Adairsville High School

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

***PROMISING PRACTICES SCHOOL***

Adairsville High School’s (AHS) PLC journey began in the summer of 2018 with a shift in vision and culture led by Superintendent Dr. Phillip Page and the leadership of Bartow County School System. After school leaders attended the Culture Keepers Conference in Atlanta, Georgia during the summer and began studying Learning by Doing (DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, Many, & Mattos, 2016) the laying of the foundation for our Professional Learning Community commenced.

Alongside the school system launching the BCSS PLC Implementation Guide: Year 1-3 (p. 57-61) in the fall of 2018, AHS transformed its leadership team from a traditional model to a Guiding Coalition with members appointed based on positional power, expertise, credibility, and leadership (John Kotter, 1996). With a new mindset of leading change and a commitment to collaboration, our Guiding Coalition established new mission and vision statements, as well as collective commitments. The real turning point for our school came from our district-wide preplanning kickoff event at the start of the school year. We walked away with an enthusiasm for the “Genius of And.” The school decided that to be the very best version of ourselves, we need to turn away from the idea of “or” and create a plan for the “Genius of And.” Under our old mindset, our logic was that we can either have higher success or higher rigor, but we can’t have both. With the “Genius of And”, we can push more rigorous coursework and more complex learning and still grow our number of graduates and improve our success rate. As we continue to carry our collective commitments, we are committed to being flexible and open to new ideas. One example of this is a geometry assessment via interview which demonstrates an alternative and more balanced assessment. We are also committed to using best practices and results from frequent formative assessments to inform our decisions (Example: AP History Collaborative Team). Lastly, we are committed to working in collaborative teams and sharing responsibility for student learning (Example: 10th Literature Collaborative Team).

With this shifting mindset coupled with many of our school members continuing to learn through attendance at Atlanta PLC at Work Institutes in the fall of 2018 and summer of 2019, our collaborative teams continued to improve their process for student learning and achievement. With a new school schedule allowing for collaboration, the 2018-2019 school year saw collaborative teams develop essential standards using the REAL acronym (Readiness, Endurance, Assessed, and Leverage), common formative assessments, common summative assessments, and common pacing guides using the teaching and assessing cycle. Additionally, teams used data to influence their teaching practices and respond to student learning (Example: Algebra I: CFA Protocol, CFA Rubric, and Tier II/Tiger Time plan).

During the 2019-2020 school year, teams developed course playbooks encompassing all the aspects of the professional learning community and the teaching-assessing cycle. This has created a guaranteed and viable curriculum that ensures no educational lottery within our courses, as both rigor and student achievement would continue to improve, and a view of students amongst collaborative teams as “ours” not “mine.”

The 2020-2021 school added depth to our “Genius of And” vision with a schoolwide study into Design in Five (Vagle, 2015) and the addition of the Learning Support Specialist position. This position is responsible for answering questions three and four (How will we respond when some students do not learn? How will we extend the learning for students who are already proficient?) through the Response To Intervention (RTI) process. AHS also created a Tier III course for incoming freshman called High School Transition modeled after Baldwin Park High School’s Guided Studies program (Buffum & Mattos, 2015). Working in collaboration with our feeder middle school, this course has selective student placement and a course plan and pacing to support the transition and close gaps for our most at-risk incoming freshman. Our school also created a Site Intervention Team to identify and provide the appropriate support for our students in need of interventions. We also fully implemented our intervention/extension period that we called Tiger Time. Collaborative teams analyze common summative assessments during collaboration time to identify students who needed Tier II instruction during Tiger Time on the essential standard.

The “Genius of And” has allowed our school to show both growth in the rigor we ask of our students and still maintain high levels of success and achievement. Over the last three years, we have seen an increase in the number of students taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses while also increasing the number of scores of three or higher on the AP Test. We have seen growth in our statewide exams with three years of growth in Algebra I, as well as recent data that is trending upward in both American Literature and US History after a slight decline due to course recalibration of essential standards, course rigor, and pacing changes. The “Genius of And” really reveals itself with the fact that although we increased the rigor and complexity of our courses and course offerings, we have still increased the graduation rates of both our whole student population and our students with disabilities.

