Deer Creek 4th and 5th Grade Center (2022)

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


Deer Creek 4th and 5th Grade Center opened at quite a unique time in 2020. At the heart of the pandemic, our school opening as a brand-new building in a district that is growing exponentially each year, we had several challenges before us and several things that were not within our control. What was within our control was how we laid a foundation for what our goals were moving forward. In a time when our teachers could have sat back and done the minimum, they chose to show up and focus on the PLC process, focusing on our instructional cycle and the 4 essential questions. We put our heads down and worked hard!

We established our DC45 mission of having a safe, supportive, and collaborative culture through our vision of cultivating effective relationships schoolwide and throughout the community, establishing and maintaining collective ownership focused on ALL students’ growth and success, and sustaining an unwavering belief in the ability of ALL students.

Through this vision and mission, we started year one laying the foundation for professional learning communities because that is something we had control over! Bringing together 5 elementary schools and one intermediate school presented itself to be very tricky! We assessed where we had been, established short- and long-term goals, and collaborated by grade level teams and content teams on how we were going to get there. We established norms, reflected on our priority standards and curriculum maps, created a safe and collaborative culture, a guaranteed and viable curriculum, built relationships with one another, and took our goals in chunks, just like we do with our students! We began to slowly chip away at the adjustments that we needed to make based off of what the data was telling us.

Year two, we really got to work on updating our curriculum maps, focusing on priority standards, establishing routines for data collection and response to intervention; because finally we had all of our students in school in order to intervene and enrich! We spent our professional development days making adjustments, sifting through data, having critical conversations about assessments and levels of questioning, discussed standards-based grading practices to ensure we were implementing with fidelity. Our teachers came together during our Content Days in the spring to continue the work after we had spent the year reflecting on the changes that we, collectively as a new staff, wanted to make together. We began re-writing assessments, moving priority standards, and aligning both vertically and cross curricular to ensure that students were going to get the same support across the board, circling back to our mission of collective ownership.

Year two we also laid a foundation for what we call Expeditions. Expeditions refers to our time for Response to Intervention. As a national park themed school, it seemed only fitting that on Wednesdays every student has the opportunity to go on an Expedition to get what they need!

Year three, we have this down! Our teachers input their data into what we call “the master spreadsheet” where everyone has access to everyone’s data for their pieces of evidence and data points. From there, our Expedition groups are established. We provide no new instruction on Wednesdays because everybody needs an opportunity to be re-taught, receive an intervention, or be provided an opportunity for enrichment; to move beyond mastery of the standard. Our students use their data trackers to track their own progress every Wednesday morning before they transition for the day.

We’ve accomplished a lot in a very short amount of time. We will continue to grow over time, attending PLC conference and RtI at Work, revisiting and revising our norms as we gain new colleagues, and continuing to focus on what the data is telling us. We can always improve our practice! In some ways, I’m thankful that our first year all we could do was lay a foundation, establish our norms, ensure we were working through the PLC process and our instructional cycle with fidelity and holding one another accountable, we focused on what we could control and eliminated all the extra. It has laid the groundwork for some really fabulous things in our building, most significantly the growth of our students.

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Having been certified as a High Reliability School Levels 1, 2, and 3 in the 2020 and 2021 school years, we continue to focus on having a guaranteed and vialbe curriculum in each content area. Our curriculum maps, pacing guides, and common assessments adhere to our state standards. Over time we have reflected on what is working, how priority standards can be updated, how we are looking at and grading our assessments, and responding to questions 3 and 4. We have adjusted our master schedule to ensure that teachers have an adequate amount of time to appropriately address the priority standards in their classroom ensuring that our Tier I instruction is strong. Each year we have utilized our professional development time/days to reflect on what has worked/needs adjustment. We use that information from our reflection sheets to guide our conversation on our content days in the spring, in preparation for the next school year. We update resources, update our assessments based on data, adjust our pacing, and set goals from the previous years data. We do this vertically, as well, to align with the grades below and the grades above. 

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

We have added in a "no new instruction day" on Wednesdays, to ensure our Tier II interventions are able to be done strategically, while also providing time for our students who have demonstrated mastery on the standard have an opportunity for enrichment. We monitor this progress through our "Master Data Spreadsheet" where every teacher has access to all students iStation scores, common assessment data, and progress monitoring. We can monitor growth as a grade level and as individual teachers. This allows us to have rich discussion about teaching strategies that are working and how we can reflect and improve our practice, providing opportunities for professional development if needed. We reflect on our data every Wednesday morning during our content PLC/data meetings. Our students also spend the first 30 minutes of the school day on Wednesday's tracking their own progress in their individual data trackers. We have also reflected on previous years data to establish goals in regard to overall student achievement for our site, specifically. As mentioned, data is regularly analyzed, interpreted, and used to monitor our students growth from pre-assessments to mid and post assessments. Students know what their priority standards are and during Expeditions students know what is needed in order to obtain mastery at the next level. 

During Expeditions, grade level teams work together to provide opportunities for intervention and enrichment. For example, a 5th grade team of 5 will all do Reading Expeditions first, each member of the team will take a group; the science teacher may take the Level 4's and provide enrichment, while the reading and writing teacher's are taking the level 1's and 2's to provide targeted interventions for students needing additional support. This is happening in each grade level team school-wide and is referred to as Expeditions - since our school is national park themed! Every child has an Expedition to go on!

Additionally, our reading and math student support teachers provide Tier III interventions weekly to students who lack foundational knowledge and have a learning gap. These times do not interfere with the Tier I and Tier II supports that students are provided, as students still need to be exposed to the grade level standards.

Our gifted students are also provided time to be enriched with our Gifted Gathering! Students meet to collaborate every other week on a regular schedule. 

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

Our leadership team worked this summer, after attending the PLC Institute as a group, on re-establishing our focus on the PLC at Work process. We worked together for several days to talk about our strengths and areas of growth and what things we could be "tight" and "loose" on. We streamlined our data conversations during our Wednesday late start discussions and collaboration. 

Each content in both grade levels is represented on our leadership team. We trained each team member so that they could take back to their content teams the goals and focus of our PLC process. Each group worked to establish norms, agendas, and roles; updating them from the previous years. Content team discussions are guided by what the data is telling us, focusing on the instructional cycle and how we will respond. Through this process and collecting data through our walk throughs we have established the areas that we need additional professional development and guidance through our Tuesday PD sessions. 

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

Deer Creek 4th and 5th Grade Center is in its 3rd year of being open! The state of Oklahoma did not release state level data for the 2021 school year because of Covid, therefore those boxes are blank. 

High Reliability Schools Certified in Levels 1, 2, and 3

  • Safe and Collaborative Culture (2020)
  • Effective Teaching in Every Classroom (2021)
  • Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum (2021)