Lorenzo de Zavala Middle School (2023)

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

In the 2019-2020 school year, Lorenzo de Zavala Middle School teachers had already begun their journey with Professional Learning Communities. In this school year, we welcomed a new principal midyear, and we, unfortunately, did not return to in-person school after Spring Break.   Although our collaborative teams were holding team time virtually after Spring Break and into the 2020-2021 school year, the solid foundation previously built in the PLC at Work process allowed the teams to continue to focus on the three big ideas and to answer the four questions of PLC. Also in place was a structured intervention and enrichment plan for Math and Reading.  This plan focused on students meeting individualized progress goals.  


In 2020-2021, we focused a great deal of time addressing the concerns of the staff and students of campus.  We had both online and in-person learning with teachers having to balance teaching both simultaneously.  After being online for the first six weeks, the campus started the second six weeks with about 50% of students online and 50% of the students in-person.  We intentionally recruited students to return to students who seemed to be struggling with online learning.  We focused on mastery of essential standards within our “new normal”.  While we did not perform at pre-pandemic levels, as a campus, we still outperformed the other middle schools in Irving ISD.


In 2021-2022, we began to use artifact protocols to bring increased focus on student work.  We also participated in Effective Schools Framework.  This process provides a clear vision to campuses to ensure excellence in education.  It pairs well with the PLC at Work process.  In that, the collaborative teams work together to implement the best practices of the Effective Schools Framework, such as effective instruction and high-quality instructional materials.


1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

 De Zavala teachers design instruction based on the Irving ISD curriculum, which is driven by the determined essential standard TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills). In conjunction with the curriculum, teachers utilize a data driven approach when collectively creating differentiated lessons. During the summer our Guiding Coalition, made up of  PLC leads, instructional specialists and administrators, were trained on how to facilitate PLC conversations that are both data driven and based on essential standards. The team developed a protocol for creating and analyzing TEK based common formative assessments. After the analysis of the common formative assessment, an action plan is created to create instructional intervention or enrichment. The teachers utilize a data tracker to monitor the progress that the students make. The action plan that follows the analysis of the common formative assessment ensures that every student has the opportunity to access the curriculum in a way that meets each of their needs.

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

 De Zavala has a systematic process for supporting learning for all students as collaborative teams and a campus.  Every faculty member participates in the intervention and enrichment program.  We develop our coteach schedule to support the students as they receive additional time and support for learning.  Additionally, we guarantee that students have access to grade level curriculum.  

We “pause for the cause” once per week in all Math and Reading classrooms.  Every student receives 65 minutes of intervention or enrichment.  We target students by standard and cause.  Student grouping is fluid.  Their needs are based on their mastery of standards.  They remain in intervention only as long as it will benefit them for that specific standard.  

Further, we use multiple data points with the main data points being a universal screener, MAP, and our identified essential standards.  We also have a data driven protocol at least twice per six weeks during collaborative team time to assist in identifying specific gaps to address in intervention.  By using a teacher exemplar and student samples, we are able to identify the highest leverage area of gaps for learning.  Further we progress monitor our specific standards and causes.


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


De Zavala is built around a culture of collaboration.  It is part of our climate and culture. Collective commitments are established and they enhance the effectiveness of teams. These collective commitments are revisited on a regular basis. Discussion and modeling during the collaborative teams leads to improved pedagogy and instructional practices. Teachers are continually learning and growing because of the conversations they have with their teams. 

Further, instructional leaders and team leads meet as a guiding coalition.  Our focus this year is building leadership skills and capacity in our leaders.  By focusing on these skills, we can have better conversations in collaborative time which results in better instruction.  Better instruction results in improved student learning.

The right work is continually clarified.  By right work, we measure the progress towards essential standards student by student.  Over the past three years, we have had an evolution of our data analysis.  First, we established having regular data conversations on summative and district assessments.  Second, we developed a systematic way to organize the data in order to elevate our data conversations.  This year, we are developing teacher exemplars prior to administering an assessment.  After the assessment, we compare student samples to the teacher exemplar to identify gaps.  We use these gaps to create interventions and enrichments and create groups student-by-student.


Achievement Data Files

5 or more state distinctions each year for the last 5 years

Near perfect rating on the Effective School Frame Work's Transition Improvement Plan (TIP)

Certified AVID Campus