The 2021-2022 school year has been centered around the continued idea that this is not a program to complete but a process to perfect. With this shared understanding, our staff attended the Achieve Institute during the summer of 2021 and is currently working through learning progressions to create more student investment and accountability. One of the ways student investment and accountability is being achieved is through screenings of struggling readers by our newly established position of Reading Interventionist (RI). When a struggling reader has been screened, the RI discusses the results, and shares tools and strategies with the student and will then collaborate with their teachers to develop a strategic approach to integrated literacy that supports all students. We have also enhanced our Tiger Time to provide a more flexible and timely intervention period to continue to increase our Tier II success rate. As a staff, we are committed to ongoing reflection of our teaching practices with the mindset that prevention is the best intervention. 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Monitoring of student learning at Adairsville High School occurs through Common Formative Assessments (CFA) and Common Summative Assessments (CSA) within a teaching-assessing cycle (TA). Collaborative teams establish learning targets from their essential standards that will be the focus of the CFA (Example: Geometry, 9th Literature: Writing, 9th Literature: Reading ). After students are assessed, the collaborative team will analyze the data student-by-student, target-by-target to understand both common mistakes and individual needs (Example: Spanish, AP US History, 10th Literature). Using this information, the collaborative team can adjust their unit pacing and lesson planning through response days, which are built into their unit plans (Sample: AHS AP Macroeconomics Unit 1 Plan).  There are many ways to differentiate to meet these needs:  teachers can implement re-engagement strategies (such as nonlinguistic representation activities), cooperative learning groups, targeted workstations, or use small group instruction during class time while other students work on an extension or additional practice based on their needs. Teachers may have several CFA’s during a unit of study in the team’s Teaching and Assessing Cycle (TA). Additionally, teachers use Learning Progressions (Sample: AHS Geometry Learning Progression Unit 3) to establish readiness for the end of unit CSA.

At the end of the unit, collaborative teams give a CSA. The teams analyze the data and students who did not show proficiency on an essential standard will be a part of Tier II instruction. This is a 40-minute period built into the day called Tiger Time. Students receive more intense and focused instruction in their specific areas of need, then are reassessed to determine if they reach proficiency. Students also can attend office hours where they have one- on-one instructional time with their teacher. All teachers have 45 minutes twice a week of Office Hours embedded into their workday. The typical TA Cycle varies based on the subject and collaborative teams plan out the cycle during their collaborative meetings, which are scheduled twice a week for 45 minutes before the start of the student’s school day (Collaborative Team Schedule & AHS Meeting Guide). Additionally, teams will revisit their CFA and CSA data and compare it to the team’s SMART Goals. SMART Goals are set by teams for their students, their collaborative team, and their course that are specific, measurable, ambitious, results-oriented,  and timely (Example: Spanish, Geometry). These SMART goals give our teams direction, focus, and motivation. As teaching and assessing cycles progress, and more broadly, semesters and courses conclude, they also provide opportunities for reflection on practices, future work, and steer improvement.

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

Prior to 2018-2019 school year, Adairsville High School (AHS) had a 40-minute daily block of time built into its school day that had been adapted over the years. Its creation was to allow for travel time for students that attend the district’s career academy to arrive or depart from their home school. While this travel time was taking place, the other high school students would be in a classroom. Over the years this classroom setting consisted of study hall time, reading time, and a year where students spent extended time in one of their scheduled courses on a weekly rotation.

