Washington Fields Intermediate

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

Our PLC story began the moment we opened the doors of our school. We focused our work on a shared learning process we refer to as the CHARGER PROCESS

  • A clearly defined, compelling PURPOSE 

  • A series of Collective COMMITMENTS that drive our daily work

  • Identified ESSENTIAL standards/skills 

  • Shared CLARITY and agreed upon PROFICIENCY for each standard

  • Measures of PROFICIENCY for each standard/target

  • Frequent common FORMATIVE assessments with targeted feedback

  • Report learning based on MASTERY of ESSENTIAL standards/skills

  • Extra TIME/SUPPORT by TARGET/STUDENT 

This shared process has brought a clear focus and a sense of continuity to the work of our school, increased teacher efficacy, and a sense of “rowing together.”

Prior to opening, our staff engaged in work to clearly identify our school’s defining PURPOSE and a series of COMMITMENTS to help us accomplish this purpose. After much discussion and reviewing current educational research, our school’s purpose became clear: “ENSURING high levels of learning for EVERY student and teacher.” We then developed a series of COMMITMENTS that serve as a roadmap toward our purpose. Our six areas of commitment are: instruction, assessment, extra time and support, leadership, culture, and climate. These commitments are present in throughout our school, are surveyed and revisted yearly, and serve as the "how" we will accomplish our school's purpose.

Our focus continues with the next two steps in our process: identification of ESSENTIAL STANDARDS/SKILLS and CLEARLY DEFINED PROFICIENCY. Utilizing common prep periods and frequent school-provided professional days, our teams identified (and continually revisit) essential standards utilizing a curricular priority process. Following this, teams gained shared clarity on the essential standards through a process where they clearly articulated: 

  • Essential academic vocabulary, 

  • Clearly defined proficiency levels, 

  • Measurable targets for each essential standard. 

Clear, measurable targets are critical for both teachers and students. As Rick Stiggins states in Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing It Right – Using it Well,“Students can hit any target they can see and which stands still for them.” Our school is crystal clear on what students need to know and what proficiency looks like.

With the dramatic changes that have occurred recently in education, we needed to ensure high levels of learning for in-person and distance learners. Clearly defined PROFICIENCY RUBRICS with success criteria became our focus. The development of targeted rubrics provides students with an understanding that learning is a process, while providing them the ability to self-assess as and take ownership in their own learning. With specific learning progressions articulated in each rubric, students view learning as a progression and are able to accuarately assess their own learning as they move toward proficiency.

The next step in the Charger Process, was the implementation of TEAM FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS that are used for teams to accurately identify who is proficient, who needs time and support and also to inform their instruction. CFAs became critical tools in each team's toolbelt. Teams utilize data from their CFAs to answer three questions:

  1. Who got it?

  2. Who needs more time and support?

  3. Which teaching practices elicited the best results?

This process was carried into the summer as we used Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds to bolster up these processes that will be implemented long after the actual funding is gone.  

One of the most ambitious, yet impactful, aspects of the Charger Process is how we REPORT LEARNING.  We implemented a grading system that does not rely on the accumulation of points or the “average.” Instead, it relies on very specific success criteria and a student's journey to proficiency.  Proficiency levels are assigned to each target:

3+ - Extended

3 - Proficient

2 - Approaching

1 - Supported 

DETAILED RUBRICS are aligned to this scale with a description of what each proficiency level entails. Therefore, the grading is more specific and reports learning at the skill level instead of an arbitrary percentage or average. It's unbelievably empowering to see teachers, students, and parents articulate what has been learned and where the student is on their path to proficiency.

Finally, we've developed an RTI structure that provides EXTRA TIME AND SUPPORT with clearly articulated expectations at Tier 1 for all students, extra time and support in academics (by student, by target) and behavior at Tier 2, and intense remediation to close the gap for those identified students. by student and target as well as in each area that prevents a student from learning at high levels. Teams will utilize the strengths of each teacher during intervention by using the results of team formative assessment data to determine which teaching practices the students reponded to the best and assign students accordingly, based on their needs. Students are retaught, and provided multiple ways to demonstrate proficiency and/or deepen their learning during each unit of instruction and during our dedicated Charger Time. EXTRA TIME AND SUPPORT is provided through our CHARGER SYSTEM OF SUPPORTS based on specific skills and behaviors that we determined will prevent students from learning at high levels. Overall, we have over 50 targeted interventions that were designed based upon those identified needs that prevent students form learning at high levels. A clear purpose and commitments, clarity on learning, targeted time and support, and reporting learning by standard/target; this is the Charger Way!

