Bear Boulevard School for Early Learning

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

At Bear Boulevard School we are focused on closing the achievement gap in young children’s literacy attainment between students of economic disadvantage and non-economic disadvantage. The purpose of public Pre-Kindergarten is to level the playing field and provide a more equitable start to school. Campus demographics reveal about 85% of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch and about 65% of students exhibit limited proficiency in English during a typical year. Bear Boulevard School is an early learning center serving three and four-year-old Pre-Kindergarten students who meet the state criteria for eligibility and also serve four-year olds not meeting eligibility on a tuition basis. Spring Branch ISD is unique in that we admit four-year-old tuition status students into Pre-Kindergarten and as a result Bear Boulevard School has a small population of students that pay tuition to attend our school. We have noticed a wide berth in skills young children from disadvantage and non-disadvantage exhibit when starting Pre-Kindergarten. Our students from disadvantage enter Pre-Kindergarten with a smaller vocabulary and less experience with books than those from non-disadvantage. Having a strong vocabulary sets a foundation for learning to read as does experience with books and the printed word. The Center for American Progress reported that children from low-income families are 50% more likely to enter school unprepared than their peers from high-income families. Further, the gap grows significantly in early childhood: nine-month gap at three years of age, fourteen-month gap at four years of age, and fifteen-month gap at five years of age. In addition, children from high-income families have twice the vocabulary and have heard thirty million more words at age four than their peers from low-income families. Knowing the research and witnessing the achievement discrepancy on our campus was a primary concern for us. At the end of the 2015-2016 school year, our literacy data showed a 10-33 percentage point gap across reading performance areas and thus began the focus to narrow the gap (see BBS End Year Literacy & Math Data 2015-2016 in Resource Section).

As a campus leader, I knew that change was upon us and that communication and relationships were critical. I applied concepts of adult learning strategy by chunking the learning over time always relating it to our collaboratively developed and collectively agreed upon our mission, vision, values, and goals (see Living Our Vision Goal Posters in Resource section). Instead of “one and done” professional development, the learning was cyclical over time and continually applied throughout the years which was instrumental when onboarding new staff as well. Here’s a timeline of topics we went deeper into each month over the school years.

  • 2012-2013 Crucial Conversations (Patterson, et. al.)
  • 2013-2014 Crucial Confrontations (Patterson, et. al.)
  • 2014-2015 Moments That Matter & Business Chemistry (Deloitte University)
  • 2015-2016 Growth Mindset (Dweck)
  • 2016-2017 Learner’s Journey (Spring Branch ISD)
  • 2017-2018 Creating a Relational Culture: PLC (Solution Tree)
  • 2018-2019 4 Pillars of Designing Personalization (Spring Branch ISD)
  • 2019-2020 PLC (Solution Tree)
  • 2020-2021 Learning Mindframes (Hattie)
  • 2021-2022 Strong Start: Committed to the Core (Luis Cruz & Spring Branch ISD)

We engaged in many transparent conversations about our literacy data. Staff agreed we are best for our students when we are collaborative with each other and with our students’ families. Staff breathed new life into our campus vision by defining the “why, how, and what” grounded in four commitments: commitment to evidence-informed instruction, commitment to the achievement of high standards by all students, commitment to collaboration and interdependence, and commitment to the success of all adults. Increased collaboration produced the belief and practice that differentiated small-group literacy instruction focused on a leveled reader with aligning word work and interactive writing was the best use of time and resources to narrow up the gap. Teachers expressed a desire to learn more from each other so our Leadership Team developed a learning walk feedback form focused on campus goals (see PK Guideline Domain Visit Feedback in Resource Section). Teachers engage in four learning walks per school year giving and receiving peer feedback. Teacher feedback received was positive, (i.e. “I was able to see lessons that target skills in a different way.”).

