Golden Hills Elementary School
- Number of Students: 263
- Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: 79%
- Percent of Limited English Proficient: 13%
- Percent of Special Education: 9%
- White: 46%
- Black: 1%
- Hispanic: 32%
- Asian: 2%
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 0%
- American Indian or Alaska Native: 5%
- Multiracial: 11%
- Other: 3%
Golden Hills School is located in Butte County, California. A rural county that has been through many challenges which have caused yearly school closures: a city evacuation due to a dam that was going to break, multiple fires that decimated local towns, including staff and students losing their homes, and the pandemic. Our fourth and fifth grade students have never had a full year of school.
In January 2020, half of the teaching staff from Golden Hills attended “The PLC Summit” in Arizona. Although we considered ourselves a PLC School, it was clear that we were “dating” PLC and we were ready to fully commit and “put a ring on it”. It was time to eliminate excuses and become high performing collaborative teams with a focus on student learning.
In March 2020, the pandemic closed schools. Our plan to implement the PLC model with fidelity had to be modified. We purchased Global Learning Network, made a Google classroom account and started learning together. Videos and articles were posted and teachers would watch/ read and respond to questions. All staff were given Learning By Doing to use as a resource to increase their understanding of the PLC process. We began analyzing school wide data and knew we needed to do something different. Our system was failing more than 70% of our students.
Once we returned to campus we became focused on making systematic changes in our process. Our campus focuses around the four PLC questions in all areas: academics, behaviors, and social emotional needs. Teachers are focusing on targeting the instruction of the essential standards in homeroom classes and holding all students to high expectations. All students would receive instruction and have the same opportunity (and expectations) to learn grade level essential standards. Common formative assessments were developed and given to students to assess their understanding.
Grade level teams worked collaboratively to plan timely and targeted interventions for our students based on the CFA data. Each grade level team has five homeroom teachers, an education specialist and an intervention teacher. Having researched and planned intervention into our daily schedule we were ready to address our students' individual needs through a multi-tiered system of support.
The school schedule was adjusted to include EAGLE time (Eagles are Growing and Learning Everyday), a 35 minute intervention block, based on students' individual need to master an essential standard. This intervention block was designed around the misconception the students had in the essential standard or an extension if they had mastered the standard.
As we started the journey it became evident that it is easy to come up with excuses and go back to how we always have done things. Designing common formative assessments took time and collaboration to develop and we learned quickly there were no shortcuts. We were able to have a PLC coach, Anthony Muhammed, come to our school several times in the 2021-2022 school year. His expertise kept the teams moving forward, provided support to help teams collaborate to design common formative assessments, and shared tips on how to analyze data to develop timely targeted interventions/ extensions. We needed to have those deep conversations to be clear in our instructional goals.
As the teams went through the process of designing CFA’s for the essential standards they became more proficient and more effective. By reassessing and reviewing students' data we were seeing the students increase in their mastery of the essential standards.
Golden Hills mission is: Golden Hills eagles grow together, learn with passion, act with kindness and change the world. This mission is for all stakeholders. We are very proud of the success our staff and students are having because of the PLC process. The PLC process is part of who we are and is connected to everything we do: academics, behaviors, social emotional support, attendance etc. Using the four questions to determine our needs and address them is not an extra thing we are doing but is part of who we are. PLC surveys are given yearly to staff to monitor our areas of strengths and areas for growth. We are very proud of the work we have done and will continue to provide professional development, time and support to the Golden Hills staff to ensure the PLC process will continue to develop to best address our students' individual needs.
1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.
Over the last 2 years the staff have focused their time on targeting which Common Core standards are essential, to be able to implement a guaranteed and viable curriculum. In Language Arts and Math the essential standards have been determined, CFA’s have been designed. Teachers teach the essentials standards, then assess the students using the developed CFA. Then the teams analyze the students data to determine who needs more support or extension. Staff separates the students into an intervention class that will support their needs. Frequent monitoring ensures that students are receiving the support they need. After the intervention has been implemented students are reassessed. If students continue to need more support the team determines next steps for the student.
The teams discuss teaching strategies and pacing for the core curriculum. A date, time and resources available to students for the CFA are decided as a team. Staff monitor student learning on spreadsheets. The spreadsheet includes the essential standard, the CFA score after core classes, then assessment scores after the students have had the intervention.
Golden Hills uses summative assessments to monitor growth over time. I-Ready diagnostics and DIBELS are given four times a year to monitor overall growth.
2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.
Golden Hills has developed two daily 35 minute Intervention blocks to provide timely, targeted interventions in Math and Language Arts . During this time students receive instruction in the area focused on their individual need, this is done through re-teaching or through extension of the standard. All of the information is kept in essential standards unit plans for staff to access year after year
When the targeted intervention ends we celebrate our students' mastery. At that time students who have not mastered the standard are placed into another intervention group to continue their learning. These students meet with our intervention teacher to continue supporting them in deeping their understanding of the essential standards. We have become creative in our schedule to allow students to get the support while not missing new essential content.
3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.
Staff Members work in collaborative teams and have become efficient and effective in the PLC process. They have created norms and hold each other accountable to do their part. The focus is on student learning. They have determined as a team what they want students to know,developed CFA’s and then work together to analyze data to determine which students need interventions or extensions.
Golden Hills has 7 fourth grade teachers and 7 fifth grade teachers. Each grade level has five homeroom teachers, an education specialist and an intervention teacher. When the intervention classes are developed they collaborate to determine which teacher will teach which intervention/ extension class. Paraprofessionals are essential to the intervention classes, they are assigned students to assist in the teaching of the standards. Staff share strategies and resources to ensure they are providing the best instruction for all students. All teachers believe in the least restrictive environment for all students and often co-teach with another teacher to best support individual student needs.
Each trimester teams determine a SMART goal and work interdependently to meet their SMART goal. These SMART goals are shared with the families and the school board members. The SMART goals have been focused on student learning and staff monitors student learning throughout the trimester to best support all students' individual needs so that the SMART goal will be met. All SMART goals have been this year!
Achievement Data Files
Additional Achievement Data
For the achievement data the chart represents the percentage of Golden Hills students who met or exceeded standard on the I Ready test. Over the past few years we have not taken the Smarter Belanced assessment due to the pandemic. Our percentage of growth from the beginning of the year to the end of the year are higher then they have been in the past. With the pandemic the students were entering our school with higher academic needs. The data we are collecting shows the students are successful at the essential standards.
Golden Hills teachers meet to plan common formative assessments. Once given students are separated into intervention/ extension groups to support their individual needs. The students are assessed again at the end of the cycle. Samples of the data charts are included in this application.
PBIS Silver Award Winner 19/20
PBIS Platinum Award Winner 20/21
PBIS Gold Award Winner for 21/22
California Scaling Up Multi-Tiered System of Support Phase 3 Grant Awardee 2022-2026
*February 2022, Principal and Counselor were asked to present to California Senators about Golden Hills MTSS process and success based off the PLC model
California SUMS Initiative Grant Awardee 2018