Wylie Independent School District

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

Our PLC story began in 2012, when Wylie ISD moved forward with an overhaul of its approach to curriculum and instruction.  During that school year, the district implemented new curriculum documents and new assessments.  It replaced traditional curriculum coordinators with content-specific learning specialists responsible for supporting campuses with curriculum alignment, implementation, data, and teacher support.  As a part of this shift, administrators, learning specialists, and curriculum & instruction staff attended the PLC at Work Conference in San Antonio.  The district made a commitment to the PLC model and the 4 critical questions on all campuses.  

From 2012 to 2016, many of our campus administrators took teacher leaders to the PLC at Work conferences to hear directly from the Solution Tree experts and collaborate with their team on campus implementation.  It became standard practice for any new Learning Specialists to attend the PLC at Work conference; a practice that continues today.  From 2014-2017, we deepened our learning by participating in the Solution Tree PLC Coaching Academy and committed to 3 years of PLC Coaching at campuses.  During those three years, we strengthened our knowledge and practices with the 4 critical questions, short-cycle assessment, and the “plan-do-study-act” cycle.  It became routine practice to obtain teacher feedback to better align our curriculum documents and assessments to support a results orientation across all campuses.

Like all districts, administrators leave and new administrators from both within and outside the district joined our team.  In 2016, all campus and district administrators, and Learning Specialists attended the PLC at Work Conference in St. Louis as a way to ensure consistent messaging and vocabulary.  It was a powerful message to have senior leadership, including the Superintendents, along with campus leadership, collaborating on branding our PLC processes and culture.  This was a landmark moment in our PLC story as it strengthened our commitment to the PLC process as the best way to increase student achievement for every child.  

Also in 2016, with new leadership in the Curriculum & Instruction department, the department adopted the motto of “Every Campus, Every Classroom, Every Child, Every Day.”  This represented the commitment to ensuring that students would be academically successful regardless of their feeder pattern, special learning needs, or socioeconomic background.  The district invested in the teachers and PLC process as the blueprint for student success.  The Wylie ISD Collective Commitments (Attachment 1) were developed and implemented across all teacher teams.  To continue aligning our work to PLC practices, all of our teacher-leaders participated in the Wylie ISD PLC Leader Academy starting in 2017.  For four days annually, PLC Leader Academy participants engaged in professional learning focused on the Wylie ISD PLC Dashboard (Attachment 2) and PLC practices led by our own staff.  It was such a powerful moment to have all of our teacher-leaders together in the same room!  The professional learning and conversations built a shared understanding of what it means to engage in collaborative team meetings, review student data, and share best practices with our peers.  It was obvious that we had a commitment to the PLC process and we had the teacher-leaders in place for student success.  

From 2017-2020, all teacher-leaders participated in PLC Leader Academy.  Some of the best professional learning facilitators in the business made their way to Wylie ISD to work with our teachers and administrators.  Dr. Richard Dewey brought his expertise on PLC processes.  Dr. Anthony Muhammed discussed PLC culture, effective communication, skills vs will, and how to create believers and manage the fundamentalists!   

While COVID brought new challenges, it also brought the opportunity to participate in innovative distance learning with Solution Tree.  In July 2021, our teacher-leaders, Learning Specialists, campus, and district level administrators participated in PLC at Work LIVE by a remote connection to Glendale, Arizona.  With remote presentations and a district facilitator in every classroom, the learning looked a little bit different, but the message was the same!  Participants were overwhelmingly complementary of the learning they received and once again the district found a way to keep the shared commitment to the PLC process consistent across all 20 campuses.  It was such a hit that we will have a repeat performance in June 2022, with even more participants.  Hopefully, someday folks in other states will be remoting into Wylie ISD to participate in their learning! 

Every Campus, Every Classroom, Every Child, Every Day, isn’t just a motto, but in Wylie ISD it is a way of life.  From district administration all the way to teacher teams, we believe the PLC practices are the best way to live this out daily. 

