Prairie View Elementary School (2022)

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

For a period of years, teachers were afforded common planning time at each grade level to support collaborative efforts. However, this was PLC lite. Our great educators didn’t have the necessary systems in place to maximize their efforts. The work of the collaborative teams was not expressly connected to the school as a Professional Learning Community. Over the last three years Prairie View Elementary, as well as other schools within the Beaver Dam Unified School District, has worked to embody the professional learning community process. 

In the 2019-2020 School Year, Prairie View Elementary was focused on ensuring that all teachers served on a collaborative team, established norms, and the focus of these teams was on student achievement. This initial step was intentional to ensure teams were prepared for upcoming work. 

In the 2020-2021 School Year, the administrative team engaged in deep learning around what makes a true Professional Learning Community. We developed action steps that included obtaining staff feedback and providing professional learning for staff. 

Action steps included: 

1) Provided professional learning opportunities for staff members on what makes a high quality PLC through inservice time and staff meetings; 

2) Developed a school mission, vision, and collective commitments as developed and agreed to by school staff; 

3) Collaborative teams established essential standards for ELA, Math, Music, Art, and PE; 

4) The Building Leadership team changed their focus to being a Guiding Coalition, which placed further emphasis on guiding the growth as a PLC, versus managerial tasks; 

5) A schedule was planned to allow for three tiers of instruction for students to allow students to receive each of the three tiers of instruction from the appropriate teacher, while also being present for necessary core instruction; and

6) Developed the School Success Plan (annual improvement plan) that was measured and reported out at least quarterly with clearly established goals for Math, Literacy, and Social Emotional Learning. 

In the 2021-2022 School Year, action steps on the PLC process continued. This was largely taking what was planned for or implemented in the first two years of the journey and continuing to refine it. 

Action steps included: 

1) Grade level/department eams dug deep into the essential standards to organize learning targets, in order of complexity, to achieve the standards; 

2) Teams developed clarity around proficiency for essential standards; 

3) Teams determined when essential standards are to be taught and when students would be expected to be proficient; 

4) The Guiding Coalition implemented a revised school schedule that supports the ability for all students to be served through three tiers of instruction as needed; 

5) Established a School Intervention team aligned to RtI at Work; 

6) Teacher teams utilized the Teaching-Assessing Cycle as the center of their collaborative team meetings in at least one content area; 

7) The Guiding Coalition monitored the School Success Plan goals at least quarterly and made adjustments as necessary; 

8) Had district and building representatives develop an academic intervention menu to ensure that interventions were research-based and that necessary interventions were provided; and 

9) Beginning professional learning and planning around strengthening the behavioral portion of our RtI efforts, including building out our SEL Intervention Menu. 

The Fall of 2022 is focused on refining and strengthening practices. The last three years saw a lot of professional learning, team planning, and problem-solving to ensure we continue to progress. This year we are implementing our SEL intervention menu and implementing the teaching-assessing cycle documentation format in both Math and ELA, all units of study. 

We understand that ongoing professional learning is critical to being a true Professional Learning Community before just calling ourselves one. Therefore, we have received explicit training on elements of work related to PLCs. This includes training with Jon Yost on developing a school as a PLC: training with Eric Twadell developing RtI at Work in our school; training from Chris Hansen on analyzing data in school teams and also on the functions of the School Intervention Team (SIT), unpacking standards and building assessments with Angie Freese; developing MTSS with the behavior lens with John Hannigan; and connecting all of our actions to ensure student success with Luis Cruz. 

In addition to having these guests provide learning workshops, Prairie View has used staff meetings and inservice time to provide all-staff training and time to embody the work. In the 2021-2022 school year, Prairie View completed a book study on Design in Five to strengthen the identified need for high quality common assessments. The Summer of 2022 saw the Guiding Coalition involved in a PLC Summer Institute day where the school reviewed the behaviors and actions related to a PLC, using tools to make specific plans for improvement. 

