Boynton Elementary School

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

Boynton Elementary School is located in Ringgold, Georgia. As a longstanding elementary school within the Boynton community, the quote outside our front doors, “Through these doors pass the most important people in the world,” still remains true. With the emphasis on student growth and learning, our highly qualified teachers continue to uphold the excellent reputation of being a top elementary school within Catoosa County with a CCRPI score of 86.8. We currently serve 590, Pre-K through 5th grade, students and pride ourselves in having a positive rapport with our school community as well as retention of exceptional educators.

Our administration participated in a district-wide introduction to Solution Tree Professional Learning Communities during the 2017-2018 school year. From this training, administrators were able to take the foundational concepts and begin implementation within their schools. Boynton began by addressing the key components of defining PLCs within our school as an ongoing process of continuous improvement, growing as professionals, and understanding the collective commitment of student-centered learning. This introduction caused our staff to reflect and re-define our school’s mission statement to include, “Building Relationships, Owning Our Responsibility, Yes to Positive Outcomes.” This new mission statement clearly defined our vision which focused on ALL students learning at high levels. This reflection also caused a shift in our culture to become more collaborative as we recognized all students as OUR students and shared the responsibility in helping them reach their full potential.

Our professional learning journey continued as we clearly defined the norms, set roles for team members, and goals for consistent team collaboration at each grade level and within each team in our building. Our teams used a set, bi-weekly time to focus discussion and planning around student assessment and data to ensure understanding of specific learning targets. When our teams were results oriented, we were able to reflect and discuss what the specific learning targets should be. This type of planning design began when our district established the essential standards together. Teachers from every school met together to highlight each set of grade level standards and define which standards would be “essential” in moving to the next grade level. With these essential standards defined, learning targets could be created, and common formative assessments were developed to measure student understanding. Additionally, with the collaborative mindset, students would be ensured a guaranteed and viable curriculum in every classroom. Teachers also attended the Solution Tree training “Designing and Using CFAs to Promote Instructional Agility” and the “Assessment Institute” with Cassandra Erkens. In these trainings, teachers enhanced their knowledge of CFA’s along with what quality assessments look like and how to intentionally maneuver in response to what is happening as a result of their instructional influence. 

Administrators also continued to build capacity as they participated in a book study with the book, Learning by Doing. This book study gave opportunities to discuss what was happening within the schools and also put into action new techniques to improve instruction and learning. With a focus on taking action, administrators were able to guide and lead staff through implementation practices with fidelity. Part of this process involved looking closely at the master schedule and blocking out specific times for all students to receive Tier 1, 2, and 3 instruction as well as interventions. Specifically, all students were given opportunities to receive the instruction based on their needs from remediation to extensions in different subject areas. As part of the revitalization of the instructional schedule, teachers began the process of making students feel more accountability and taking ownership of their learning. Through data chats and learning target goals, students became more familiar with their progress and individual growth throughout the year.

As teachers began to implement PLC strategies, instruction was based around the four critical questions. By defining what we wanted students to learn and determining an appropriate assessment to measure their learning, teachers were able to better identify specific learning needs. Teachers began to look closer at student by student, skill by skill. Throughout this assessment process, our guiding coalition tweaked the use of data notebooks to help monitor student growth and began having data chats with students to discuss and track their progress towards meeting learning targets. Students monitor their learning and progress which gives them accountability for their learning. 

Our school’s guiding coalition also attended a county-wide Guiding Coalition Solution Tree training. Our team learned how to better guide the work of our school and continue to collectively lead the change process. The guiding coalition worked together in sharing this information with their teams and strengthening their daily practices. Additionally, vertical reading and math teams meet monthly to organize the curriculum from one grade level or content area to the next. We wanted to make sure that our students were prepared to move seamlessly from grade level to grade level. 

As students meet learning goals and show growth, we have continued to celebrate their success! Finding ways to celebrate achievement started school-wide but also happens within the classroom as students make gains and see their progress happening in real time. As students take ownership of their learning, their motivation to continue the journey increases as they have a better understanding of setting and meeting their learning goals. 

Our school continues to grow and improve each year as we further develop our PLC practices and live out the authentic beliefs we model and promote to our students.  Our teachers understand the collective commitment to student-centered learning, and work together to evaluate our instructional strategies as well as how we utilize our resources in order to best serve our students.  Through our guiding coalition as well as the strategic teams we have in place to focus on specific areas, we effectively collaborate and discuss our systems in place as well as look for areas for growth where we can improve upon each year.  We strive to model the lifelong learner example as educators, and we look forward to the future success of our students! 










