Cass Middle School

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

Cass Middle School (CMS) began building a shared understanding of the PLC at Work process in the Fall of 2018. This opportunity came about through a change in system leadership and their commitment to creating culture for all stakeholders that is focused on learning, collaboration, and results. The previous summer, June 2018, principals and key central office personnel received Learning by Doing (Mattos, DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, & Many, 2016) to preview before attending the Culture Keeper conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  

During the conference, we had the opportunity to collaborate as leaders, and our System Guiding Coalition was established. Throughout the year, our system level meetings focused on building leadership capacity and clarity in the PLC process. There, we focused on the right work, developed our system implementation timeline, and the Bartow County PLC Playbook which, enabled principals to model those essential best practices within the schools.  

Employing strategies from the Bartow County PLC Playbook, and advice from Mike Mattos (Guiding Principles for Principals workshop, Solution Tree PLC at Work conference, November 2018), CMS established our first school Guiding Coalition. One member from each collaborative team was selected for the Guiding Coalition and work began by following the processes outlined in Learning by Doing (Mattos,, 2016). We revised our Mission StatementVision Statement, and our Collective Commitments to behaviors that allowed us to focus on doing whatever it takes to ensure all students learn at high levels.  

Our focus during the first year of implementation was to build collective teacher efficacy by providing training and clarity in the PLC process. The Guiding Coalition received training from the Principal and Instructional Lead Teacher following the outline of Learning by Doing (Mattos et. al., 2016). Teachers received training from our Instructional Lead Teacher (ILT) in how to implement backward design utilizing the four questions of the PLC process. This allowed us to plan for instruction and provide timely interventions when students struggled with essential standards within a unit of study. As we became practitioners of the process, teachers also received training on designing rigorous assessment practices using strategies from Design in 5 (Vagle, 2014).   

Throughout the first year, collaborative teams met twice a week during planning to identify essential standards using the REAL Criteria method. Next, they created common summative and formative assessments, established SMART goals for proficiency on summative assessments, and analyzed data in meetings to determine for each student the necessity of remediation or extension of learning.   

As we began our culture shift from that of teaching to learning, our Guiding Coalition developed sub-committees which became the driving force to empower teachers to make decisions that were based on learning, collaboration, and results!   

Tell us how you are facilitating a culture of continuous improvement in your school or district? 

CMS is committed to continuous improvement by empowering our teachers through effective staff development and encouraging teacher teams to research best practices, seek solutions to barriers, and take action while gathering and evaluating data. By continuing to follow the outline laid out in Learning by Doing (Mattos et al., 2016), offering quality professional development in the framework of the PLC process through Solution Tree Associates, and utilizing resources from Global PD, we are building and strengthening teacher capacity to do the right work.  

As teachers began to identify barriers, they were also more confident through our shared leadership while seeking solutions to overcome obstacles preventing us from moving forward in the process. One such obstacle was finding time within the school day for teachers to collaborate while also allowing planning time to prepare for class. Working with the system scheduling sub-committee, members of the CMS scheduling committee created and implemented a system-wide bell schedule. This schedule provided teachers with two collaborative meeting times per week within the contractual day to focus on the four critical questions of the PLC process thereby guiding teachers in the right work.             

In the summer of 2019, following our first system Guiding Coalition Workshop led by Janelle Keating, the CMS Guiding Coalition attended the PLC at Work Institute in Atlanta. Both opportunities helped our team gain knowledge of the PLC process to support all teacher collaborative teams and build collective teacher efficacy (Hattie, 2008). After the conference sessions each day, we debriefed with our school system leaders to share critical information. It became obvious to our school and system that we currently lacked a scheduled time within the contractual day to provide targeted interventions for students not showing proficiency on essential standards on the common summative assessment.   

In the fall of 2019, the RTI subcommittee members from CMS traveled to the Solution Tree RTI at Work conference in Jacksonville, Florida. There, utilizing strategies in Taking Action (Buffum, Mattos, and Malone, 2018) and networking with teachers from model PLC schools, they were able to start identifying solutions to provide interventions to our Tier 2 students during the school day. The RTI subcommittee developed and presented a school-wide schedule for intervention called “What I Need” (WIN) and was piloted by our eighth grade in January. As teachers gathered data on students receiving interventions, it was evident the schedule provided our students with timely intervention and results showed that more students met proficiency in essential standards. Additionally, students who were proficient were able to further their knowledge through extension activities.   

