Dr. Jerry Hamm Early Learning Center (2023)
- Number of Students: 180
- Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: 82%
- Percent of Limited English Proficient: 26%
- Percent of Special Education: 8%
- White: 43%
- Black: 9%
- Hispanic: 20%
- Asian: 0%
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 1%
- American Indian or Alaska Native: 5%
- Multiracial: 22%
- Other: 0%
The ELC operated as a “Group” prior to the implementation of PLC’s. We quickly learned that more work was needed in the area of team building, trust, and collective commitment. This requires tough conversations and open minds. Our professionals allowed themselves to be vulnerable and were willing to bend instead of breaking under the pressure that this journey provided. Team building is crucial to the success of this process.
It was not always peaceful or comfortable, but we developed agreed upon norms as a group and have held ourselves to these standards in order to make the progress that our students deserve. At the end of each meeting the team reflects on the norms and holds each other accountable.
In order to ensure that everyone in the room had a voice we implemented talking sticks. At some point the sticks disappeared and it became more organic and authentic for everyone to participate. This happened as a result of one teacher asking what it would take to make the space safe for everyone to talk? The quieter individuals shared and the PLC adapted.
Collective Commitment- the kids are our kids. There is not a turf war or a mindset of your kids vs. my kids. The kids are all our kids. What might be working for one educator, may also work in another room. So it has been very helpful to share what works with peers. Some are more willing than others to share, but it has been observed that the ones who may have less confidence in their ideas, are now speaking up and sharing. When members remain quiet, or are hesitant to share, the group is reaching out to seek the input from all members. It takes all parts of a body to function.
Something that is unique to this group is that we are not serving one grade level, but multiple ages. We have children ages 3-5 across multiple early learning standards. We also have an infant toddler teacher sitting on this team who provides valuable insight in regards to toddlers who are transitioning to preschool. She works to align support so that the transition is smooth between infant/toddler and preschool classes for our children.
Social Emotional was the focus of our initial work with essential standards. We had a bit of a battle for anyone who was not a member of the preschool PLC, as the mindset was that essential standards needed to be focused on literacy and numeracy. Instead, this team stood their ground to focus on the Kansas Early Learning Standards which includes a foundational focus on social-emotional learning.
New members have been welcomed warmly. This has happened as a result of open-mindedness, voicing the struggles, working through the struggles, and increasing curiosity while decreasing judgment. This is a constant work in progress with much more growth to occur.
1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.
The process of creating a guaranteed and viable curriculum typically involves several steps, including:
Standards Alignment: Teachers and Building Leadership Team (BLT) review state and national standards to ensure that the curriculum is aligned with these standards.
Curriculum Mapping: Teachers work collaboratively to map out the scope and sequence of the curriculum. They identify the essential knowledge, skills, and concepts that students need to master before leaving preschool.
Resource Selection: Teachers select resources, such as textbooks, materials, and technology, that support the curriculum and help students meet the learning goals.
Instructional Design: Teachers design and develop lesson plans, activities, and assessments that align with the curriculum and help students achieve the learning goals.
Implementation: Teachers use the curriculum to guide instruction in the classroom.
To monitor student learning, we use a variety of strategies, including:
Formative Assessments: These are ongoing assessments that teachers use to monitor student progress and adjust instruction as needed. Examples include transition activities, exit tickets, and classroom discussions.
Summative Assessments: These are assessments that are given at the end of each quarter. Examples include report cards, essential standards as it follows scope and sequence, and MyIGDI literacy and numeracy assessments.
Data Analysis: Teachers and administrators analyze student data to identify areas where students may need additional support or enrichment.
Parent/Teacher Conferences: Teachers meet with students' families to discuss their progress, set goals, and provide feedback.
Professional Development: Teachers participate in professional development to learn new instructional strategies and techniques to better support student learning.
Overall, creating and implementing a guaranteed and viable curriculum and monitoring student learning is an ongoing process that requires collaboration and ongoing reflection, and adjustment to ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed. We are currently in the process of selecting a new curriculum.
2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.
Identify students who need intervention: We use various assessment tools and data to identify students who need additional support. This is done through regular check-ins, assessments, and monitoring of student progress.
Develop a plan for intervention: Once students have been identified, a plan is developed that outlines the interventions and extensions needed to support their learning. This may involve additional instruction, one-on-one intervention(s), or modifications to assignments and assessments. This also includes students who are above benchmark by providing content that continues to challenge them. According to the WSU annual data report: the ELC environment ranks among the highest in the state in growth for their highest performing students. What this tells us is that differentiation is occuring and students who are top preformers in their cohort continue to make progress rather than remaining stagnant.
Teacher Referral: Teacher puts in a request for observation of a student for additional support after utilizing Tier 1/Tier 2 interventions, and collecting data.