Wylie ISD is committed to continuously improve our practices in growing our PLC culture.  In addition to our ongoing learning through PLC at Work Institutes and our local PLC Leader Academies for all campuses, we partner with Solution Tree in order to provide specific training for our Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers and staff members on our Special Education teams.  

Many Wylie ISD CTE teachers are the only staff members on their campuses who teach in these specialized fields.  Because of the distinctive nature of their roles, many are “singletons”.  Since August 2020, Wylie ISD has partnered with Aaron Hansen and Solution Tree to help with the particular needs of our singletons in order to support their growth in our PLC culture.  This group has identified digital ways to share common agendas, common assessments, common curriculum documents and best practices between our two high schools.   

The staff members in Wylie ISD’s Special Education department are also working constantly to improve their professional practices and grow the PLC culture.  Starting in June 2021, district level administrators in the Special Education department identified the need to build common vocabulary and common practices and partnered with Solution Tree and Amy Gluck to begin an in depth study of a recommended book, Yes We Can! Leaders from our Special Education teams on each campus meet frequently to continue the work to ensure the PLC culture remains a priority for all.  

 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

In Wylie ISD, we are very proud of our work in curriculum and instruction and the impact it makes on student learning.  Our Curriculum & Instruction team works tirelessly to stay aligned with state standards, provide teachers with aligned and “teacher-friendly” resources, gather data on student learning, and utilize data to impact student instruction.  Our work begins in the summer with revision of our curriculum documents.  Curriculum specialists use feedback from teachers and relevant data to adjust curriculum documents that will be used to guide classroom instruction in the upcoming school year.  Each core course has an instructional focus document (IFD) which outlines the content of the course in a teacher-friendly manner, a year-at-a-glance (YAG) which clearly shows what content will be taught and tested during the year, and a pacing guide with the suggested number of days teachers should spend on each concept.  Wylie ISD curriculum specialists embed resources and activities in these documents to assist the teachers.

Prior to the school year starting, all teachers are given the training, support, and time needed to be ready to teach their content on day one.  Due to the hard work of Curriculum & Instruction and campus leadership over the years, everyone knows there is a clear, written plan for curriculum and instruction in our IFDs and YAGs, and the resources are used with fidelity across the district.  This allows for valuable collaboration across campuses, as well as comparison of student data to increase student learning.  Unlike other districts, Wylie ISD curriculum specialists are expected to be on-campus at least 80% of the time.  This gives valuable support through participation in weekly collaborative team meetings and ensures alignment in the curriculum.  This also creates a constant feedback loop where concerns and recommendations from teachers are heard and adjustments are made.  By listening to our teachers, we best meet the needs of our students. 

Another constant across our district is the utilization of Fundamental 5 (Attachment 3) as the instructional model for our classrooms.  The Fundamental 5 instructional strategies are: 1. Frame the Lesson, 2. Work in the Power Zone, 3. Frequent, Small Group, Purposeful Talk about Learning, 4. Recognize and Reinforce, and 5. Write Critically.  All teachers new to Wylie receive training on the Fundamental 5 strategies as a part of their Wylie ISD orientation, and Fundamental 5 walkthrough forms are utilized across all grade levels.  These represent instructional best practices and keep our district aligned across campuses. 

All districts say they are driven by data, and we are no different in Wylie ISD.  Where we have focused our time and energy is making sure the data we collect is used to improve classroom instruction.  Monitoring student learning in our district begins with teacher-created common formative assessments used in the classroom.  Teachers routinely collaborate to create common formative assessments to measure critical standards students need to master.  Data from common formative assessments is used to quickly assess which students are on target, which students are behind, and what instructional strategies are working in the classroom.  

Our curriculum is bundled into units that we call Instructional Focus Documents.  The learning specialists create aligned unit assessments that all students in the district take in a specified time frame.  The district unit assessments measure student mastery of the critical standards from the unit.  Taking data this way helps us measure which students learned the content and which students did not.  It also allows us to determine if teachers are implementing the curriculum and teaching it effectively and responsively.  After unit assessments, collaborative teams analyze the data to group students for targeted small group remediation and extension during the school day. 