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Essential Standard Process

  • Teams utilize the state core standards and agree upon the meaning of the required skills through discussion and research.

  • Teams utilize a three circle audit to determine which standards/skills are NEED to know (will be taught, assessed, and ensure all students know and be able to do), IMPORTANT to know (will be taught and assessed), and NICE to know (could be used as extension activities).

  • Teams implement an essential standards guide which includes essential standards/skills, vocabulary, proficiency rubrics, and approximate pacing. The essential standards serves to keep teams together to ensure that all students receive the same instruction and expectation of proficiency at the same time.

  • Teams rely on formative assessment data to determine which teaching  practices the students responded to the best. These identified practices are shared with the team and utilized during targeted Tier 2 intervention.

  • Teams gain shared clarity by creating Common Formative Assessments (CFAs) with common rubrics.  

  • Teams rely on Hattie’s number two indicator of success - student reported grades - through the use of self-assessment strategies and studen self-evaluation regarding where they are at in the learning process. 

  • Teams and students practice a growth mindset through explicit instruction and rubrics that show leanring is a process.

  • Teams provide differentiation by scaffolding for different levels and providing multiple ways for students to show their learning.

  • Teams offer immediate, targeted feedback throughout the entire learning process to clarify and correct misconceptions.

  • Teams evaluate team formative assessment data to determine who got it, who still needs extra time and support, and which practices were most effective.

  • Teams provide interventions targeted at the student and the skill for those who still need time and support and extensions for those who have shown proficiency.

  • Teams share students creating a culture of “our”, not “my” students.

 

Monitoring Student Learning

  • Teams gain shared clarity on the essential skills that students need to know by the end of the year. Through this process, the teams are able to work collaboratively and understand the specific learning criteria. 

  • Teams then create targeted rubrics that give explicit expectations for themselves, the students and the parents. The school’s evidence-based grading system using the 4, 3, 2, 1 (See Table 1 for description) scale gives all stakeholders a better understanding of where a student is in each targeted skill. Another benefit of these rubrics is that the variation of judgement on students’ work decreases across the different educators in a team. Thus, creating a more equitable learning environment in a school.

Table 1

The 1-3+ reporting scale that we use at Washington Fields Intermediate.

3+

Extended

In addition to level 3 performance, reponses demonstrate an in-depth understanding through application and/or teaching of the standard/skill.

3

Proficient

Meets the defined expectaitons of the standard/skill.

2

Approaching 

Identifies and recalls vocabulary and independently demonstrates isolated details of the standard/skill

1

Supported

With assistance, is able to meet the basic elements of a 2 and 3 for the standard/skill.

 

  • Teams create assessments based on each of their rubrics. Because the assessments are so dialed in, the teachers and students are able to monitor student learning on a more specific level.

  • Teams determine the frequency of assessments (1-2 weeks) to ensure a timely intervention on each skill being assessed.

  • After each assessment, teams work collaboratively to determine which students need more time. This is done during their specified teaming time. Each team is required to have a data sheet that gives the specific names of students and the skills that they need in order to be proficient. Teams treat all students as their students and work together to regulate which students are receiving intervention and from where. This ensures that all students are receiving what they need in a timely manner.

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

TIER 1 - ALL STUDENTS

  • Teachers have identified the essential standards and learning targets in all

subject areas, and have defined proficiency for each target. 

  • All tier one instruction is taught at or above grade level.

  • All students participate in school-wide reading and writing instruction.

  • All sixth graders receive targeted reading instruction. 

  • All students receive Social Emotional Learning instruction in the classroom. 

  • All classrooms have an intentional closing and mindfulness moment at the end of the school day.