We had the vision, commitments, collaborative teams, and common planning in place but needed to evolve our Collaborative Team conversations centered around a guaranteed and viable curriculum, common formative assessment, and evidence-informed instruction. Our district and campus began formal PLC training with Solution Tree during the 2016-2017 school year and has continued to date. We began with our mission, vision, values, and goals and defined our instructional framework (see BBS Instructional Framework 2017-2018 in Resource Section). As a school district during the 2017-2018 school year, we studied Learning By Doing: A Handbook for Professional Learning Communities at Work and that summer some of our staff went to PLC Conferences. From 2018-2019 to date, we have had thought partners such as Mike Mattos, Anthony Muhammad, and Luis Cruz influencing our district level professional development. Over the span of 5 years, our campus Collaborative Team agenda/minutes one-page form has evolved from a lesson plan/activity focus to a focus on conversations centered around our Essential Learnings for PK and common formative assessment to guide instruction, intervention and enrichment (see Collaborative Team Agenda Minutes in Resource Section). Collaborative Team meetings have evolved from Administrator/Coach directed to Teacher owned and led. Having front loaded so much time and practice with communication and relationship building resulted in staff having the tools and confidence needed to morph into a collaborative team that’s not dependent upon any one staff member. Everyone keeps the campus professional learning culture passion-driven, evidence-informed, and laser-focused. Feedback from teacher surveys reflected all areas of the school’s PLC implementation at the Developing & Sustaining level based on the SBISD PLC Continuum Rubric (see BBS PLC Continuum 2017-2018 CNA; PLC Check In Jan 7th 2019; and BBS PLC Continuum April 2019 CNA in Resource Section). Each year we rely on our moral compass to persevere and go beyond for every child by leveraging collective greatness, collaborative spirit and limitless curiosity. We personalize learning to meet the needs of every child, every day, every minute, and every way. BBS Leadership Team is more than an ILT. It is a collaborative team living our mission, vision, values, and goals grounded in our four commitments referenced above. Our campus has evolved into a culture of learning, goals and expectations grounded in our mission, vision, values, and goals aligned with our district (see Living Our Vision Goal Posters in Resource section).

  • Mission: Our reach for our students should exceed our grasp to set the foundation for T-2-4. At BBS, We Love to Learn!
  • Vision: Bear Boulevard School for Early Learning values a successful community by engaging in positive, age appropriate educational practices for all.
  • Values: Every Child, Collective Greatness, Collaborative Spirit, Limitless Curiosity, Moral Compass
  • Goals: Literacy, Numeracy, Social/Emotional, English Learners (note: specific goal targets for these areas change from year to year as we close gaps while performance improves for all)

 

Continuous growth is critical to this work. Our afternoon professional learning time continues to be instrumental in allowing us to grow together as a staff. Our teachers are highly dedicated and hardworking. We continue to rely on the support role of a lead PK teacher, which is one of our existing Team Leaders, to coach and mentor our staff and lead professional learning. Further, a PK Coach provided professional learning in 45-minute sessions to PK4 Teachers 1 day per week and a total of 15 hours of one on one coaching throughout the school year. A district PK3 Coach provided professional learning sessions at least four times per year for PK3 Teachers as well as visiting classrooms and providing feedback. Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Teachers were provided support as needed by a district ECSE Facilitator and out of district consultants/specialists as well as PK Coach and Collaborative Teams. In May 2020, BBS Leadership Team reflected campus strengths and needs related to Collaborative Teams in preparation for 2020-2021 school year (see SBISD Survey Questions 5-21-20 in Resource Section). Teacher responses to a campus Level of Implementation Survey in May 2020 show Balanced Literacy, Collaborative Teams, and Share a Smile at the fully implemented and automatic level (see 2019-2020 Levels of Implementation Staff Survey in Resource Section).

  • The Balanced Literacy practices showed the majority of teachers at the institutionalized/automatic level. 
  • The Collaborative Team (CT) practices showed four teachers at the institutionalized/automatic level, and the remaining teachers at the fully implementing level.
  • The Share A Smile practices showed all teachers at the institutionalized/automatic level.