In the Fall of 2020, the schedule was implemented school-wide and collaborative teams began tracking student data for movement in and out of our Tier 2 interventions during an essential standard WIN cycle. To help monitor this process each school in the system was allotted a Learning Support Specialist (LSS). Our LSS attends system level leadership meetings to receive training that supports teachers in the process. The LSS provides clarity to the questions, “What do we do when our students haven’t learned it?” and, “What do we do when the students already know it?” (Mattos et al., 2016). 

CMS is focused on, not just doing the right work, but also celebrating the right work! Teams are recognized for setting and meeting their smart goals within units, growth in MAP assessments during the year, and increasing student proficiency on state milestone assessments. Emphasis is placed on being successful in the process of implementing the three big ideas: a focus on learning, collaboration, and results oriented. Administrators and the ILT monitor the PLC process within collaborative team meetings encouraging highly effective teams to apply for System A-Team Recognition using the A-Team Application. CMS had two teams earn A-Team Status during the 2020-2021 school year. As iron sharpens iron, our A-Teams help make us all better by modeling the process for all collaborative teams in the building.  

As we move forward with the PLC process next year, we will be examining our current grading practices and researching ways we can provide better feedback to our stakeholders on student knowledge of essential standards. In February 2021, CMS administrators along with teacher and parent representatives participated in professional development “Leading Change in Grading Practices” (Erkens, 2021). This Solution Tree Workshop initiated a change in our System Grading Policy that will allow staff to align grading practices to reflect more on what students know than what they turn in for a grade. Our grading sub-committee will be engaging collaborative teams in professional development using Grading from the Inside Out (Schimmer, 2016) to examine effective grading practices and participate in active research.  

Monitoring our processes is an important aspect of our commitment to the PLC process. Collaborative teams use the Common Assessment Team Reflection (CATR), to reflect on the success of instructional strategies on student proficiency on essential standards within a unit. Administrators, the ILT, and the LSS use the Academic, and Collaboration Impact Checks to monitor team processes, and our guiding coalition monitors the effectiveness of our leadership through the Guiding Coalition Leadership Efficacy Analysis. By continuing to monitor the "tight" elements of a PLC (Mattos et. al., 2016) and allowing instructional teams the autonomy to make the “loose” decisions for what is best for students, we will remain committed to the, “ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students we serve” (Mattos et. al., 2016, p. 9). 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

CMS began our journey with the system-wide implementation of a new schedule, which ensured our teachers were provided with a dedicated time for collaboration. After our daily schedule was established, it was crucial for our collaborative teams to focus on the “right work”. Collaborative teams worked together using the PLC framework. This framework includes the Three Big Ideas, the Six Characteristics of the PLC process, and the Four Essential Questions provided by the practitioners of the book Learning by Doing (Mattos et al., 2016). The Three Big Ideas of the PLC process are: 

  1. A Focus on Learning- “The fundamental purpose of a school culture is to ensure that all students learn at high levels” (Mattos et al., 2016, p. 11).  
  1. A Collaborative Culture- “Educators must work collaboratively and take collective responsibility for the success of each student. Working collaboratively is not optional” (Mattos et al., 2016, p. 11-12). 
  1. Results Oriented- “To access their effectiveness in helping all students learn, educators focus on results- evidence for student learning” (Mattos et al., 2016, p. 12). 

The six characteristics of a professional learning community are: 

  1. Shared mission, vision, values, and goals 
  1. Collaborative teams focused on learning 
  1. Collective inquiry 
  1. Action orientation and experimentation 
  1. Commitment to continuous improvement 
  1. Results orientation 

Using the Three Big Ideas and the Six Characteristics, collaborative teams worked collaboratively to focus on the Four Essential Questions to help guide collaboration and direct data-based decisions. The following four questions are the foundation of every collaborative team discussion, and aid in keeping us focused on the “right work”:  

  1. What do students need to know and/or be able to do? 
  1. How will we know when students have learned it? 
  1. What will we do when students have not learned it? 
  1. What will we do when students already know it?  

The first step of monitoring student learning on a timely basis is the task of deconstructing standards to increase collective understanding of each state standard. The purpose of deconstructing standards is to assist collaborative teams in the process of determining essential standards. Each collaborative team used the R.E.A.L. (Readiness, Endurance, Assessed, and Leverage) criteria to identify which standards are essential for student learning. These essential standards are the standards that each collaborative team will guarantee that all students will learn.  

