Alton Elementary School (2023)

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


Our journey into the PLC process was a start, stop and start approach. In the summer of 2019, a small team from Alton Elementary went to see this "PLC thing" at the PLC Institute in San Antonio, Texas. After hearing from Mike Mattos, Tim Brown, Anthony Muhammad, and Luis Cruz, we returned energized and ready to fast the new school. 

However, we did not fully jump into the PLC waters. While we created a campus Mission and Vision, we stopped there and did not look at the Collective Commitments or SMART goals for the campus. We knew the importance of collaborations, but we had yet to develop more time in the master schedule for teachers to focus on essential standards and assessment data. We had our belief in what we needed to do but stopped taking action in other areas. Then the unthinkable happened, COVID. With the onset of COVID, the PLC process took a back step on our campus.

Then in 2021-2022, Alton Elementary took another team to the PLC Institute. Once again, after hearing from the great speakers, we returned more committed than before. We updated our mission and vision while agreeing on collective commitments that we would live daily at Alton. We looked closer at our interventions to see how effective they were. In addition, we included a "Collaborative" time in our master schedule that would allow teachers to collaborate beyond their regular conference time. A change could be felt and seen in how we approached supporting ALL of our students to succeed. Yet, we still needed the development of essential standards and common formative assessments. Our leadership team was not yet a Guiding Coalition. We were still far from being an actual PLC school but were beginning to head in the right direction. 

In 2022-2023, after attending the PLC institute in November, Alton Elementary took a huge leap into the PLC process. We reviewed our mission, vision, and collective commitments at the beginning of the year, but we then began to discuss each during our faculty meetings to provide clarity for the staff. Our school district took more of an innovative to focus on essential standards at each grade level. Our grade-level teams then took those essential standards and collaborated on the best ways to help those students learn these standards. Collaborative times focused more on answering the four critical questions than writing lesson plans for the next day. Our teacher leader team became a Guiding Coalition focused on helping Alton become an actual PLC campus. In order to best support this change, the Guiding Coalition came up with a mission and vision for the committee. 

  • The coalition's mission: The purpose of the Guiding Coalition is to model, promote, and encourage Alton's culture with the PLC process. 
  • Our coalition's vision: We will set the example of home to interact with each other, students, EVERYONE - ALL means ALL. We will be the gatekeepers of the school culture and lead by example. We set the expectations and live the values, beliefs, mission, and vision of our school to ONLY positively affect the climate and culture. 

The Guiding Coalition has taken on the task of living out this mission and vision. In addition, the coalition has committed to providing clarity to our teams in the PLC process. Through this, we have focused our collaboration with the campus on the Big Three: Focus on learning, collaborative culture, and focus on results. Our faculty meetings have allowed our teachers to share and reflect on what one would see and hear on a campus that is focused on the PLC Big Three. 

With the new focus from our Guiding Coalition and our district's support of Essential Standards, we also have begun to work on creating better Common Formative Assessments. Our school district brought in Brandon Jones to help lead this focus on creating common formative assessments and using the data from the assessments to take action for our students' benefit.

The PLC process has allowed the staff at Alton Elementary to understand that we, as educators, must be committed to our students' learning. We remind ourselves for the benefit of our children that we cannot buy into the PLC process. We have to be committed and develop a system and school culture that will guarantee high levels of learning for all students. 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Brenham ISD has been committed to empowering teachers to help develop a curriculum that teachers follow in the district. However, at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, the school district pursued the PLC process in which teachers created a guaranteed and viable curriculum.
Selected teachers at Alton Elementary were given days during the summer to work with other teachers across the school district to identify Essential Standards at each content area in each grade level.
We continued the focus on identifying Essential Standards at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year as a school district. Once the Essential Standards and the Nice to Know were identified, the grade-level teams at Alton Elementary began collaborating on ways to present these Essentials.
At Alton, we have created a school culture in which we understand that our students' success can only happen through continuous collaboration. To foster this collaboration and present a guaranteed viable curriculum, we built in a 90-minute "Collaborative" once a week for each grade level team. During this time, teachers look over the Essential Standards, create common formative assessments, and review data to help drive instruction.
In the summer of 2022, Brandon Jones, consultant of Solution Tree, presented professional development on using Common Formative Assessments. This knowledge only increased our awareness of the importance of common formative assessments to make sure that we focus more on what specific Essential Standards mean and what mastery these standards should look like.
The use of common formative and summative assessments has allowed grade levels to create interventions for students who did not master the Essential Standards while providing extensions for those that mastered the standards. Each grade level has a 30-minute intervention built into its schedule, allowing students to receive services based on their needs. Also, small group times are shared with support teams to enable students to receive additional support if needed.
We have also found that teachers also learn during our Collaboratives. The ongoing discussion on helping our students grow has also allowed our teachers to learn and implement new teaching practices that have shown success. Teachers are constantly sharing ideas on ways we can grow all of our students at Alton.
Our mission is to positively inspire and engage ALL of our students and each other; to grow personally and academically by building solid core values and a high-level educational foundation. Our teachers have committed to achieving this daily mission by presenting a guaranteed and viable curriculum focusing on student learning.