In July 2021, our campus will participate in SBISD PLC Live to continue evolving forward with habits and routines to ensure high levels of student learning. Aligning with our commitment to collaboration and interdependence and our commitment to the achievement of high standards by all students, this summer we are developing campus-based literacy, math, and technology non-negotiables for use the 2021-2022 school year. Collaborative instructional reviews focused on strategies with peer feedback to achieve campus goals will continue for the 2021-2022 school year. 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

As being evidence-informed became increasingly more of a cornerstone for our decisions, concerns about the literacy area of Rapid Vocabulary arose. Collaborative Teams discussed concerns about how the Rapid Vocabulary test was designed to administer and proposed that the fact the test was timed was contributing to student under performance. To test the theory, we administered the Rapid Vocabulary assessment untimed. The results showed all students performing better on the untimed version (see EOY Rapid Vocab Timed-Untimed Sample May 2018). We continued our discussions and came to consensus that we needed to target oral language fluency to support increasing student response time. As a result, students meeting end of year expectations in the area of Rapid Vocabulary has increased over the years from 47% in May 2018 to 70% in May 2021 (see BBS EOY 2017-2018 & 2020-2021 Rapid Vocabulary Data in Resource Section).

During the 2019-2020 school year, we realized we had too many priority standards. As a district, we formed a cross-categorical group of stakeholders to develop and agree upon Essential Learnings that every child would be able to know and do by the end of their PK4 year (see PreK Essential Learnings Final 9-16-20 in Resource Section). Proficiency levels were developed for Essential Learnings and they were assigned to a nine-week period and assessed through ongoing formative assessment (see III.D.1 Prof Scale Priority Stan Essential Learning in Resource Section). Student progress toward mastery was recorded by each Teacher and monitored by Collaborative Teams using a nine-weeks checklist. We have continued our focus on Essential Learnings and incorporated them into the four questions, (What do we expect our students to learn? How do we know they learned it? How will we respond for students that didn’t learn it? How will we respond for students that already know it?), on weekly Collaborative Team agendas. Here are some comments from the 2020-2021 school year teacher survey regarding PLC implementation highlighting an increased focus on the 4 questions compared to the prior year.

  • “objectives to be taught for the week are discussed and decided upon in order to incorporate them into our lesson plans and the 4 questions are discussed and answered”
  • “active participant”
  • “... every Monday to discuss the 4 questions that guide our teaching for the students”

 Teachers truly own Collaborative Teams at Bear Boulevard by collaboratively developing and collectively agreeing upon norms while using the agenda and relational skills to guide discussions and refocus when there’s drift from a data focus to an activity focus. The campus team leaders facilitate the Collaborative Team process with support and direction from the Director during leadership team meetings. District PK Coaches participate in the Collaborative Team meetings from time to time providing additional support and resources. The campus leadership team developed a Collaborative Team agenda/minutes one-page form to focus collaboratively developed and collectively agreed upon norms, Essential Learnings, discussions aligning with the 4 questions listed above, and resulting action plans (see Collab Team Agenda Minutes in Resource Section). Our campus Leadership Team serves as our Guiding Coalition whereby formal and informal leaders guide our work in alignment with our mission, vision, values, and goals. To continually develop Teachers into Leaders, we began implementing campus internships. One of our team leaders supports Collaborative Teams as a campus internship. She shares the agenda/minutes during leadership team meetings to recognize celebrations and pinpoint areas needing support. To provide open communication across the campus, she shares highlights during staff meetings. This practice keeps our campus focused on learning, collaborating with collective responsibility, and orienting toward results.

My professional goal for 2020-2021 was to support teachers more fully implementing Collaborative Teams to align our actions with our commitment to evidence-informed instruction and PK Essential Learnings. Here are the actions leading to positive results:

  • Beginning of year professional development focused on PK Essential Learnings incorporated into Collaborative Team agenda/minutes process so that interventions, strategies, and supports are aligned with campus instructional framework to achieve 2020-2021 goals (see BB Vision Goals CIP 20-21 in Resource Section).
  • 100% of Collaborative Teams use the campus Collaborative Team Agenda/Minute form to guide PLC conversations and actions (see Collab Team Agenda Minutes samples 20-21 in Resource Section).
  • 100% of teachers participate in formative data conversations and aligning strategies with PK Coach once per week
  • Feb 2021 Mid-Year data conferences held with PK Director, PK Coach, and all PK4 Teachers (see Data Conference Reflection Hernandez in Resource Section).
  • Collaborative Teams support VIR & IP Teachers staying aligned to make student transitions smooth & no learning loss for students switching each nine weeks. Mrs. Thomeer, parent & Literacy Specialist at one of our district Elementary schools, stated her daughter has had four BBS Teachers this school year and the curriculum is aligned across teachers and district Literacy/Numeracy goals. (see Parent Email in Resource Section).
  • Teachers engaged in Instructional Rounds in March 2021 (see Instructional Rounds in Resource Section).
  • End of year teacher survey regarding Collaborative Team level of implementation results (see 2020-2021 Levels of Implementation Staff Survey in Resource Section):
    • The majority of respondents indicated implementation at the Emerging Level (fully implementing and beginning to internalize)
    • One respondent indicated implementation at the Predominance Level (institutionalized and automatic implementation)