In 2019-2020, with a Bartow County School District commitment to Tier II interventions, extensions, and Tier III remediation and support, AHS restructured this 40-minute daily block. Through the school’s Guiding Coalition attendance of Solution Tree’s Professional Learning Communities at Work Institute in Atlanta and county-wide professional development, AHS recognized the need to use this block more effectively and to develop a systematic process to ensure every student receives the additional time and support to learn at high levels. Throughout the 2019-2020 school year and into the 2020-2021 school year, AHS assigned students during this 40-minute block to a rotated schedule of their course teachers, allowing core subjects to pull students after CSAs for interventions. Additionally, we also began the process of identifying students in need of Tier III reading and math support. Through this year and a half of “learning by doing” and after visiting Ringgold High School in the Fall of 2020, a Model PLC High School of similar size and demographics, we realized we needed to accomplish two goals to make this part of our school day really excel. First, we needed to expand students’ ability to receive interventions outside of a few selected core courses. Secondly, we needed to create more flexibility in student’s ability to mobilize to areas of need in order to receive interventions, extensions, and remediation. This would additionally allow for more timely and targeted intervention opportunities.

With the start of the 2021-2022 school year, we are accomplishing our goals of intervention and extension expansion with more student flexibility to create more timely, targeted, and effective support. Our 40-minute block is built into our master schedule and is known as Tiger Time. At the beginning of the school year, all students are placed with a teacher, known to them as their advisor for Tiger Time. Student placement with their advisor is purposeful and strategic. First, Tier III students, those that have been identified as three or more grade levels behind in foundational reading or math skills, are placed with an English Language Arts or Math Teacher. Here, they will receive Tier III remediation three times a week during Tiger Time through programs such as Lexia PowerUp Literacy (Tier III Reading Intervention Log). Additionally, our High School Transition students (and all other students the first two weeks of each semester) use Tiger Time for PBIS lessons and activities modeling of proper academic behavior such as academic organization, time management, and preparedness. Recently, we received a grant allowing our school to purchase class sets of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens, which will be added to our HS Transition coursework in the future.

All other students are placed with a grade level teacher. During Tiger Time students can attend any of their classes after attendance is taken with their advisors. Using our Tiger Time Order of Operations and “Why Am I Leaving My Advisement?” infographic, students can travel to a class of need to receive Tier II interventions after a CSA, extensions, or seek extra prevention learning outside of Tier I instruction time. By simply using our schoolwide Tiger Time QR Phone Pass system, students can schedule time and receive their Tier II instruction in a systematic and timely manner (Tier II/Tiger Time CSA Proficiency with Intervention Data). For those students that still fall short of proficiency after Tier I Instruction and Tier II Interventions during the school semester, AHS provides Tier II week the last week of the semester. This week is dedicated to Tier II interventions with targeted instruction and only students requiring interventions on essential standards are required to be present. When the semester comes to an end, if there are any students that still did not meet proficiency, AHS provides two different opportunities to meet proficiency on essential standards after the course has concluded. These two options are known as course extension and summer intervention. Each of these programs extends the duration of the course and provides targeted individualized lessons to small groups of students.    

As well as closing the proficiency gaps with Tier II academic content interventions, our HS Transition Course and PRIDE (PBIS) culture have created a reduction in discipline referrals (PBIS/SWIS Discipline) and show positive trends in our most at-risk freshman being on track to graduate (HS Transition Data).

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

The core belief of Adairsville High School (AHS) is that teachers and instructional leaders can achieve more working in collaboration than by working in isolation. Instruction, both student and teacher investment, and most importantly, learning will improve if all stakeholders work as members of high-performing collaborative teams.

When AHS began this journey to emphasize the power of collaboration four years ago, the school transformed its leadership team from a traditional hierarchy to a Guiding Coalition. The Guiding Coalition is an alliance of people guiding the school’s work by leading the PLC process with the acknowledgement “that no one person will have the energy, expertise, and influence to lead a complex change process until it becomes anchored in the organization’s culture without first gaining the support of key staff members” (DuFour, et al). Through a subcommittee of teachers and stakeholders, The Guiding Coalition approved new Mission and Vision statements that embody the principles of achievement through collaboration. These mission and vision statements both exemplify the school’s commitment to work in collaboration and manifests our Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) mantra P.R.I.D.E. The Guiding Coalition currently meets a minimum of twice a month to research best practices, review and discuss fresh and relevant data, create and implement schoolwide professional learning, share and assist collaborative team successes and barriers, and lead district-wide and school-wide initiatives.