Five years ago, our district realized that in addition to formative assessments and unit assessments, we needed to measure academic growth from Kindergarten to 8th grade.  We implemented NWEA’s MAP assessment data three times annually.  Students are involved by tracking their progress towards their individual growth goals.   Because of MAP data we have been able to focus on growing all students, from struggling to advanced, over time.

Wylie ISD implemented an annual Data Day (Attachment 4) nine years ago for the purpose of monitoring student achievement and teaching administrators to understand what data is telling us about student learning.  Each year we choose a fun theme but dive deep into numbers to examine our current reality.  From the deep dive, each campus selects three instructional priorities for which they develop goals and strategies (Attachment 5) for the current school year.  These goals are revisited throughout the year to monitor progress.

We truly use data to drive our instruction and emphasize it as an important part of our PLC Dashboard (Attachment 2) and our system as a whole. By “measuring what matters”, all of our students grow academically and our staff determines areas where we can improve our instruction.

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

Timely and systematic interventions are guaranteed at every campus and for every student.  A range of interventions (PLC Question #3) (Attachment 6) are in place based on subject, standards, and student needs.  The district provides intervention staff, resources, and training to each campus ensuring all students have access to interventions provided by highly qualified staff. 

Curriculum directors and campus leadership collaborate to ensure multi-tiered systems of support are in place including: Tier I core curriculum, additional instruction and support to master grade level curriculum (Tier 2)  and intensive remediation in foundational skills (Tier 3).  

Master schedules at all campuses are created with embedded time for intervention and extension so students cannot “opt-out” and to ensure students do not miss core instruction.  Collaborative teams meet after each common formative assessment and review data to determine which students need intervention or extension and which teachers can best meet the needs of students. Students receive interventions based on student need, not student grade level or label, meaning no student is denied access to a needed intervention.

Interventions are provided for power standards at each grade level.  Grade level and content experts work vertically to align power standards so interventions can be provided for each power standard.  Student progress in interventions and extensions are monitored on a cyclical basis and a student may be moved in or out of an extension. 

Wylie ISD has made a commitment of human resources to our interventions.   General education teachers, special education teachers, special programs teachers and campus interventionists all  have access to training and materials based on their students’ needs.  This ensures that there are ample teachers trained and available to serve students.  

To support our students who have already mastered current content (PLC Question 4), we have systems in place so students will reach their full potential. In elementary, teachers are able to compact curriculum through assessing what students already know so time is then spent on enriched study of the content, using questioning strategies to process content at a deeper level, and incorporating meaningful cross-curricular connections.  Students participate in intentionally designed rigorous lessons and academic activities.

Wylie ISD maintains a strong tradition of advanced academics in grades 7-12. Wylie ISD offers advanced courses beginning in junior high school, which continue through the secondary vertical alignment until the appropriate Advanced Placement (AP) tests. Our district belief mirrors that of College Board and its focus on excellence and equity, which is why Wylie ISD offers an open enrollment approach to advanced academic courses.

Advanced academics also includes a gifted and talented strand for kindergarten-12th grades.  Students who have been screened and identified as needing gifted and talented services are served in parallel advanced academic courses.  

At the district level Wylie ISD has both an elementary and a secondary Advanced Academics/Gifted and Talented (GT) Learning Specialist who meet regularly with collaborative teams on campuses to meet the needs of students.  At the campus level, GT teachers provide weekly instruction to GT students.  Also, each grade level has identified teachers who excel in working with students who have mastered current content. Additional training, support and resources are provided to these teachers.   

As with interventions, extensions and enrichment are provided to students on a flexible basis.  We are aware that students do not have to be labeled as GT or Advanced in order to receive extensions, enrichment or accelerated learning.  Students may also be advanced in some areas while needing interventions in other areas.  Our groups for advanced or enriched instruction are as flexible as our groups for intervention, because we follow a regular cycle of teaching and monitoring student learning. 