 

Teachers used CIRCLE Assessment data at the beginning, middle, and end of the year in combination with ongoing formative assessment data to focus on Essential Learnings for each nine weeks period. Weekly Collaborative Teams planned targeted instruction and focus for collaborative walk throughs in colleague classes. Checklists were used each nine-week period to track student mastery of Essential Learnings over time (see Nine Weeks Checklist Sample in Resource Section). Teachers participated in mid-year data conferences centered on the four questions with Director and PK Coach. Teachers were given literacy data feedback each nine-week period based on Running Record scores reflected on report cards (see Report Card Feedback Samples in Resource Section). Lesson plans are checked and feedback is given on an intermittent basis. Teacher goals aligned with campus goals. Student performance data was used to measure teacher professional and student growth goals. This measure was incorporated into summative appraisal feedback (see Summative Appraisal Domain 4 Sample in Resource Section).

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

Our strong PLC at Work practices yielded positive impacts on student achievement. Time is built into the daily schedule for Collaborative Team meetings allowing for team choice between morning, afternoon, or end of day times to meet (see BBS Prof Learning Schedule & Collaborative Team Form in Resource Section).  All teachers participated in formative data conversations and aligning strategies with a PK Coach once per week. All teachers meet in collaborative teams once per week. Focused professional development sessions on Essential Learnings, writing throughout daily routine, letter identification, and vocabulary development were done throughout the school year. We implemented a campus wide intervention plan. Every class has a dedicated highly qualified teacher assistant providing additional small group and/or one-on-one skill reinforcement or extension to students on a daily basis. All staff used instructional technology throughout the daily routine as a way to provide additional literacy and math skill practice. Student responsive software is used in Literacy and Math to provide additional skill practice for students. Staff used book making software to design readers for students to use at school and at home. The campus Speech Therapist provided whole class oral language development sessions across the campus on a monthly basis for 30 minutes for classes selecting these sessions. Teachers were in a supportive role during these sessions so that they could learn strategies from the speech therapist to implement throughout the daily routine. Our campus Counselor and Social Worker provided whole class social emotional lessons and small group/individual student support throughout the school year (see SEL Schedule in Resource Section).

 

If students were struggling in a class(es) we didn't note that room17 has some struggling students, instead we acted upon our collective responsibility that BBS has some students that are struggling and pooled our supports (see Student Support Oct 2020, Student Support Jan 2021 in Resource Section). We met once per month as a staff and focused on academic and behavioral support strategies for struggling students. These were general strategies (i.e. Tier I RtI) shared in a collaborative fashion to build capacity and support. A teacher needing individual student specific support would request a Pre-Student Support Committee (SSC) conference to review Tier I documentation of interventions and plan forward for support. As indicated from Pre-SSC documentation, a formal SSC meeting was held. The campus Counselor, Speech Therapist, Diagnostician, and Director provided additional support/guidance/observations related to the area of need and their expertise when formal SSC meetings were held. System of Care and/or LSSP were included in SSC process when appropriate. Our SSC supported 29 students, 13% total campus enrollment, throughout this school year (20 evaluation requests for special education services were submitted; 1 student received System of Care support; 1 virtual student required to return to in-person due to attendance concerns; 1 virtual student was withdrawn due to attendance/non-compliance with attendance intervention plan; see SSC List in Resource Section). During the special education evaluation process, we put our collective responsibility into action as two students were provided additional support by rotating teacher assistants from classes throughout the campus to provide intensive one on one support for several months across the school year.