Once the essential standards were identified for each content, the next task was to write learning targets for each essential standard. The learning targets drove the creation of the CSA (Common Summative Assessment) for each unit of study. Using the backwards design, collaborative teams created the CSA first, and then other common formative assessments (CFAs). Each team tracked the progress of each essential standard by student, by teacher, by standard, and by learning target. This analysis process effectively gave us a focus on results and helped us identify who needs extra help to meet proficiency on each learning target. When collaborative teams began to shift their focus to results, it gave teams clarity on how to respond to student learning. The analysis process provided an effective way to assess which students understood the essential standards, and which students needed extra practice.    

Tier 1 instruction and incorporation of common formative assessments used in the teaching assessing cycle allow all students enough time to show proficiency on the essential standards. This cycle ensures collaborative teams monitor and respond to students in a timely fashion. Each team completes a unit plan flowchart for each essential standard, and this plan includes time built in for prevention (response days) before students take the CSA.  

At CMS, one thing that we are “tight” about is ensuring a guaranteed and viable curriculum to all students in our school. We are also “tight” about deconstructing standards and collectively establishing essential standards with learning targets. The essential standards in all grade levels and content areas are revisited throughout the year to make sure that gaps in knowledge do not occur. Once the teaching-assessing cycle was in place, the priority became monitoring student learning to ensure that all students are learning at high levels across grade-levels.  

Before our school system began the PLC journey, we did not have a systematic way to monitor student learning. Teams at our school operated on an individual basis and used inconsistent data. We did not have a time built into the contractual day to collaborate or to provide Tier 2 intervention outside of Tier 1 instruction. However, since we have implemented the PLC process at our school, all teams have dedicated time to collaborate and analyze student learning data.  

Our school has many resources to help us increase student achievement. Our ILT provides support to our collaborative teams on questions one and two. Our LSS works collectively with collaborative teams to answer questions three and four. The ILT and the LSS work continuously to monitor Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 results. Through disaggregation of data, strengths and weaknesses are identified and students are placed in Tier 1 for extension, Tier 2 for targeted instruction on the essential standard, and Tier 3 for remediation. Tier 3 students are two or more grade-levels behind on a universal screener.  

Within Tier 1 instruction, teacher teams use CFAs to identify student needs and plan for extensions and preventions. When teacher teams analyze results by learning target, it allows them to determine what instructional practices are effective. Next, using the results from the CSA, specific Tier 2 interventions for that essential standard are determined. Then, students are shuffled and grouped for WIN (What I Need) time according to their very specific need.  

CMS also monitors our school’s behavior data, and it is analyzed by the PBIS team at CMS. Tier 1 behavior instruction occurs throughout our school all year long. Our PBIS team reviews data regularly and adjusts school-wide procedures as appropriate. “Skill vs. Will” concerns are discussed and addressed in Tier 2 and Tier 3. Behavioral data is monitored which includes discipline referrals, attendance data, and teacher observations. The Guiding Coalition addresses resource needs and intervention scheduling at Tier 2, and the SIT team supports behavioral needs of individuals. These social and academic behaviors are both addressed at Tier 3.  

School improvement surveys, including teacher/student/parent feedback are given to determine needs for the following year. The Guiding Coalition analyzes this survey data and the implementation of research-based strategies to enhance the PLC process and support our commitment of increasing student learning.  

Throughout this process, it is evident that collective teacher efficacy (Hattie, 2008) has grown stronger in our building. Teachers are working together more than ever before as they provide a guaranteed and viable curriculum. The PLC process has greatly enhanced our ability to monitor student learning in a timely way. The school strategies and processes have shifted our culture from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning.  

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

In the past, our school system has used the Response to Intervention (RTI) process as steppingstones into qualifying students for special education services. Because of this mindset, we have labeled children in abundance, and we have been guilty of teaching to the labels- not to the individual student needs. The process has been inconsistent and misunderstood by many teachers in our building. Due to this confusion, our teachers have experienced a lack of collective efficacy and have struggled with the fundamental purpose of teaching- to know that all students can learn at high levels.  

Once we implemented the PLC process in our school, it was evident that we needed to change our old ways of thinking about the RTI process. Clarity precedes competence, and our leadership team knew that we needed to bring clarity to our teachers about how to implement response to intervention. Our system began to focus on the “right work” by utilizing strategies found in Taking Action (Buffum et al., 2017). The RTI subcommittee attended the RTI at Work conferences and then redelivered the information to the local school guiding coalition. As we implemented the philosophies from the Taking Action, we developed our local school’s specific pyramid of interventions. This pyramid identifies interventions available to students and defines schoolwide and collaborative team responsibilities. This tool visually explains our new RTI process and how we focus on individual student needs instead of exceptional education services. With the new process, teachers are relieved of the responsibility of being the only one recommending students for services. Now, the Guiding Coalition, the collaborative teacher team, and the SIT (Site Intervention Team) work together collectively to help students stay out of exceptional education services, unless absolutely necessary.  

