Scott Johnson Elementary

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

Our commitment to the PLC process began at Scott Johnson Elementary approximately 4 years ago. Although we had a positive school climate and steady teachers, we found ourselves as an “Improvement Required” campus seeking routines that would help us to grow and collaborate better together for the growth of our students. 

This is really where our work began in the PLC process. Our Solution Tree coach helped to guide our leadership team in developing our tight and loose criteria as a campus. As a result of that guidance,a successful framework for what a model PLC should look like began to emerge. For the first year, that was a bulk of the work for our teachers and staff. This was a large undertaking as it shifted the whole campus approach to planning successfully for individual student growth both academically and behaviorally for our students. Prior to year one, we had PBIS put into place, however, we began to fine tune our expectations for positive behavior intervention to assist in the growth we were trying to make academically. At the end of year one, Scott Johnson felt successful that we had established a set time each week that was protected and that had a focus on the four guiding PLC questions that would continue to lead the work as we went into year two of our practice.

For our second year in the PLC process, we had begun to turn our mindset from compliance to hunger in regards to planning. Teachers began to truly collaborate as teams/departments to start intervening in the student learning process. Teachers received more professional learning in the RtI process in order to provide intentional intervention that was researched based as they worked with students in more targeted small group settings. This year was also our second year to have Instructional Coaches for both RLA and Mathematics that were assigned to Scott Johnson specifically. With the coaches’ guidance, teams began to own their work as they developed lessons that circled through the lesson cycle. The leadership team grew into a Guiding Coalition team that included admin, instructional coaches, teacher leaders, and campus representatives for Specials classes. With this growth, the ILT team was able to take collaborative feedback and discuss the implementation of the planning forward protocol in their weekly meetings. During this year, we also were hit with the COVID pandemic and were only with our students for a portion of the school year. We were unable to state assess our students this year, however, as a campus, our teachers created an assessment that would be given to our students at the start of the next school year to help gather a baseline of where our students were in their learning path while missing so much face-to-face instruction.

In between year two and three, Instructional Coaches and teacher leaders across the district in each of the elementary campuses, met to establish essential standards and start their work in the four critical questions for the next school year. With Scott Johnson having the highest attendance at this professional learning time, significant progress and input into unit planning was invaluable to the start of the new school year. We were faced with new challenges with an online learning  platform for the start of this year, however, teams managed to collaborate and support each other and successfully field the planning that needed to take place as it looked different than ever before. With our Solution Tree coach, we continued to fine tune our planning forward protocol and teams began to own their role, grow, and embrace the PLC process. 

As the start of year four in the PLC process began, our teachers and staff were pumped to get the work started again as they hit the ground running. Our campus goals centered around closing student achievement gaps, increasing student reading levels, and moving our campus accountability out of “improvement required” status. With a brand new leadership team for this campus and a new Solution Tree coach, we felt it was a priority to bring our students into the PLC process as well. This was established by first meeting with the Guiding Coalition for campus input and then taken to teams for implementation with students. We wanted our students to set their own academic learning goals, be accountable for their own learning, and be a partner in their own growth. We were pleasantly surprised at how receptive the students were in this process from grades K-4 in all content areas. By the end of the year, student conversations with their teachers and peers were targeted, meaningful, and impactful in each students’ learning path. Each student was able to track their own learning growth from formative and summative assessments, adjust their goals, and speak to their own data. Also in the start of the year, the Instructional Coaches helped each team to understand what a learning progression looked like for their grade level essential standards and how their data protocol plays into the lesson cycle. As the year continued, teams craved breaking down their skills and started each planning forward session with unpacking their skills while building learning progressions and determining proficiency levels. In earlier years of our PLC process, Scott Johnson learned how to disaggregate data, however, this year the process as a whole, became more of a focus. Teams understood that there is more to the protocol than just disaggregating the data and that it has to impact the instructional planning part of student growth. With the help of the campus Instructional Coaches, teams/teachers became intentional about how and when they looked at their student data. Teachers learned how to use the data to develop instructional strategies that helped all students and lead small group instructional decisions, strategies, and student groupings. Campus level intervention was built into the master schedule in year one, however, teachers really started to grasp/understand the value of sharing students and utilize each of their strengths during this intervention time.

To continue to facilitate campus improvement and our positive campus culture, our PBIS team continues to grow as they meet regularly to support each team and student at SJE. While we continue to be tight on protocols, the PBIS team seamlessly works to train the staff in more intentional support in the classroom. As a result, we have more students receiving positive referrals yearly than we do regular office referrals and that has continued to contribute to our overall growth performance both academically and behaviorally.

 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

SJE has been far ahead of the curve when it comes to monitoring student learning. When we, as a district, started this process of creating and implementing a guaranteed and viable curriculum, it started with getting teacher input. SJE had the most teachers not only willing to help make this a reality, they also showed up every day in order to make sure we were on target with what we wanted our students to learn. With the recommendation of Essential Standards from the coaches, and the feedback from the teachers, each year we continue to work to make sure they are getting what they need to be successful. This has been a process that started several years ago, and we continue to work at the district level as well as teacher level to make it not only easy to access, but also provide the resources in order to make it viable. While academics are the focus for guaranteeing a viable curriculum, we also focus on making sure that all students are equipped with the behaviors that go along with these. Having a School-Wide Behavior Expectations Rotation a few times a year, helps them continuously think about what behavior they should be striving for in all areas of our school.