 

To engage our families, we set up a campus Parent/Community Center and established Parent Learning Days throughout the school year. This provided parents and community members a variety of learning experiences both within the classroom and during parent training sessions. Parent Learning Days grew organically from collaborative teams and evolved to engage parents in hands-on, direct classroom embedded experiences demonstrating that their child can be successful at school and how they can help at home. Parent conferences are held in the fall and spring letting parents know their child’s progress toward end of year Essential Learnings. Specific strategies to continue their child’s growth at home are given every nine weeks and during parent conferences. We put school attendance strategies and intervention plans for individual students in place. Our school nurse provided health care beyond the school parameters for families. Additionally, to enhance anytime, anywhere opportunities for our youngest learners we provide Istation Home as adaptive software students can access from home and ReadyRosie access to parenting videos that help parents engage students in learning at home. Social services are provided to students and families so the whole child blossoms. This practice has evolved into a campus saying: “You take care of Maslow’s context before achieving Bloom’s content.” See the following documents in the Resource Section for data related to our campus family engagement: BBS CIP Parent Engagement 2018-2019, Parent Learning Days Attendance & Survey Oct 2019, Fall 2019-2020 Parent Buddy Reading Lunch RSVP, and SBISD News BBS Parent Engagement Dec 2019.

 

Teaching young children appropriate social skills is critical in early childhood. There were no office referrals for the 2020-2021 school year. We believe it is not developmentally appropriate to send young children to the office when behavioral challenges arise; but rather it provides us with a learning opportunity to guide the student toward better behavioral choices within the context of the classroom. When needed, teachers called for additional assistance to come to the classroom to help teach through a behavior. This additional assistance was provided in a consultative nature to the Teacher by the Counselor, CIS, Speech Therapist, LSSP, System of Care, and/or Director. Professional learning sessions were held for both Teachers and Teacher Assistants before and throughout the school year focusing on teaching routines and procedures and positive behavioral supports. In addition, campus wide PBIS was implemented. Project CLASS, Children Learning Academic and Social Skills, staff was on campus one day per week providing individual, small group, and whole class social/emotional lessons and support throughout the 2020-2021 school year (funded thru campus Title I funds). Project CLASS support this school year included: 103 group sessions, 27 students participating in groups, 13 student interventions, 10 students seen in interventions, 65 class activities, 26 student contacts, 78 teacher summaries, and 90 staff consultations (see Project CLASS Services Summary in Resource Section). Due to the high need for this support and the success of the support, the campus has committed to continue using campus Title I funds for Project CLASS one day per week during the 2021-2022 school year despite an increase in cost. 

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

Knowing the challenges of change initiatives being embraced and implemented with fidelity paired with my belief that those closest to the action are in the best position to innovate and implement solutions, I approached campus team leaders about doing an internship beginning with the 2017-2018 school year going forward. Our campus team leaders seek out experiences to build their coaching expertise. They embraced the idea of doing an internship focused on coaching our Teachers and Teacher Assistants toward campus goal achievement and overseeing our Collaborative Teams. Our goal was to design a process supporting staff skills and ownership related to campus goals using current resources. Every time we meet as a Leadership Team, Staff, and Teacher Assistants, the first page of our agenda focuses us on our mission, vision, values, goals and practices to support student achievement (see Meeting Agenda MVVG Page Samples in Resource Section).  At the outset, we committed to monitoring and adjusting the process so we could be as fluid as possible in our response to staff needs. We agreed to formally check in during our monthly Leadership Team meetings and informally communicate as needed.  

 

Although Team Leaders serve in a campus professional development leadership role, we designed the internships with their unique skill sets and areas of desired growth in mind. One Team Leader coaches the Teachers and Teacher Assistants and another oversees our Collaborative Teams. The Teacher and Teacher Assistant Internship focuses on leading weekly professional development sessions supporting collaborative lesson planning and modeling strategies related to our goals. In addition, teachers engage in four collaborative instructional reviews observing lessons aligned with our goals. Support is also given to Teachers hosting a Parent Learning Day engaging parents in the classroom with their child learning skills related to our goals (see Spring Parent Learning Day Schedule 19-20 in Resource Section). The Team Leader Internships also focus on leading monthly meetings with Teacher Assistants on research-based, developmentally appropriate teaching strategies for young children. In addition, ongoing support is provided to implement communication, collaboration, and classroom management strategies. A hallmark of these internships is providing real time modeling of instructional and behavioral support strategies within the context of a Teacher/Teacher Assistant’s classroom. Team Leaders share, model, and guide a Teacher/Teacher Assistant toward independent implementation of a strategy using a gradual release model of support. While the Team Leader is out of his/her class working with another Teacher/Teacher Assistant, coverage is provided using existing staff. The Team Leader overseeing Collaborative Teams supports tracking student data and adjusting instruction as needed while empowering teachers to lead the discussions and use their soft skills when drift from norms occurs. In addition, this Team Leader receives copies of all Collaborative Team agenda/minutes forms each week and reviews them to share highlights and celebrations during monthly leadership and staff meetings (see Meeting Agenda MVVG Page Samples in Resource Section).

