Southmore Intermediate (2023)

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

During the 2017 - 2018 school year a group of Southmore educators and campus administration attended a Solution Tree PLC conference and knew we needed to return to the campus and share what we had discovered. We began as a campus introducing the faculty and staff to the process and transitioned our entire faculty and staff into a professional learning community. Our main goal was to provide all students with what they needed personally and individually so they could achieve at high levels, and our teachers together as a team impact their learners in a highly effective manner using the PLC planning process.

Southmore Stakeholders developed a plan to meet the needs of the 21st century workforce. The process began with bringing awareness to the faculty, staff, and students about Southmore’s trending data that was flat lining in the areas of Reading and Math. Our population would make adequate progress each year but was failing to meet the achievement levels. All stakeholders saw the issue and quickly understood the urgency regarding the need for change.  The process began with the implementation of Professional Learning Communities.  In 2017, Southmore stakeholders focused their work on a guaranteed, viable, and coherent curriculum based on the State Standards and the Southmore identified  Essential Standards (TEKS Standards). Beginning in 2017, Southmore embraced the concept of personalized learning in education; the goal is to provide each student with a personalized education using various digital methods. These three initiatives are an ongoing process for Southmore and are at the heart of our mission and vision statements. The Framework for facilitating the Professional Learning Community (PLC) is a reference for SMI stakeholders as they implement PLCs.

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

1.       PLC collaborative teams will meet twice a week to discuss and reflect on current practices and to analyze student data.

2.       Each PLC collaborative team will identify a PLC facilitator, responsible for creating weekly agendas, facilitating discussions and submitting the proper forms to the administrative team. Administrative team and core coaches attend PLC’s.

3.       Each PLC collaborative team’s minutes, curriculum focus areas, and feedback will be kept using the Google Apps document and running agenda.

4.       Each PLC collaborative team will create quality Common Formative Assessments (CFAs) and submit two annually to their school administration for feedback. Refer to assessments, PFA’s, and AFA’s.

5.       Norms will be reviewed for optimum engagement of all stakeholders.

6.       Adjust the teams plans based on the following PLC driven questions that correlate with the 3 stages in Understanding by Design:

  • What will students know, understand, and be able to do? (Stage 1)
  • How will we know they are learning it? (Stage 2)
  • What teaching and learning experiences will we provide? (Stage 3)
  • What will we do when students already know it? (Stage 3)
  • What will we do if they don’t know it? (Stage 3)
  • What teaching and learning experiences were effective? (Stage 3)           
  • What worked? What didn’t work? How do we know? (Stage 3)

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

Our core content teachers meet in Department Collaborative Teams twice a week to plan using the PLC questions that correlate with the 3 stages in Understanding by Design. 

One meeting each week is led by the campus coach and administrator, and one meeting each week is led by the team lead facilitator, a teacher selected on each team.  Each Department Collaborative Team’s agendas, minutes, and curriculum documents are kept collaboratively using Google Drive. Our teams create norms for optimum engagement, and review these norms throughout the year.

Our Department Collaborative Teams work together to plan their projects using a Backwards Planning Protocol. We begin by discussing the final products and rubrics in order to plan for instruction that reaches these goals. As our teams plan, they anticipate areas in which students may need additional support and prepare scaffolds to address these needs. Our project checkpoints serve as common formative assessments, and we use this student work and data to adjust instruction and provide student feedback. Teams also discuss Focus Area data in order to provide students with additional academic and study skill workshops. Teams create and assign additional CFAs to monitor students’ learning of the TEKs.

As we work through projects and focus areas, our Department Collaborative teams track and analyze their data. Each week, teams use this data to adjust instruction, provide scaffolds and tutorials, and provide enrichment opportunities. During these meetings, we celebrate success and discuss how we can continue to build on this success.

SMI provides In-School Planned Intervention and a mentoring and goal setting period during homeroom. At SMI, our HR/3rd period provides students with an opportunity to learn the Habits of Success through HR lessons, participate in GLT tutorial drafts to receive support and enrichment in their core classes, and practice their self-direction skills with Self-Directed Learning time. In addition, SMI offers Tier III support in a reading and math. We have developed the offerings based on student needs and the Multiple Tiered Systems of Support allow our teachers to impact the students progress and achievement.


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

Southmore Intermediates Working Definition of Professional Learning Community (PLC) is defined as an ongoing, systematic process in which educators work together interdependently to analyze and impact their professional practice in order to achieve better results for their students, their team, and their school. Professional learning communities operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous job-embedded learning for educators (Dufour, Dufour, Eaker, & Many).

As a campus family, Southmore revisited the campus's core values, culture of the campus, beliefs we all have about creating an environment in which we believe all students can learn and understand individually how important it is to share with students the belief we have in them and their abilities to be successful. Southmore believes in the following:

1. Educating the whole child.

2. Personalizing the education and instructional programming for all students so they may find success and celebrate their progress along the learning path (Personalized Learning with the Summit Platform).

3. Southmore Intermediate faculty, staff, and students have made it a priority to establish, design, and build caring and respectful relationships in order to influence student success. All homeroom teachers serve as mentors to their HR students and meet with each student bi-weekly to discuss personal and academic growth.

4. The entire Southmore family supports a safe, supportive, motivating, and inviting learning environment through our whole child approach.

5. Southmore believes in creating a consistent, structured, positive learning environment using the CHAMPS Classroom Management system. Expectations are taught and reinforced throughout the school year.

6. The Southmore family understands and supports a strong parent and community partnership.

7. Southmore faculty and staff work in a data rich environment that is supported by the PLC process, MAP growth measures that are conducted 3 times a year, PL platform data (4 core live data, PFA, AFA’s, mentoring sessions, checkpoints, projects, STAAR mock, STAAR Mock, STAAR, EOC Algebra 1, and etc.).

8. Southmore is strategically focused on the growth of all populations served at our campus. Achieving success and educational excellence is a non – negotiable at Southmore Intermediate.

9. Southmore faculty and staff are focused on both the academic needs as well as, the 21st century workforce needs students must possess in order to work in a globally competitive environment (K – 12 Portrait of a Graduate and Habits of Success resources).


1. Because of our continued work in the PLC collaborative Teams, Southmore Intermediate received an overall "B" TEA accountability rating based on students growth and progress on state STAAR assessment for 2021. In addition, Southmore scored an overall grade of 86 and received two distinctions in the areas of:

  • Academic Achievement in ELA / Reading
  • Top 25 percent: Comparative Academic Growth

2. Southmore was the recipient of the platinum health and wellness award during the 2021 - 2022 school year that was given by the PISD CHAC committee.

3. Southmore Intermediate received the distinguished CREST award during the 2021 - 2022 school year for a well-developed whole child-counseling program and recently were notified that we were once again honored with the CREST for the work done during the 2022 - 23 school year.

4. Pasadena ISD is one of only two school districts in the state of Texas to be recognized as a Model Professional Learning Community at Work™.  Only 24 school districts throughout the country and Canada have been selected for this prestigious honor.

The district was selected for this recognition by Solution Tree for demonstrating a commitment to PLC concepts, implementing these concepts for three years and for showing clear evidence of improved student learning. School districts honored as a Model PLC have successfully met the rigorous criteria set by Solution Tree, which calls on educators to show they:

1.       have focused on learning;
2.       built a collaborative culture;
3.       are results oriented.