Monitoring our success and monitoring student success is a significant focus of our school operating as a PLC and is done at various levels. The school level Guiding Coalition monitors school goals and develops action plans at least quarterly. This team utilizes an annual PLC Continuum Survey, state data, and local data to make plans for improvement and professional learning. For interventions, each SIT meeting monitors success of those in interventions and the success of interventions as a whole. The Collaborative Teacher Teams are monitoring student success on essential standards or learning targets in each unit or module based on our Teaching-Assessing Cycle Form. This form supports analysis of common assessment data and determining how we will extend and support learning.


1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Student learning is most frequently measured by our collaborative teams of teachers. Teachers have common plan time and meet weekly to collaborate on the four questions of a PLC. This is largely done through our Teaching-Assessing Cycle format. Using our course guides and essential standards maps, teams determine the focus of each unit of study, determine end of unit and interim common formative assessments, analyze those assessments, and determine extensions and interventions based on the data. In addition to determining next steps for supporting students, we analyze what strategies related to instruction are showing  the best results for the students we serve. For each common assessment delivered, students who need more time and support to achieve the determined essential learning are named and a plan for this additional support is developed. Some examples of common assessments include teacher-designed exit slips, weekly reading assessments in our curricular resource, as well as mid and end-of-unit assessments within our math curricular resource.  While collaborative teacher teams may utilize curricular resource assessments, this is a start.  Through the teaching-assessing cycle, teams of teachers review the provided assessments and make adjustments to align with our essential standards.  You can see examples of these types of assessments, as well as the targeted intervention strategies, within the Teaching-Assessing Cycle artifacts in the resources section.  An example of a targeted intervention strategy may be reteaching utilizing a different instructional strategy than originally utilized in Tier I instruction such as a more specific think aloud as a part of Gradual Release of Responsibility, using observed practice to diagnose specific errors and using correction, using peer modeling, or using small group instructional lessons from our bank of resources. In addition, we utilize our ladder progressions (unpacked essential standards) and/or vertical essential standards to assess the specific skill target to help develop the instructional plan.  Examples of the results of the data on common formative assessments can be found within the Teaching-Assessing cycle artifacts.

In addition to the common formative assessments planned and utilized by teams, the SIT monitors schoolwide data as a part of our Response to Intervention process. This team utilizes state assessment data, local screening data, and classroom level data to provide additional support for students. This includes planning, monitoring, and adjusting Tier III academic interventions and Tier II & III social/behavioral interventions. The SIT uses a spreadsheet to clearly view students in interventions and track their progress.

Interventionists utilize Educlimber, our data warehouse, to track the progress of groups and students to effectively report back to the SIT. On a quarterly basis, the SIT reviews all interventions offered and analyzes success rates. This is used to determine adjustments that may need to be made to our overall system of interventions. 

On a grander scale, the Guiding Coalition analyzes all data available to set annual goals for the school. In addition to goals, the team develops action steps. The goals and action steps are related to the district’s strategic plan and the mission, vision, and local goals of the school. These inform the professional learning focus for the year in order to support attainment of the established goals. The Guiding Coalition then monitors progress toward each goal through data and completion of action steps at least quarterly. This team is then able to make adjustments on a regular basis to meet the goal or raise the rigor of the goal.

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

Prairie View Elementary researched RtI at Work to improve Response to Intervention processes and systems at the school. This was done in combination with a districtwide effort. The first step in this system was developing an understanding of the three tiers of RtI at Work so that an effective system could be planned, developed, and implemented. This learning included support from Eric Twadell through a workshop, reading Taking Action, using Global PD videos, and various other resources. 