TIER 2 - TARGETED INTERVENTION (to keep from falling behind)

  • Charger Time: Each Friday the entire school participates in “Charger Time”. This targets the student and the skill that they are deficient in. Earlier in the week all students are given a Common Formative Assessment. Students then receive feedback on their performance. Using the data from the CFA, students are divided into three groups:

  1. Students who are not proficient on the assessment (received a 0,1, or 2) and need to retake.

  2. Students who need more time understanding the material and need extra help before they retake.

  3. Students who need to be extended on the skill. 

  • Each core subject has a content Tier 2 intervention specialist who may provide targeted support to students who have been identified by their core teacher or cover a teacher's class while the teacher works with targeted students. Students are brielfy removed from an elective class of their choice, as needed, to work on deficient essential standards/skills.

  • Teams share the responsibility of creating and sharing instructional content in digitaal format that is then uploaded to their preferred platform (Schoology or Google Classroom). Students can access this should they miss a lesson and can rewatch video instruction at any time to help with any questions they may have.

TIER 3 - SPECIFIC REMEDIATION (to close the gap)

  • Students that struggle to maintain proficiency in math are taken out of an elective class to receive targeted/supplemental instruction in a Math Enhancement class.

  • Students reading significantly below grade level are placed in an intensive literacy class where they participate in intense small group instruction, peer tutored reading, and a computer-adaptive reading program. 

  • Students needing daily support in completing assignments and supplemental instruction participate in small study skills classes.

  • We have partnered with our community youth services to provide an intensive mentor program for students who struggle in nonacademic areas.

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

  • We engage in ongoing professional development on a continuous basis through our Faculty Learning sessions. During this time, we meet together as a staff and study and model elements of the Charger Process. We work as a learning community of professionals to create an effective and high performing foundation that focuses on learning for students and adults. Our school's purpose drives serves as the foundaiton for this work.

  • We study and continue to evolve in our practices through the collective use and study of CFA data. 

  • Collaborative teams use the district online consolidated school improvement tool to input and monitor all components of the team’s processes including each team’s professional growth plan (PGP) for the year.

  • Our school's learning coach provides teachers with continuous support and training for all teacher levels. 

  • Team collaboration occurs weekly as a team (ie. math 6), monthly as vertical teams (ie. science 6 & science 7), and monthly as a school. SIngletons are assigned to digital teams in their content area, collaboraitng with teachers throughout the district.

  • Professional development led by district experts during district team meetings.

 

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

Reviewing student achievement data is passionate commitment of teachers and leadersa at WFIS. Whether CFA or RISE data, we utilize data to provide insights into student learning and the impact of our practices. Our school Data Coach serves to help disaggregate the data and work with teams to interpret what the data is telling us.

Attachment: WFIS 2019-20 CFA Growth - Because our state did not administer RISE assessments during the 2019-2020 school year, we have shown growth using our CFA data for each strand. CFAs are administered weekly targeted on very specific skills that align with the essential standards. The chart shows the percentage of students who were proficient following the team's initial Tier 1 instruction (blue) and the percentage of students who were not proficient shown (orange) in each strand area. Multiple CFAs are given during the unit of instruction. The final percentage shows the number of students who were still not proficienct following the team's Tier 2 intervention (yellow). It's important to note that the students who were not proficient following the team's Tier 2 intervention continued to receive more intensive extra time and support through a Tier 2 interventionist and the school's intervention team.

Attachment: Model School Data - Template showing significant growth from 2021 to 2022. During the 2020 school year, our state did not administer RISE assessments due to Covid.

Attachment: WFIS RISE Data Year and State - The is document showcases the tremendous growth in most areas and subgroups. Note that although LA 6 proficiency is significantly above our district and state, this team was composed of 2 new teachers and a second year teacher. As they learn the Charger Process (and with the work they've completed this summer) we expect to see significant gains in their achievement scores and teaching practices.

Attachment: RISE comparison data 2022 - Comparison data with other district intermediate schools, the district average, and the state average.

 

Utah Spotlight Featured School

Science 7 Team - National presenters (NSTA)

RISE results (top 15% of state)

State Model School for PCBL (Personal Competency-Based Learning)

We've hosted our State Superintendent of Schools, University Dean's of Education, 10 school districts, and over 100 visiting professionals observing the work of our school and teams.

 

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