After determining essential standards and learning targets, collaborative teams work together to develop unit plans and create CSAs. Using the Teaching Assessing Cycle, students are given CFAs, and based on the results, teachers provide preventions to intercept any misconceptions before the summative. If a student does not demonstrate proficiency on an essential standard based on a CSA, they are then placed into Tier 2 to receive interventions for that specific essential standard. After Tier 2 interventions, students are then reassessed on the same essential standard to see if the interventions have been effective. If a student demonstrates proficiency after the Tier 2 interventions, then he or she can move out of Tier 2. These interventions happen during our WIN (What I Need) time, which is a common time across the school where students are shuffled and rostered according to their needs based on the essential standards. A typical WIN cycle may last approximately three weeks. The math and ELA teachers are responsible for rostering students according to their need in each content area. In addition to WIN time, students who have not met the essential standards by the end of the school year will be provided extra support in our Summer Intervention program, where they will receive Tier 2 instruction based on their individual needs.  

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

At CMS, the local Guiding Coalition created subcommittees to help increase our collective teacher capacity and strengthen our communication school-wide. Each member of the Guiding Coalition serves as the facilitator for their collaborative team. The Guiding Coalition members focus on the right work and are responsible for implementing the PLC process within their own collaborative teams.   

The Bartow County School System established an A-Team award in order to celebrate the right work and to build collective teacher efficacy for collaborative teams focused on improved student learning, data analysis, and collaboration. The A-Team award process was inspired by the work of Mike Mattos’s video, “Are We a Group or a Team?” The A-Team is a collaborative team that consists of members who work interdependently to achieve common goals that will directly impact student achievement. Members are eager and willing to learn from one another. Team members honor the collective commitments they have agreed on, which creates an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust. The A-Team award encourages growth among collaboration teams and inspires members to reflect upon the PLC process. It has also created accountability and partnership as we work interdependently. Collaboration meetings have morphed from a focus on planning and curriculum, to a focus on the three big ideas of a PLC. The A-Team award is the highest level of achievement that a collaborative team can acquire. Out of 20 schools in our county, only five collaborative teams have reached the A-team status, and two of those teams are from CMS (6th grade math and 7th grade math). It was an honor to receive the first middle school A-Team award from the district.  

 “A collection of teachers does not truly become a team until members must rely on one another to accomplish a goal that none could achieve individually.” (Mattos et al., 2016, p. 23)

Collaboration is powerful when it becomes systematic and has a laser sharp focus on data analysis to improve student achievement (Dufour, 2004). Buffem et al., (2018) outlines the teaching-assessing cycle utilized by our collaboration teams. Using backward design, collaborative teams build the CSA and decide upon proficiency indicators for each essential standard. Next, the team plans the CFA(s) and prevention days as indicated in our example of the team-teaching flowchart. During the collaboration meeting, the team works together to determine which instructional strategies are being effective and examines data to decide which teacher has a strength at teaching which learning targets. After the CSA, the data is analyzed, and students who did not show proficiency based on the team’s proficiency indicators, will be moved into Tier 2. Tier 2 interventions based on the essential standard are collaboratively constructed during WIN time, which occurs outside of Tier 1 instruction. Our goal is to have under 10% per WIN cycle in Tier 2. High functioning teams continue to show that improvement in Tier 1, so therefore fewer students are in Tier 2 throughout the year. As a part of this process, the collaborative teams work together with the SIT team to identify “will” and “skill” students. Some “will” students are then paired with a member of the SIT team (or an employee of the school) for extra help. The collaborative team also provides remediation to show proficiency on foundational universal skills beyond Tier 1 instruction (content-specific).  

Being results-oriented is an important part of being a high functioning team. Collaborative teams in our building continuously review data from CFAs and CSAs in order to allow data to drive instruction in the teaching-assessing cycle. To make this data reliable, our school has embraced the framework of Design in 5 (Vagle, 2014) to make CSAs more rigorous, relevant, and valid. Using the ladder of complexity, our teams have worked together to form assessments that include questions with a higher cognitive level, a range of DOK levels, blended formats, different weighting for each item, and each question linked to a learning target. Vagle (2014) has introduced us to a way to create high-quality assessments using her five-phase design protocol to create CSAs that are effective, innovative, and engaging.  