Once an understanding was developed, the Guiding Coalition put initial actions into place. One of the first key actions was redesigning the schedule to allow for a student to receive three tiers of interventions without disrupting other tiers. The structure brought attention to the need for each student to be present for Tier I instruction. The updated schedule allows for all students to receive Tier I instruction from their classroom teacher, Tier II instruction from the classroom teacher or other appropriate staff, and Tier III instruction from someone trained to deliver the universal skill intervention. To make this schedule work, Prairie View Elementary utilizes a workshop approach in Literacy and Math blocks with identified times for each tier within the content block to ensure students receive Tier I instruction, while also having time for Tier II and Tier III.. Extensions are also designed to occur in these times. 

Our Teaching-Assessing Cycle format is the key to our Tier II academic interventions. Each unit of study in Literacy and Math has common assessments, based on essential learning, that is monitored. Students who are not meeting proficiency expectations receive reteaching opportunities within the appropriate workshop. This could be from the classroom teacher, another team member, or other staff involved in Tier I instruction such as Special Education Teachers and English Language Learning Teachers. 

Prairie View Elementary has some students who have universal skill gaps. Students who have been identified for needing support with universal skills through multiple data points are prioritized for Tier III intervention. The SIT plans, monitors, and adjusts these interventions which are delivered by trained personnel. The SIT also plans, monitors, and adjusts social or behavioral interventions for Tier II and III. Academically, Tier III instruction includes literacy instruction, mathematics instruction, English language instruction, and specially designed instruction.  Examples of the universal skill gaps include: phonemic awareness, phonics, decoding, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, writing, number sense, operations, English language, as well as social and emotional academic behaviors.  For these lagging universal skills, students are identified by the SIT based on the skill needed and work one-on-one or in small groups with highly qualified personnel (i.e. Classroom teacher, Literacy Support Teacher, Curriculum & Instructional Coach, English Language Teacher, etc.).  Students are progress monitored weekly against a student specific goal that accelerates their progress to being grade level or above on the particular skill.  Data is reviewed by the SIT that meets weekly. If a student has met their intervention goal and has consistent, not one time data, to demonstrate this, they may be exited from the intervention.  Students who exit a Tier III intervention are monitored to ensure that the student’s performance is continuing to translate to Tier I instruction.

To guide the Response to Intervention process, we have developed Teaching-Assessing Cycle forms for teams to utilize and track information: Academic Intervention Guide, Academic Intervention Menu, and a Social Emotional Learning Intervention Menu.

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

Prairie View teaching staff have been participating and engaged in PLC training since the 2017-18 school year. This initial training consisted of building representatives attending multiple professional learning sessions (through a series) on PLCs. Those staff members then led some of the work at the district level. Since that time, staff have engaged in professional development during inservice times, staff meetings, and collaborative team meetings. All of these trainings incorporated exercises and action research designed to build a shared belief around PLCs, to strengthen our collaborative teams, and focus our discussions around data and student learning. 

A primary focus of our work over the last five years has been to build purpose and shared understanding of high-performing collaborative teams in order to have collaborative conversations around student learning, to impact teaching. As a part of this process, all certified staff members are on a collaborative team that meets weekly for at least 45 minutes. This includes classroom teachers who are teamed by grade level, special education teachers who join the grade level collaborative teams of the grade levels they support, early childhood teachers (of three and four year-olds) that meet on a team, and pupil services, including school counselors, school social workers, and school psychologists. 

To support this collaborative effort, common planning time has been embedded into the schedule to allow the Prairie View grade levels/departments to meet. In addition, there is time built into the elementary district schedule for cross-district collaboration based on grade level/department. 

Consistent with the Prairie View mission and vision statements, collaborative teams are dedicated to uniting to achieve student success at high levels. This collaboration is guided by the four critical questions of a PLC. These four questions guide the work of the groups as they meet weekly to discuss student learning in each Math unit and ELA module through the teaching and assessing cycle. Through this process, teams determine what essential standards and learning targets are the focus of each unit/module, plan interim and end-of-unit assessments and determine proficiency on those assessments, and then analyze student learning against the proficiency targets to plan interventions and/or enrichment based on student learning. In the Resources section, you will find an example of a collaborative team-created end-of-unit assessment for 3rd Grade (Unit 2 End of Math Unit Assessment).  This is an example of an assessment that was taken from our curricular resource and modified by the team to both accurately assess the skills taught, but also include the learning targets for each section of questions.  This has built teacher capacity in understanding the importance of assessment, while ensuring that the assessments accurately assess the skills taught.  The inclusion of the learning targets is consistent with the learning targets students have heard throughout the unit, to support transference of skills.  This work has been a priority for Prairie View educators since the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. 