Our school has a data expert on our campus to help us not only run data in different ways, but to also disaggregate it in ways that will give us the biggest return while helping teachers to build their own capacity for their own data. We have data protocols in place that evolved from including agendas and lesson plans to including the entire lesson development and adjustments. Our focus on goal setting for the past couple of years has helped the students not only know if they met their goals, but also what they need to do to meet them. Our teachers unpack every essential standard every time it comes up and make sure they discuss what proficiency of that standard looks like. They place students in groups based on learning targets and decide where they “fell off the ladder”. These discussions happen weekly and data discussions average 1-2 days after the assessment. We make sure every time we collect data, we use it to guide our lessons, groups, huddle, etc. We adjust our instruction based on the data and there is no wasted time.

 

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

At SJE, we have built a master schedule to support intentional intervention for every student, every day during Huddle time. During planning when teachers are completing their data protocol, they discuss the students that need more focused instruction on specific essential skills. Because of this process, teachers use this built-in intervention time to work with those students. Also during this time, students will work individually or in small groups to address needed time on skills and/or enrichment. Our teams, at various times in the year, will take a week to enrich every student no matter how their data may fall at that time and have a “Fun Friday” that is aligned to the Support Standards as well as Essential Standards for that unit. By doing this, teams have found renewed interest and better focus when pulling students for intentional work on skills along with increased assessment scores.    

For students that need just a little bit more intentional focus outside of the time built into the master schedule, we have an option for them as an after school tutorial to grow their essential skills through a program called Power Hour. Teachers of all grades participate to grow students. This helps to also allow students to hear material from another perspective. 

Last year, our campus took on a couple of new systems to intervene with students for success. First, we implemented a Big Hornet, Little Hornet program that promoted students learning from other students and supporting them in any and all things SJE. That means they were not only role models for each other, but they also helped to work with each other in fluency, sight words, reading, problem solving, and many other things. Buddies have the option to work with each other throughout the week, however, Friday is the dedicated time to collaborate. Also last year, we worked to incorporate student goal setting into our classrooms. This was a K-4 initiative and it quickly became so much more. Students found that they did not have to wait for their summative assessment data results to know their progress and then to do something about it. Students have learned to develop this skill further by setting SMART goals for their units and then using their CFA data as check points for their overall goal. Because of this process, teachers started using progress monitoring sheets with each of their students to track the learning of each students’ essential skills proficiency.

RtI has always been a component of the learning process for our students. We strive to reach all of our students at Tier I high quality instruction. We meet as a RtI committee regularly and address instruction along with behavior concerns. These students may receive additional time with a content specialist and/or Instructional Assistant on campus to have the opportunity to grow instructionally. For behavior, SJE has a positive referral program that students strive to reach with consistent Be Safe, Be Responsible, and Be Respectful choices.

 

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

“SJE is the BEST Place to be!” Students and teachers live by this motto in all things at Scott Johnson Elementary. As a campus, teachers reserve Wednesday afternoons to collaborate in four key areas to build their own capacity to better improve their campus, teams, and classrooms. These areas include Staff, Guiding Coalition, Teacher Committee, and the PBIS team meetings. Each of these collaborative groups provides time to collaborate on a different level for student success at SJE. We also believe in teachers teaching other teachers. This applies for any level of teacher whether they are a first year or veteran. Teachers that attend a professional learning session and/or do research on their own are given the opportunity to teach their peers. As a result of this practice, teachers take the time to observe their peers while in the instructional setting. During planning time, teams discuss their data as they fill out their data protocol documents and the strategies that were used for highest leverage of success. Teachers are then given the opportunity to watch their peers implement the strategies that they need to grow. Our teachers do not need the directive for this to occur. The campus Instructional Coaches help to plan/facilitate this experience for the teams. 

Each new teacher at SJE not only has their team to support them as they grow as an educator, but they also have an assigned mentor teacher and are part of a new teacher committee. Each of these scaffolded supports, allows for new teachers to learn how to best serve their students while becoming more experienced educators. At SJE, our new teachers feel supported and choose to stay at SJE.

Grade level teams are given two times a week, if they are departmentalized, and three times a week, if they are self-contained, to plan their upcoming lessons and/or plan forward in their year. We find that teams meet outside these times to continue to address the ongoing four PLC questions. This time may be other days in the week and/or after school, however, no matter how often teams meet to plan the best high-quality first time instructional tasks for their students, the teachers are always the ones leading the conversations and running their meetings. Instructional Coaches help to facilitate conversation and provide resources during these times. During team planning, teachers own their data as an individual and grade level. Collaborative teams then have conversations to know where each student is in their learning and where they need to go. To have these conversations, teams will use data reports of the grade level as a whole, CFA data that each teacher has gathered for their class, Essential Standard progress monitoring sheets for each student, and their data protocol document. All of which, when used in team planning time, have a profound impact on student learning.

 

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

At Scott Johnson Elementary since the start of our professional learning communities work, our grade level teams collaborate on assessment data. At the start of this work, teams were at the beginning stages of understanding the importance of Backwards design and the impact that it has on the learning cycle. In addition to that, the teams were disaggregating data for their classroom, but not as much as a team. As we have continued the work, teams now strive to plan forward at least once a week. In the planning forward process, teams unpack their essential standards, create their unit map, and create their unit assessment. Before planning their first day of instruction, they take their unit assessment together in order to vet out any concerns and/or create their unit CFA questions. After the students take their unit assessment, the team will then disaggregate the data as a grade level and class using their data protocol to determine proper intervention/enrichment for each student. Teams also work to share their students during their Huddle time each day to meet the needs of each student. Because of this process, students continue to show growth each year.

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