 

"At BBS, learning together is, by definition, the very essence of a learning community. The fundamental structure and the engine that drives PLC is not the individual educator but a collaborative team." stated by a BBS Team Leader and shared at SBISD Leadership U June 2021. Teachers are encouraged to reflect on their practices and are constantly striving to increase their skills not just in teaching, but as facilitators in raising readers, writers, mathematicians and scientists of the future. Teachers met in Collaborative Teams and planned and implemented small group literacy instruction to include differentiation of leveled readers with aligning word work and interactive writing. Teachers implemented modeled/shared/guided/independent reading and writing. Teachers met in Collaborative Teams and planned and implemented math large group, small group and workstations. Teachers facilitated student engagement in interdisciplinary projects. Over the years, staff has grown in their collegiality and increased their collaboration as they presented highlights from their trainings during professional learning sessions. This also resulted in more professional and open communication between Teachers and Teacher Assistants. All campus staff participated in 3 campus activities designed to provide a common understanding, language, and practice of great internal/external customer service through the Share A Smile Initiative. School Wide Survey Levels of Implementation, (see 2020-2021 Levels of Implementation Staff Survey in Resource Section), reflected majority of teachers at the following levels of implementation in the target areas of:

  1. Balanced Literacy (Predominance of Strategy/Initiative: institutionalized, automatic),
  2. Collaborative Teams (Emerging: fully implementing, beginning of internalization), and
  3. Share A Smile (Predominance of Strategy/Initiative: institutionalized, automatic). 

 

Many years ago, we developed a collaborative process to identify candidates with strong early childhood pedagogy and with strong soft skills to be a good fit for our campus culture. We continue to refine our process as needs change, (see BBS Hiring Process in Resource Section). Here’s a summary of our process:

  1. Recruit: BBS Leadership Team members participate in recruiting activities (i.e. attend district student teacher receptions/mock interviews; attend district Meet and Greets; etc.).
  2. Screen: BBS Leadership Team members paper screen potential candidates and narrow pool of candidates for consideration.
  3. Face to Face Interview: BBS Leadership Team members and Quad Partner Teacher conduct screening interviews using a series of questions and scoring responses. Candidate also completes a writing sample activity requiring data analysis (i.e. given a data set, candidate completes a student report card and writes comments to parents).
  4. Lesson Observation and Reflection: BBS Leadership Team members and Quad Partner Teacher observe candidates engaging students in a read aloud activity in one of our classes (about 15 minutes) and then engages in lesson reflection and responds to probing questions during the lesson debrief.
  5. Decision: BBS Leadership Team members and Quad Partner Teacher recommend a candidate for hire or to continue searching and Director makes the final decision.

All new staff to the campus were assigned a partner in a like position/role. In addition, Quad Partnerships were established (2 Teachers and 2 Teacher Assistants sharing a classroom suite are partnered). Staff were given protocols to guide and help start crucial conversations and build agreements (see Collaboration Discussion Questions in Resource Section). New staff assimilated into BBS practices. BBS Leadership Team continues to be involved throughout the process of hiring new staff for each school year. For the 2021-2022 school year, three new Teacher and Teacher Assistant positions have been added to our campus. In an effort to support these six new staff members aligning with our commitment to collaboration and interdependence, evidence-informed instruction, and the achievement of high standards by all students, the Leadership Team is developing campus-based literacy, math, and technology non-negotiables for use during the 2021-2022 school year. Our reach for our students should exceed our grasp and thus the journey continues.