In addition to classroom teachers and special education teachers engaging in this process, our art, music, and physical education teachers are also a part of a collaborative team.  These teams are districtwide teams for the content area and conduct the same processes of determining essential standards, developing learning targets, determining proficiency, utilizing common assessments, analyzing data, and consulting on how to best intervene and extend learning. The teams have created an annual common Student Learning Objective (SLO) goal in SMART format and track that data throughout the school year, collaborating with their team monthly on progress toward the goal.

Prairie View building administrators are present for each of these collaborative team meetings to facilitate and guide the discussions. In addition, our school has an instructional coach who is shared between two buildings to support the work of the collaborative teams. In addition to participating and supporting collaborative teams, the instructional coach also conducts individual instructional coaching for identified teachers, and also coaches teams based on school data. 

Our journey has also included incorporating shared leadership where a Guiding Coalition of teacher representatives from each grade level/department supports the work of the PLC and RtI processes. A primary function of this team is to review schoolwide academic and behavioral data to set three annual goals (ELA, Math, and Professional Development or SEL) that are then monitored monthly for student growth. The Guiding Coalition also plans professional learning for staff based on these three annual goals. To help support these school goals, Prairie View teachers create student learning objectives (SLOs) aligned to the building goals. These are common across grade levels to support the collaborative teams as well. 

As mentioned at the beginning, all educators have engaged in professional learning around Professional Learning Communities for several years. This learning for Prairie View educators has included training on determining essential standards and using those to guide teaching and learning (PLC Question 1), a book study on “Design in 5” to support our work on assessments (PLC Question 2), and identified staff working collaboratively with other district staff to determine academic and behavioral interventions (PLC Question 3). 

Finally, to monitor the ongoing implementation of the PLC process, all educators are surveyed annually to determine additional training needs and the data is used to support teams in their journey to becoming or maintaining high-performing status. 

Prairie View Elementary School has made the PLC process a foundation of the work we do each and every day. Through our priority placed on the process, building high-performing collaborative teams focused on student learning and the shared leadership that has developed and maintained the process, we have made large academic and behavioral gains since we began our journey.

Based on our process improvements and gains that students have demonstrated, we respectfully request to become a Model Professional Learning Community with Solution Tree.

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

WI DPI School Report Cards Accountability System

2018-2019—78.9 (Exceeds Expectations) 

2020-2021—72.8 (Exceeds Expectations) 

2021-2022—80.3 (Exceeds Expectations)

  • Certificate of Recognition from the WI RtI Center for efforts to implement an equitable multi-level system of support in Behavior (2017-2018)

  • Certificate of Recognition from the WI RtI Center for efforts to implement an equitable, multi-level system of support in Reading (2020-2021) 

  • BDUSD Education Fund 

○ 2021-2022—Flexible Seating (Bolder-3rd Grade) 

○ 2022-2023—Outdoor Classroom furniture (Krause-Admin) 

○ 2022-2023—Warm-up/Getting started activities (Graff-4th Grade) 

  • Reflex Math fact fluency grant in 2022 (Graff-4th Grade)

  • Top 5 elementary school in Dodge County according to 

  • Teresa Ploch (Vocal Music) - National Board Certified Teacher 

  • WI DPI School Report Cards Accountability System 

○ 2018-2019—78.9 (Exceeds Expectations) 

○ 2020-2021—72.8 (Exceeds Expectations) 

○ 2021-2022—80.3 (Exceeds Expectations)