Because academic learning is inextricably linked to social and emotional competence, Wylie ISD's commitment to excellence does not just begin and end in academic success for all students. As a district, we foster social and emotional health that sustains positive relationships and encourages responsible decision-making.

Through Restorative Practices we use systematic strategies school wide to build relationships, and address behavior with dignity.  The goal is to change unwanted behavior to ensure students have been taught the skills necessary to meet the expectation.  Students are taught the necessary social and emotional skills to interact positively with others and manage their own behavior.  Students’ behavior is corrected with language that doesn’t shame or label them, rather it brings to their attention how their behavior impacts others and uses this learning opportunity to strengthen teacher/student relationship.

Restorative Circles are a proactive way to intentionally build community through a series of questions that allow students to practice empathy, self-reflection, to be heard, and to learn more about their teacher and their classmates. Responsive circles are used to address more severe discipline situations.  It allows a victim to be heard and for their needs to be met.  It is structured in a way for students to take responsibility for their actions and contribute to solving the issue and moving forward. 

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

One way Wylie ISD seeks to build teacher capacity is through participation in professional learning.  As district and campus administrators attended PLC at Work Institutes, our Curriculum and Instruction team worked in partnership with these administrators to create and implement a PLC Leader Academy.  Campus administrators attend the professional learning sessions and have a great time of collaboration with their guiding coalition.  These sessions serve as checkpoints throughout the school year to stay true to our collective commitments.

In 2020, Wylie worked with Solution Tree to provide a remote PLC at Work LIVE conference to over 200 Wylie ISD teachers.  These teachers learned valuable strategies for increasing student achievement from Solution Tree speakers and consultants.  Solution Tree and the PLC model is recognized as the gold standard for increasing student achievement, and Wylie ISD teachers were given access to both remote and in-person sessions for 3 days.  This model was so successful, we will be providing this same learning opportunity to even more teachers in the summer of 2022. 

Each campus administrator has monthly leadership meetings with their teacher leaders in which they equip them to lead their collaborative teams effectively.  The work done at these meetings is based on what we have learned from attending PLC at Work conferences and reading various publications from Solution Tree regarding Professional Learning Communities.  

Wylie ISD has a collective commitment that all teachers will meet weekly in collaborative team meetings to focus on the four critical questions.  Every campus has time embedded in the instructional day for the meetings.  Administrators make it a priority to be an active participant in these collective team meetings.  Each team develops their norms at the beginning of the year and revisits them during the year.  

 In addition, we pay teachers to participate in valuable professional learning outside of contract hours with our “Learn and Earn” program.  Teachers who attend 6 hours of professional  development and provide evidence of implementation in the classroom receive extra additional pay for their time.  By investing in our teachers, we create strong leadership across our campuses. 

Our collaborative teams focus their effort on improved student learning by anchoring their work to the PLC model and the four critical questions.  After our PLC at Work LIVE event in July 2021, every campus made a renewed commitment. We examined our agendas from the prior year and noticed trends of “administrivia” creeping into our collaborative team time.  Each campus administrator has made a commitment to monitoring agendas this year to guarantee that all agenda items are related to the four critical questions.

A critical component of our high-performing teams is that they are hungry for student data.  Instead of waiting for more formal assessments such as unit assessments and MAP testing, they consistently gather data that is evidence of student learning.  Whether it is exit tickets, short common formative assessments, or learning activities, these teams consistently monitor student progress and provide immediate intervention to students struggling with the concept.  These teams then look for common threads in student progress to improve their instructional practices.  This continuous cycle of measuring student learning and providing targeted instruction is a way of life for these teams.

Our campus and district leadership meet monthly for instructional focus meetings.  Every instructional focus meeting has a PLC focus activity that can be used on the campus with teacher teams.  All activities and data from instructional focus meetings are centered on student learning and academic growth.  By consistently reinforcing the PLC model across the district throughout the year, there is fidelity in the implementation of PLCs across all classrooms and campuses.