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

Our growth over the years into a high performing campus PLC has positively impacted the achievement gaps that alarmed us at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. Although we shifted to a new district assessment measure at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, we noticed similar gaps in student literacy performance. To date, we have continued our commitment to narrow these gaps while striving to increase performance for all. Here is a summary of results in specific literacy areas from the 2016-2017 to the 2018-2019 school years (see BBS EOY Literacy & Math Data docs for 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019 in Resource Section):

  • Rapid Letter Naming: decreased gap by 9 percentage points
  • Rapid Vocabulary: decreased gap by 6 percentage points
  • Early Writing: decreased gap by 12 percentage points
  • DRA2/EDL2 Reading Level: decreased gap by 4 percentage points

 

Due to the global pandemic and shifting to crisis schooling the last three months of the 2019-2020 school year, we do not have end of year student performance data. However, we do have mid-year data that showed we had already met our end of year goal in the area of Early Writing and were on track to meet the end of year goal for Rapid Letter Naming and Rapid Vocabulary (see BBS MOY Literacy & Math Data 2019-2020 in Resource Section).

 

The impact of the pandemic continued throughout the 2020-2021 school year. Our campus enrollment was significantly decreased. We began with 140 students in August of 2020 and slowly grew as the year progressed to end the year with 221 students. As a district we implemented virtual instruction for all the first two weeks of the school year. We believed that young children learn best in-person and we could open up our schools safely. As a campus we gradually increased our in-person enrollment and decreased our virtual enrollment while continuing to increase total enrollment across the 2020-2021 school year. Beginning on 9-8-2020, students/parents selected either a virtual learning model or an in-person learning model for each nine-week period. At the start of the second nine weeks we had 201 total students with 112 of those students in-person and 89 virtual (see 2nd Nine Weeks Plan By Classes IP VIR in Resource Section). For the third nine weeks we had 215 total students with 142 in-person and 73 virtual (see 3rd Nine Weeks Plan By Classes IP VIR in Resource Section). The fourth nine weeks had 221 total students with 154 in-person and 67 virtual (see 4th Nine Weeks Plan By Classes IP VIR in Resource Section). The impact of learning model selection changes each nine weeks resulted in teachers changing from a virtual teacher one nine weeks to an in-person teacher the next nine weeks. Fortunately, once a teacher was changed to an in-person teacher they were able to stay in-person for the remainder of the school year. For students, some changed teachers multiple times throughout the school year. We knew that a strong school PLC was critical to be able to support student learning and achievement as they moved from teacher to teacher each nine weeks. Our practice of focusing on the Collaborative Team agenda/minutes during leadership meetings (see Collaborative Team Agenda Minutes in Resource Section) and sharing these highlights at staff meetings was critical to accomplish this challenge (see BBS Staff Meeting Agenda 4-7-21).

 

During the 2020-2021 school year, students demonstrated strong growth from mid-year assessments to the end-year assessments across all literacy areas (see BBS MOY Literacy Math Data 2020-2021, and BBS EOY Literacy Math Data 2020-2021 in Resource Section):

  • Rapid Letter Naming from 60% to 79%
  • Rapid Vocabulary from 46% to 70%
  • Early Writing from 87% to 96%
  • Running Record Reading Level from 5% to 32% (Note: In 2019-2020 Reading assessment was changed to Running Record. Due to the pandemic, no data is available for 2019-2020. At EOY 2020-2021, 32% had a Running Record Level A or higher. While there's work to be done, (i.e. more training regarding interpreting assessment information into next instructional steps for a student and developing rater reliability and instrument fidelity), we did make significant gains from 5% at MOY to 32% at EOY.)

In addition, the hard work done to decrease literacy gap performance was maintained in the area of Rapid Letter Naming and Rapid Vocabulary. However, the gap in Early Writing performance increased by 1 percentage point. It is important to note the literacy areas of Rapid Vocabulary and Early Writing showed increases when compared with the 2018-2019 end of year data. In other words, despite the pandemic challenges, we narrowed the gap while performance improved (see BBS EOY 2018-2019 & 2020-2021 Literacy Data in Resource Section).

No Place for Hate designated campus since 2009

Good Neighbor designated campus since 2009

Share A Smile designated campus since 2012

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