Classroom teachers meet by subject-matter as a collaborative team twice weekly.  They also have the opportunity to meet vertically as a department weekly. This is protected time before the school day, and it cannot be interrupted by any other meetings. During this time, Administrators, the Learning Support Specialist, Reading Interventionist and Exceptional Education Lead attend collaborative team meetings regularly to monitor the process and offer feedback. Furthermore, the school’s Exceptional Education Team, School Intervention Team, and PBIS Team collaborate monthly to review data and research-based practices to promote student learning and achievement (PBIS/SWIS Data).

Our commitment to build high-performing collaborative teams has led to the following achievements and recognitions: 2021 Advanced Placement STEM Achievement School, 2021 Advanced Placement Expansion School, highest SAT Math scores ever recorded in Bartow County Schools (Class of 2021), continued growth in the number of HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship recipients, increases in both the overall graduation rate and graduation rate of students with disabilities, Countywide A-Team Award Spanish Collaboration Team (2022), and six Advanced Placement Teachers of Distinction between 2019-2021.

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

Note: 9th Grade ELA, 10th Grade ELA, and 10th Grade Math no longer have end of course data (state no longer administers those exams); CSA data included as an alternative.

2018-2019

  • Highest Graduation Rate of the Bartow County School System
  • Advanced Placement Honor School
  • Advanced Placement Expansion School
  • Individual Bartow County Teacher of the Year
  • Girls JROTC Raiders State Champions, National Champions 
  • Boys JROTC Raiders State Champions, National Runner-Up
  • Wrestling Traditional Area Runner-Up
  • One Act Region Runner-Up
  • Girls Soccer Region Runner-Up
  • Competition Cheer Region Champions
  • Individual Region Champion, State Champion Literary: Rhetorical Writing
  • Keeping Bartow Beautiful: Bartow County Schools Recycling Contest Winner
  • Mock Trial Region Champions
  • 2 Student Questbridge Full Scholarships
  • Ms. Dot Award Winner (Classified Staff)

2019-2020

  • Highest Graduation Rate: Bartow County School System
  • Advanced Placement Honor School
  • Advanced Placement Expansion School
  • Advanced Placement STEM School
  • 6 Advanced Placement Teachers of Distinction (80% Student Test Participation; 50% 3+ Exam Scores
  • Girls JROTC Raiders State Champions, National Champions 
  • Boys JROTC Raiders State Champions, National Champions
  • Competition Cheer Region Champions
  • Wrestling Duals Area Runner-Up
  • Wrestling Traditional Area Runner-Up
  • Individual Wrestling State Champion
  • Keeping Bartow Beautiful: Bartow County Schools Recycling Contest Winner
  • Largest Contributor North Bartow Community Services November Food Drive

2020-2021

  • Highest ACT Composite Score: Bartow County School System
  • Highest SAT Mean Score: Bartow County School System
  • Highest SAT Math Mean Score in the History Bartow County School System
  • 4 Advanced Placement Teachers of Distinction (80% Student Test Participation; 50% 3+ Exam Scores
  • Football Region Runner-Up
  • Wrestling Duals Area Runner-Up 
  • Wrestling Traditional Area Runner-Up
  • 2 Individual Wrestling State Champions
  • Girls JROTC Raiders State Champions, National Champions 
  • Boys JROTC Raiders State Champions, National Champions
  • Bless Coalition Art Contest: 1st Prize
  • Largest Contributor North Bartow Community Services November Food Drive
  • First Tech Challenge Robotics Competition Winner

2021-2022

  • Highest Graduation Rate: Bartow County School System (2022 & Ever Recorded in BCSS History)
  • PBIS Operational Status Recognition
  • BCSS A-Team Award: Spanish Collaborative Team
  • Largest Contributor North Bartow Community Services November Food Drive
  • 3 Student Case Scholars: Achievement and Service Excellence
  • BCSS A-Team Award: Geometry Collaborative Team
  • 6 Advanced Placement Teachers of Distinction (80% Student Test Participation; 50% 3+ Exam Scores

2022-2023

  • Solution Tree: Promising Practices School
  • Football Region Championship

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