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

PreK-2  The data provided reflects our end of year scores from NWEA’s MAP assessment. We give this assessment three times per year to monitor student academic growth. Our growth over time, even during the pandemic, reflects our relentless commitment to our PLC culture.  Even during the shut down, our teachers continued to meet weekly in collaborative teams to monitor student growth and adjust instruction for students as needed. 

Grades 3-High School STAAR Success: In 2019, Wylie ISD was recognized by the Commit Partnership as a case study district achieving significant growth with low income, African American, and Hispanic students. The Commit Partnership looked at the majority of larger districts across the region in Dallas, Tarrant and Collin counties (27 in all) and identified Wylie ISD as one of three districts which have led the region in STAAR growth since STAAR was instituted in 2012. 

Like all school districts in Texas, COVID presented a challenge for maintaining student growth on STAAR.  While passing rates for all STAAR tests fell 11 points for the state, and 10 points for our region, Wylie ISD passing rates fell 5 points.  However, due to the commitment of our teachers to the PLC process, we saw some 7 areas which grew from 2019-2021 across all tests and performance levels!    

 

 

Academic Achievement Awards
H-E-B Excellence in Education Award Finalist, 2022

Solution Tree Model PLC Campus: Draper Intermediate School

College Board’s 9th Annual Advanced Placement (AP) District Honor Roll

  • AP Honor Roll recognizes districts who close the AP achievement gap for American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students taking college-level exams and scoring at the college readiness level.

In 2019, Wylie ISD was recognized by the Commit Partnership as a case study district achieving significant growth with low income, African American, and Hispanic students.

Texas Education Agency (TEA) Distinctions - acknowledges districts and campuses for outstanding achievement based on the outcomes of several performance indicators. TEA awarded Designation Distinctions from 2014 to 2019, with an interruption due to Covid and suspension of state accountability.
Distinctions are awarded based on the campus ranking in the top quartile of 40 other similar campuses from across the state on a percentage of indicators related to each defined distinction.

  • Academic Achievement in Reading/ELA - earned 32 times
  • Academic Achievement in Math - earned 57 times
  • Academic achievement in Science - earned 27 times
  • Academic achievement in Social Studies - earned 24 times
  • Top 25%: Comparative Academic Growth - earned 42 times
  • Top 25%: Comparative Closing the Gaps - earned 66 times
  • Postsecondary Readiness - earned 43 times
  • Between 2014 and 2019, Wylie ISD had at least one campus earn all eligible distinctions.

Google for Education; Reference District

Wylie ISD Fine Arts Awards
Wylie ISD has been recognized as one of the “Best Communities for Music Education” by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation for 8 consecutive years.

Wylie East High School Marching Band – State Marching Contest participant - 2019, 2021

Wylie High School Marching Band – State Marching Contest participant – 2016, 2020, 2021

Wylie East Wind Symphony – Invited Ensemble, Western International Band Conference in Seattle, Washington – 2019

Wylie High School Wind Symphony– Invited Ensemble, Midwest International Clinic in Chicago, Illinois– 2016

Wylie High School Wind Symphony and Wind Ensemble – Invited Ensemble, Music for All National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana – 2020

Burnett Junior High Symphonic Band - Invited Ensemble, Music for All National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana – 2020

Wylie High School Theatre – Invited group – Arts for Autism production on Broadway event in New York, NY – 2019

Cooper Junior High Band – Texas Music Educators Association Honor Band State Qualifier - 2020

Wylie High School Band - Texas Music Educators Association Honor Band State Qualifier – 2014, 2019

McMillan Junior High Band – Texas Music Educators Association Honor Band State Qualifier – 2009, 2012

Wylie ISD Financial Awards
Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) rating awarded from 2002-2003 to 2020-2021

  • Passed every year except one with Superior Achievement
  • One year was Passed with Above Standard Achievement

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