 

 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Boynton Elementary joined with the other elementary school teachers from Catoosa County and essential standards in each subject area were identified using a thorough process. This process involved much deliberation on whether a standard had endurance, leverage, and readiness. The teachers came to an agreement on essential standards to create a guaranteed and viable curriculum for all students in Catoosa County. Identifying essential standards is the initial step in addressing the first critical question, “What do we want our students to know and be able to do?” The essential standards chart was then shared with the Boynton Elementary PLC (professional learning community) to create a pacing guide driven by the essential standards and learning targets. A universal screener is given three times a year to monitor student learning. Our school has used StarReading and StarMath (2018-2019) and currently we are using the NWEA MAP assessment (Northwest Evaluation Association) for math, reading, and science (5th grade). The data collected from the MAPS benchmark is on a schoolwide master spreadsheet. The schoolwide master spreadsheet provides information on students who receive Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 support. Boynton Elementary’s academic school intervention team (ASIT) uses the master list during their monthly meetings to help focus on Tier 3 students. Boynton’s ASIT members include principals, academic coach, reading interventionists, school psychologists, counselor, special education teachers, and any specialists that need to be involved. The ASIT team gathers information from benchmark assessments, researched-based interventions, behavior student intervention data, and data collected by the classroom teacher, developmental checklist, medical history, and the individual's current and previous attendance and enrollment. In these meetings, they also monitor to see if interventions are working, to help fill individual student learning gaps. Team collaboration has been essential for student growth over the past five years. Our grade-level teams and resource teams meet bi-weekly. The four critical questions of learning help guide our team discussions. Boynton’s academic coach attends team collaboration meetings once a month to discuss ASIT information and any concerns teachers may have with Tier 1, 2, and 3 students. During our team collaborations, we discuss our CFAs (common formative assessments) interventions and extensions. In reading, all students K-5 use a program called Lexia to fill in reading gaps. Math interventions are very similar. In grades K-2, students use a program called Dreambox. In grades 3-5, students use a program called iReady. The researched-based interventions we are using provide monthly recommendations for usage to help identify each student's individual needs. Each grade level team monitors the recommendations closely to provide information for student data chats and information provided to parents concerning student progress. We also use IXL for interventions and extensions. IXL has aligned their online program to match our district-wide essential standards and benchmark assessments. Teachers are able to enter the Rasch Interval Unit score (RIT) from our NWEA MAPS benchmark to create an individualized skill plan for each student. The skill plan can be monitored by teachers and students. Another strategy we use to monitor student learning is school-wide data notebooks. Examples of the data included in the notebook include: “I can statements” guided reading levels, one-minute reads, fact fluency scores as well as universal screener scores. Data notebooks provide information for students to monitor their progress, set goals, and reflect on their learning throughout the school year.

 

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

At Boynton we believe that through our doors pass the most important people in the world, and we pledge to prepare them for life’s challenges and responsibilities. To help us meet these goals, our school uses a master schedule to provide an uninterrupted Extended Learning Time (ELT) block for additional support for learning. Our master schedule also provides our team collaboration meetings for teachers to discuss student data, interventions and additional support for learning. Each year as school begins, students are administered NWEA MAP (Northwest Evaluation Association) benchmark and other pre-assessments. The data is used to answer our Four Critical Questions: What do we want students to learn? How will we know what they have learned? What will we do if they don’t learn? What will they do if they already know it? The data helps us create intervention groupings to answer and address each individual students’ needs. In bi-weekly collaborative team meetings, student data from NWEA MAP (Northwest Evaluation Association) Benchmarks and Common Formative Assessments (CFA) is provided and analyzed to create flexible intervention groupings. Students are provided with additional Tier 2 and 3 support and extension opportunities. Students are provided these supports through protected reading and math Extended Learning Time (ELT) segments daily. Classroom teachers, support teachers, and paraprofessionals provide these learning opportunities. Student groupings are re-adjusted based on newest data. As we continue to monitor and reflect on student data, we will continue to adapt our learning plans to ensure continuous student growth and success.

 

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

Throughout the past few years, the teachers at Boynton Elementary have come to have a more fine-tuned understanding of what makes a high performing collaborative team. Although team meetings had been a part of our culture for years, we generally looked at the data as numbers on a page and part of a challenge as to who was “reaching the most children”. However, as we have grown to understand the importance of collaborative teams and collective responsibility, we have come to see our students as belonging to us all. Bi-weekly collaborative teams begin by reviewing the meeting norms and the four critical questions. This team includes grade level members and a special education representative. Teams then share the information collected from CFA results. Using this data, students are divided into small groups. These groups are retaught the specific learning target by a co-teacher or paraprofessional. If the student is already high achieving, they are given an extension activity such as Prodigy, IXL Skill Plan, or project-based learning experience based on their individual MAP scores. As an extension of the weekly collaborative team meetings, teams meet monthly with the academic coach to discuss students concerns. Students with the greatest needs are placed on a school-wide document known as the Academic School Intervention Team (ASIT) List. During these meetings we reflect, discuss, and analyze data from various areas of the students’ school life, such as absences, behavioral issues, developmental and teacher concerns. Team collaboration has become an integral part of the PLC process at Boynton Elemetary. Using time constraints to our advantage we have become stronger and more efficient. Step by step teachers and students grow alongside each other as we move towards the goal of higher levels of learning, achieving, and teaching. Through this process we are learning to provide grace for ourselves, our students, and each other.

Governor's Office of Student Achievement Beating the Odds School

CCRPI 5 STAR School Climate Rating

National & Georgia School of Excellence

PBIS Operational School

Northwest Georgia Best of the Best School

Catoosa County Creating Hope Award for Math (Economically Disadvantaged)

Catoosa County Every Child Every Day Award for English/Language Arts, Science, & Social Studies

 

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