Louis G. Lobit Elementary School (2023)
- Number of Students: 939
- Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: 42.71%
- Percent of Limited English Proficient: 4%
- Percent of Special Education: 20%
- White: 39%
- Black: 15%
- Hispanic: 36%
- Asian: 4%
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 1%
- American Indian or Alaska Native: 0%
- Multiracial: 5%
- Other: 0%
Lobit Elementary opened its doors for the first time on August 24,2016. With students coming from all over the district and a team of staff members who had never worked together before, we knew it was more important than ever before to build a strong PLC from the beginning.
We started with a small leadership team consisting of the principal, the assistant principal, and the instructional coaches. We met, tirelessly, each day with a different grade level team. We gave each teacher roles to complete during the meetings, such as timekeeper, facilitator, etc. We called these meetings our PLC meetings. For the next several years, our teachers slowly became experts at knowing what we wanted our students to know and be able to do. We even started making and using end of unit common assessments. After giving the assessments, we would come to “PLC” and discuss the data.
We started noticing that while we were proficient at knowing what students needed to learn and assessing them at the end of their learning, that was where it stopped. We felt like we were constantly in reactive mode servicing our students’ needs, rather than taking a proactive approach. We would meet with each grade level team and discuss their end of unit or end of term data. Then, students would be placed in tutoring groups, as needed. We saw some growth in tutoring but not to the extent we thought, given the number of staff and effort that was involved.
For the tremendous amount of effort we were putting forth in planning, teaching, and disaggregating data, we were not seeing the results we had hoped for. It was time to re-evaluate our efforts and look at what we were doing that wasn’t working. Just about that same time, COVID hit, and just like the rest of the nation, we closed our doors and went to online learning.
When we opened back up for the 2020-21 school year to staff and students in masks and social distancing, we were at a loss of how to have our normal PLC meetings amongst the chaos and stress of life at the time. We ended up canceling our daily PLC meetings for the year, not realizing that the year of the pandemic was probably the most important time to stick with it and continue to collaborate with our teams.
By the time Spring of 2021 rolled around, students and staff were struggling. The leadership team collaborated on changes that could be made to increase our student performance. We felt our reading data suggested that students needed a more rigorous phonics program to assist in building the foundational skills needed in our primary grades. After much research and discussions with the district, we agreed to pilot the Fundations Phonics Program. We were sure this was going to solve so many problems.
Following the 2020-21 school year, the district sent the administrators and instructional coaches to the PLC at Work conference for the first time. Being a part of the conference helped us to realize how much we were missing in building a successful PLC. The number one thing being that it is not just a meeting, it is an entire community within the walls of Lobit Elementary. We knew we needed to transition from PLC Lite to PLC Right.
We could not wait to start the 2021-22 school year to share the PLC process with our staff. During the fall, we reformed our small Guiding Coalition Team. We started the work by having many conversations with our staff about the fundamental purpose of our school. We agreed upon collective commitments, our mission, and our vision. Our staff seemed excited to commit to all students learning at high levels, through a culture of collaboration, and a focus on results. We purposefully carved out time in our master schedule for all grade levels to have an extended Collaborative Team Time (CTT meetings) apart from their normal planning time.
The CTT meetings allowed us time to slowly roll out the components of PLC at Work, so we could move from PLC Lite to PLC Right. We also used this time to address the following 4 critical questions:
What do we want all to know and be able to do?
How will we know if they learn it?
How will we respond when some students do not learn?
How will we extend the learning for students who are already proficient?
Through the year-long partnership with Solution Tree: PLC at Work, we realized that we were not as proficient at questions 1 and 2 as we originally thought. We still needed to work at unpacking our essential standards and looking at the boulders, rocks, and butterflies of each unit of study to truly understand what students really need to know. While learning how to balance our units of study with the right standards being a priority, students began to show improvement. Through quality Tier 1 instruction and answering questions 1 and 2, we have really seen students' progress. This shows us we had a Tier 1 problem and has allowed us to be more prescriptive and targeted in our response to students in tier 2 and tier 3.
During the 2022-23 school year, we added to our Guiding Coalition Team with classroom teachers which has been very helpful in transitioning the leadership for questions 1 and 2 to the teacher teams. Teachers have a much better understanding of why students need different levels of tiered support and how to assess students in a way that reflects the effectiveness of Tier 1 instruction. As a Guiding Coalition Team, we have determined that the teacher teams are now ready to fully lead the conversations around questions 1 and 2. This brings us to question 3. This year we spent a lot of time using our data to truly drive our Tier 2 and Tier 3 instruction. We transitioned this year by layering in conversations around questions 3 and 4 more routinely. We were fortunate enough to be enrolled in the RTI at Work to guide us through this process, and we will continue to work as a Guiding Coalition Team to develop an effective MTSS to roll out to teacher teams, using the Solution Tree resources, during the 2023-24 school year.
