting" expectations to "meeting expectations with the Wyoming Department of Education.

Our school has been recognized by the district for having solid systems and structures in place and they use many of our forms and review processes as templates/guides for the district.