During our PLC journey, it is important to remember that the PLC process is an ongoing learning experience, and we will maintain our effort to perfect the process as we continue building collective teacher efficacy.  

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

See Achievement Data section under: CMS PLC Artifacts

Achievement Data Narrative:

CMS began the PLC journey in the fall of 2018.  We identify the 2017-2018 school year as the baseline for monitoring data to determine the effectiveness of our processes.  The implementation timeline helps to understand our journey and clarifies the process we followed to build our collective commitment to ensure that all students learn at high levels! The implementation timeline below illustrates our PLC journey.  

Summer 2018:

  • System Leadership Summit: Introduction of Professional Learning Communities to all Principals, Assistant Principals and Central Office Staff 

2018 – 2019

  • Local Guiding Coalition Established
  • Mission, Vision, Collective Commitments, Norms 
  • Sub-committees identified.  
  • Teacher teams identify essential standards. 
  • System Guiding Coalition Workshop with Janel Keating 
  • Guiding Coalition attended PLC at Work Institute (Atlanta, Georgia) 

2019 – 2020

  • System Professional Learning Community Kickoff (all instructional staff) 
  • Implemented Collaboration Schedule 
  • CMS RTI sub-committee attended RTI at Work Conference in Jacksonville, Fl.  
  • Pilot Tier 2 WIN Schedule in eighth grade 


  • Design in 5 (Vagle, 2014) 
  • Workshop with Nicole Dimich Vagle  
  • Grading Workshop with Cassandra Erkens 

 Comparable Data:

CMS Student Achievement:

As we compare our schools baseline student achievement data of 2018 to that of our 2019 data, we can identify areas of growth in most of our core academic areas at each grade level. In ELA and Math at all grade levels, there was a slight increase in the percentage of students meeting proficiency. We attribute this growth to implementing key foundational elements of the PLC process.    

Sub-group Data:

Data in ELA shows an upward trend in Students with Disabilities and Economically Disadvantaged subgroups. Math data indicates that there was growth in English Language learners from 7th to 8th grade and in Economically Disadvantaged from 6th to 7th grade.  


The College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) is a comprehensive school improvement, accountability, and communication platform for all educational stakeholders that will promote college and career readiness for all Georgia public school students.  The index provides information in how schools are performing in the following areas:  

Content Mastery: Addresses whether students are achieving at the level necessary to be prepared for the next grade, college, or career. This component includes achievement scores in English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. 

Progress: Progress measures how much growth students demonstrate in English language arts and mathematics and how well English learners are progressing towards English language proficiency. 

Closing Gaps: Measures all students and subgroups improvements in achievement rates. This component is based on CCRPI improvement targets for academic achievement. 

Readiness: Readiness measures whether students are participating in activities preparing them for and demonstrating readiness for the next level, college, or career. The indicators for middle schools include literacy, student attendance, and beyond the core.  

Climate: The School Climate Star Rating is a diagnostic tool to determine if a school is on the right path to school improvement. The rating is based on four components:  1) student, teacher, and parent perceptions of a school’s climate; 2) student discipline; 3) a safe and substance-free learning environment; and 4) school-wide attendance. The rating is one to five stars, one being the lowest score and five being the highest score. 

A review of our CCRPI data from the baseline year 2018 to that of 2019 shows an increase in all five areas of the CCRPI index. (CMS EOG Comparison Scores

Skill v. Will

CMS successfully implemented PBIS and received a 5-Star Climate Rating from the state of Georgia for the years of 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019. In 2020 and 2021, Climate Ratings were not assigned due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The 5-Star rating is calculated by the state of Georgia’s School Climate Rating Calculations. This rating is the highest possible rating, and we are the only middle school in our county to receive this outstanding honor. Using the PBIS framework which includes explicitly teaching the expectations upfront, CMS developed the CMS matrix for common areas, and a more specific matrix for the classroom. In addition, we have a PBIS Student Handbook and a PBIS Teacher/Staff Handbook. We have trainings for our teachers and staff, as well as PBIS Lessons for our students. Our school has hosted special events such as No One Eats Alone Initiative to encourage efficacy among students. As a result of our PBIS initiatives, we have seen a decrease in office referrals since the beginning of PLC journey three years ago. In 2018-2019, CMS had 715 office referrals for grades 6-8. By 2020-2021, CMS only had 319 office referrals across all grade levels. This difference represents a 55% decrease in total referrals over the course of three years. Our subgroup data showed a 34% decrease in referrals as well. Most notable, our triangle data report improved significantly, moving from 84% of students having 0-1 office referrals, to 92.87% of students having 0-1 office referrals. The summary of this PBIS data, indicates that our PBIS initiatives in Tier 1 behavioral supports are effective. Using our PBIS framework helped us to identify our skill and will students and aided in implementing appropriate interventions for these students.    