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

Again, our master schedule provides a 30-minute block for students to receive interventions or extensions.

The majority of the grade levels will review a common formative assessment that focuses on Essential Standards. Students are placed in groups based on their performance. Students stay with this group until the teachers feel the student is ready to move on or the following common formative or summative assessment is given.

Our Collaboratives often focus on the progress of students and how groups should be formed after each formative assessment.
Also, small group times are shared in the Master Schedule so that teachers and support teachers can see when to work with students needing additional support. Small group times do not interfere with students getting instruction from teachers on Essential Standards.

Support teachers or tutors will work with students needing Tier 3 support. The support teachers and tutors follow through with progress monitoring. Students can be dismissed or added based on the data provided by progress monitoring.

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

Our mission is to positively inspire and engage ALL of our students and each other; to grow personally and academically by building solid core values and a high-level educational foundation. For ALL of our students to learn at high-level, the staff is committed to the following:

  • We are developing a culture of collaboration. We understand that our student success can only happen through continuous collaboration with each other. To foster this collaboration, we have built a 90-minute "Collaborative" once a week for each grade level team. During this time, teachers look over data and share best practices. In addition, the conversations focus on why students are or are not learning Essential Standards. Each grade level team creates agendas to help drive focus. Teams create jobs or responsibilities to help teams stick with collaborating rather than co-blaborating. We are working on ensuring that we implement the action discussed in Collaborative to live our mission that students will receive a high-level educational foundation. 
  • Focus on Essential Standards. Our district's Curriculum Design Team has determined Essential Standards for each grade level. The grade-level team collaborates on the best ways to have the students show mastery of these standards or why some students struggle to learn these standards. Formative assessment data is used to determine which direction teachers need to lead their children to high levels of learning. In addition, teachers can use the data to help them learn which best practices worked and which did not. While we are still developing quality common formative assessments and analyzing the results, campus collaboration has allowed teams to focus more on what specific essential standards mean and what mastery of these standards should look like. 
  • A commitment to growth. Our vision is to have our students contribute positively to society, so we are committed to growing responsible, resourceful critical thinkers and showing compassion for ALL. This commitment is developed and grown through our campus culture. The campus has created and agreed upon our Collective Commitments (See Attachment), and we have been committed to growing our kids and ourselves. These actions include but are not limited to the following:
    • A focus on clarity in the PLC process through consistent communication.
    • Being honest and open in collaboration includes sharing our struggles with Essential Standards or best practices working in our classroom.
    • A focus on learning for ALL students and educators. 
    • An understanding that to help ALL students, ALL staff must make that commitment. 

The educators at Alton Elementary have gone tremendously through our journey in the PLC process. Likewise, our students have shown growth because of the commitment we have taken as a team. We know that the journey to helping ALL students learn at a high level will be continuous, but the PLC process has allowed us to focus and learn together as a campus what is best for our children and us. 

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

Overall Alton's MAP Scores for Three Consecutive Years - The first page shows how Alton Elementary did on the MAP Growth tests compared to the school district in Reading and Mathematics. The second page summarizes how each subgroup performed and compares it to the school district's scores. 

Alton Elementary State Assessment 3 Year Data - A breakdown of STAAR assessment scores broke down for 2018-2019, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022, bu=y subgroups. Scores for 2022-2023 will be uploaded af state shares projects in the Fall of 2023.

2022-2023 Overall STAAR Results - A breakdown of our overall STAAR scores compared to the state, region (ESC), and district. The state will share the final results in the Fall of 2023. 

Beginning & End of Year MAP Data for 2022-2023
Brenham ISD uses the MAP Growth Universal Screen to monitor student growth in reading and mathematics.

  • The first page summarizes each grade level in reading and mathematics. Data shows how the campus did at the beginning of the year vs. the end of the year for 2021-2022 and 2022-2023.
  • The second page shows a breakdown of each subgroup for Alton when comparing the beginning of the year (Fall 2022) vs. the end of the year performance (Spring 2023).
  • The third and fourth pages contain 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 data on the percentage of students scoring Less than the 40th percentile vs. those scoring at the 61st and above percentile. The comparison also shows how Alton Elementary did compare to the school district.

First Recognized school on State Standards Tests for Brenham ISD