Through our PLC journey, we have definitely established a culture of collaboration and are excited about the growth we have made because of our efforts to ensure that all students learn at high levels. We will continue to focus on growth and positive student outcomes in the 2023-24 school year.
1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.
Our written curriculum is based on Essential Standards predetermined by the district curriculum teams. Teachers meet regularly to revise and discuss what standards are essential in each unit of study and how students will master the essential standards. The district curriculum department provides benchmarks and 9-week common assessments in all subject areas which help us plan instruction, but the Lobit Elementary teachers are learning that the most powerful tool to assess students and intervene immediately is the CFAs given in the classroom routinely. The teachers and instructional coaches have worked on stepping out each essential standard into learning targets and creating exit tickets to assess and provide intervention in the moment.
Through formative assessments in all subjects, teachers can analyze learning, identify misconceptions, and clarify learning targets for students. Through this practice, teachers are also able to seek out help from one another to refine their TIER 1 instruction. We are currently working on improving our practices of scaffolding instruction for the current essential standard(s) and pulling small groups to reteach things in a different way.
We are working on infusing our students' data talks into our CTT on a regular basis and changing our fluid groups for TIER 2 and TIER 3 instruction based on the CFA data.
2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.
Lobit Elementary has systems of intervention to provide students additional time and support for learning. When our teams work together to plan the lessons, they focus on the essential standards and they plan for scaffolding and extension as needed. We have provided each grade level an hour and 45 minute CTT time, in addition to the other four 60-minute planning periods per week. This allows adequate time to meet, discuss student needs, review formative assessment data, and group students into flexible groups to meet their needs. These groups change frequently, and data is tracked and monitored to ensure every student is making progress.
During the 2022-23 school year, we started by having a specific intervention time for 3rd and 4th grade students to have a targeted and prescriptive time during the school day when students received targeted Tier 2 and Tier 3 instruction. This time is different for each grade. For example, 4th grade had their intervention time from 8:50-9:20 and 3rd grade had their time from 1:00-1:30. This allows “all hands-on deck” for each of those grade levels. For grades K-2, we had targeted Tier 2 and Tier 3 instruction during their RLA and Math station times, making sure not to interrupt any Tier 1 instruction students were receiving. Including a target and prescriptive time of intervention for all grade levels has increased academic growth in all areas. Our plan for the 2023-24 school year is to include the built in 30-minute intervention time for 2nd grade, as well.
3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.
Through our journey, Lobit Elementary has evolved into a budding professional learning community. Our guiding coalition is focused on building capacity across the campus. Our professional development opportunities are aligned with our school’s vision, mission and campus improvement plan. We have tightened up our TIER 1 instruction by working collaboratively with a focus on results. We also look for gaps in teaching and learning by examining both student achievement data and teacher practices.
Teachers have adequate time during work hours to work collaboratively to plan, review pertinent data, and engage in meaningful discourse to learn from each other. It is important for our staff to have the support they need in real time. Our instructional coaches are onsite and involved in the day-to-day planning and instruction. They are a great source of ongoing, just-in-time professional development. Teachers from every team serve on the Guiding Coalition Team, serve as mentors, participate on district committees, and present at district level training. All CTT time is dedicated to refining our instructional practices together by utilizing the four essential questions.
Teachers have a voice in schedules, resources, and other decisions that impact their professional learning. Our school's culture of open communication allows teachers to feel safe to take risks and try innovative ways of teaching and learning. We measure success by academic results, and we hold each other accountable to do what’s best for students.
Achievement Data Files
Additional Achievement Data
Lobit Elementary has made a tremendous amount of progress in the areas of Reading and Mathematics, especially during the year following our summer PLC at Work training. Attached is the School Achievement Data for STAAR in 3rd and 4th grade from 2016-2022.
Over the course of 5 years, the reading scores rose from a 64 (8 points below the state average of 72) to an 87 (10 points above the state average of 77). For grade 4, Reading started at a 68 (2 points below the state average) and increased to an 88 (11 points above the state average).
During this same time frame, Math scores improved in 3rd grade from a 76 (the same as the state average) to an 83 (13 points above the state average). In 4th grade, math scores started at an 82 (7 points above the state average). Then, in the school year following COVID, the scores dipped to a 76 (still well above the state average) and increased to an 80 (11 points above the state average) in the 2021-22 school year.
When we adopted the mindset of ALL means ALL, our special education population improved drastically! Our SPED population improved in reading by 30 points in 3rd grade and by 45 points in 4th grade. In math, 3rd grade SPED improved by 30 points and 4th grade improved by 13 points.
We will continue to work on ensuring high levels of learning for ALL students in a collaborative culture with a focus on results.
A+ Honor Roll School (2017)
Current Texas Accountability Rating- 88 (B)