Literacy Achievement:

Literacy continues to be a focus at CMS and through collaborative team identification of essential standards we have seen a decrease in the number of students reading below grade level and improvement in proficiency levels among cohorts. Implementation of Lexia Power Up for our ESOL students reflects our progress in increasing reading comprehension in the Advanced zone from 0% to 68% this school year (CMS Lexia Power Up Skills Usage Overview 2021). Twelve students scored between a 4.3 and 4.9 on the ACCESS test, (CMS ACCESS 2021), which measures a student's proficiency in the English language, and are eligible for reclassification out of the ESOL program. Next year, we have received an additional full- time teacher for our ESOL program to support our school and system’s commitment to high levels of learning for all students.   

CMS will continue to make reading proficiency a priority. We recently received an additional allotment for a Reading Interventionist for the upcoming school year to provide professional development for teachers to provide Tier 2 interventions for the students who have not demonstrated proficiency on common summative assessments. We have adjusted our Literacy Plan to incorporate the reading specialist interventionist and to help us monitor progress of our students meeting proficiency on essential standards.  

Non-Comparable Data:

The following are other forms of assessments that provide information on student achievement. These include: The Measure of Academic Progress assessment (MAP), student proficiency in Tier 2, and the percent of students exiting Tier 3. 


CMS implemented the MAP assessment during the 2020-2021 school year. A reflection of our recent CMS MAP Data shows the majority of our students are meeting their projected growth goals for both Math and Reading. Further data breakdown shows our 7th grade math students grew more than 99% compared to all other comparable schools in the nation. We attribute this growth to the collaborative work our teacher teams are doing through the PLC process by providing effective Tier 1 instruction and timely Tier 2 interventions.    

Tier 2 and Tier 3

As illustrated in our Tier 2 and Tier 3 data spreadsheet, students are successfully exiting Tier 2 and Tier 3 after being provided with research-based interventions. With the implementation of the RTI schedule (WIN time), students are provided with extra time to show proficiency on each essential standard. As a school, our focus has shifted from teaching to learning. From our most current data (spring 2021), an average of 79.3% of students served in Tier 2 for math were able to exit by demonstrating proficiency, and an average of 67% of students served in Tier 2 for reading were able to exit because they demonstrated proficiency. For Tier 3, we had 163 students enrolled in either math or reading in the winter of 2020. By the spring of 2021, the enrollment had decreased to 146 students, which is about 16% of our school population in Tier 3.  

SMART Goals:

Each collaborative team at CMS is responsible for developing a SMART goal for each unit of study, as well as an overarching SMART goal for the year. Each SMART goal for the units of study must include a specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely goal including the percentage of students expected to demonstrate proficiency on the essential standard after the CSA. Attached are some examples of the annual SMART goal, and the unit of study SMART goal for 6th grade math.    

Our Local Guiding Coalition created SMART Goals for our school during our school improvement sessions.  

  • Goal 1: By the end of the 2019-2020 school year, CMS will increase the number of students reading on grade level from 66% to 71% as measured Lexile scores on the Georgia Milestones End of Grade Assessment.  

Results: Not available due to cancelation of Milestones 

  • Goal 2: By the end of the 2019-2020 school year, CMS will increase the number of students in math performing at proficient and above from 44% to 47% as measured by the Georgia Milestones End of Grade Assessment.   

Results: Not available due to cancelation of Milestones 

Cass Middle School Awards and Recognitions

See Awards and Recognition section in CMS PLC Artifacts

District Academic Awards 2018-2019 

  • Highest Academic Achievement Algebra 1 
  • Highest Academic Achievement 8th Grade Social Studies 
  • Highest Academic Achievement 7th Grade Math 
  • Greatest Academic Gain Algebra 1 
  • Greatest Academic Gain 8th Grade Math 
  • Greatest Academic Gain 8th Grade ELA 

 School Climate Rating 

  • 5 Star Climate Award 2018 and 2019 


  • GADOE Operational Recognition   

 District STEM Certification 2019 


  • 6th Grade Math 
  • 7th Grade Math