Student Intervention Team (SIT): The members go and observe the students to collect data and determine potential interventions that can be put in place for improvement purposes. Notes are taken during the meeting in order to review and provide effective interventions. These interventions and data will transition with students to kindergarten.
Monitor progress: Regular monitoring of progress is essential in ensuring that the intervention plan is effective. This can be done through regular assessments, check-ins with the SIT team, and feedback from teachers and parents.
Evaluate and adjust the plan: Based on the progress made, schools should evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention plan and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that students are receiving the support they need. The SIT team is an ongoing entity available at any time to teachers who need extra support/resources.
Overall, creating and implementing systems of intervention and extensions requires a collaborative effort between teachers, administrators, and support staff. By providing students with the additional time and support they need, schools can help them achieve academic success and reach their full potential.
3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.
Establishing a shared vision: Our PLC team starts by developing a shared vision of what we want for our students. This vision is typically centered on the belief that all students can learn and succeed, and it guides the team's efforts to identify and implement effective instructional practices.
Analyzing student data: Our team uses data to identify students who are struggling and determines the root causes of their difficulties. This information is used to develop targeted interventions and to adjust teaching strategies to meet the needs of all students. This correlates with our PLC and SIT team.
Collaborating on instructional planning: Our team works collaboratively to plan instruction, share ideas and resources, and develop assessments that measure student learning. We use this time to reflect on our teaching practices and to identify areas where we can improve.
Providing differentiated instruction: Our team recognizes that not all students learn in the same way or at the same pace. We use differentiated instruction to provide individualized support to students, tailoring our instruction to meet each of our student's needs.
Fostering a culture of continuous improvement: Our team is committed to ongoing learning and improvement. We regularly reflect on our practices, seek out new ideas and strategies, and engage in professional development opportunities to ensure that we are always growing and improving. To hold our team accountable, each teacher provides an intervention they used for each standard. Our four questions (What do students need to know and be able to do, How will we know if they learned it, what will we do if they haven't learned it, what will we do when they already know it?) guide decision making.
By focusing our efforts on these key areas, our collaborative team is able to improve student learning and help all students achieve their full potential.
Achievement Data Files
Additional Achievement Data
The ELC utilized Kansas Early Learning Standards and determined essential standards for Literacy, Numeracy, and Social Emotional Learning. The essential standards aligned with myIGDI (Individual Growth and Development Indicators) for literacy and numeracy common measures. DECA (Devereux Early Childhood Assessment) data provided a framework for teachers to determine social emotional standards and needs of students. Each week the team agreed upon the standard of focus and created a rubric to measure student success. Teachers reported student progress and determined if any class was below 75% mastery, there would be discussions to support further interventions. The team votes on whether or not to move on to a new standard or to continue supporting the current standard. Teachers reported out interventions that worked and it provided an opportunity for fresh ideas to help those who had some students who were struggling.
Standards of focus from the PLC showed tremendous growth and also supported the growth on the common measures for myIGDI literacy and numeracy.
During the meeting the teachers each take turns reporting their data concerning student results on the rubric as well as interventions used. This is a chance to hear other possible interventions for students who may still be struggling.
The team has also started asking the 4 questions at the end of each PLC meeting in order to allow teachers to reflect on progress, accountability to norms, and next steps needed to keep the work going.
To increase collective commitment and accountability the PLC created a “Fly on the wall” activity where lead teachers observed the classroom as a whole and took notes at a specific time in the room and provided feedback. Then this activity was flipped for an opportunity for the teacher assistants to do this activity.
Crucial Conversations have also occurred as needed. When data does not show progress then the team holds the members accountable. This is also a chance to partner other teachers to triangulate the data. This method can help when there are discrepancies to ensure that teachers are accurately reporting student progress and monitoring as expected.
The process of all lead preschool teachers attending the PLC occurs as a result of the building working together to provide coverage so ratio is honored. It is a combined effort to ensure that collective commitment happens continuously.
In relationship to how data and the population compares to the state: WSU (Wichita State University) is doing a longitudinal study on the program and said, “The Dr. Jerry Hamm Early Learning Center of Coffeyville has one of the most diverse populations, the third lowest average family income, parents with the least education and the greatest percentage of gains compared to other sites in the longitudinal study. The scores were above the statewide ECBG averages with significant improvement over the school year.” Dr. Lynn Schrepferman, PhD WSU Senior Research Scientist.
Also indicated in the WSU longitudinal study, 93% of students at the ELC fall within an at-risk category (greater than state average) therefore inclusive and equitable practices are considered in all decision making including programming and data collection.
2017 Magna Awards-
Certificate of Honorable Mention
Coffeyville Public Schools USD 445
2022-2023 Horizon Teacher of the Year
Mrs. Delany Russell
2022 Social Emotional Star Recognition
2022 Kindergarten Readiness Star Recognition