Killian Middle School (2023)

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

Killian Middle School opened in 2007 with 350 students and an incredibly motivated and innovative staff. Students were high-performing and the staff was hungry for continuous learning and improvement. Over the next 12 years the campus continued to grow rapidly and the shift to the PLC at Work process began in 2015 when our campus enrollment grew and our students' academic needs also grew. As our demographics shifted and have continued to shift post COVID, we have had to work harder than ever to meet each student where they are and try to push them to academic success. 

As a group of educators, we recognized and continue to reflect on how we had been planning and teaching was not enough for our current students. As campus administrators, we believed that change needed to start with us and we invested time and resources in learning about PLC at Work really meant through book studies, the Solution Tree Conference, watching YouTube videos of Mike Mattos, and leading staff through professional learning, all centered around becoming a Professional Learning Community and creating authentic collaborative teams. 

 In order for our staff to truly understand and commit to PLC, we created a school climate and culture that was more than just doing PLC once a day, our goal was to create an entire PLC climate and culture.  Beginning in 2016 we prioritized  collaborative team time by  providing all of our teachers 225 minutes a week  built into our master schedule ( See attachment for an example) After ensuring that we had dedicated time and structures in place, a small group of teacher leaders and began pouring the foundation of what is PLC and how do we transform our entire school culture.  With the support of  district content facilitators we were able to have one PLC Day for each of our four content areas. This was the first time we spent an entire day looking at standards, test scores, analyzing vocabulary, and building a common understanding of where we stood as educators and what our weaknesses and strengths were. We took the next step of asking ourselves, what is next for these students who need intervention and those that need extensions.

 The foundational pieces that we implemented during this time is what set the tone for the next eight years.  Since then, campus administrators have dedicated resources and space to our PLC at Work process. A PLC focused room is always available for each group of educators. The room has the four guiding questions posted on the wall for all educators to review each time they meet. Our PLC calendar is available and viewable for all and keeps momentum in working on the work. Student data is printed and posted for all to see so that teachers can get right to work and the work is focused on the learners’ needs. We are committed to the process and dedicate time to review data, review assessments, use protocols to guide conversations, share ideas, and reflect on our professional practice.  Over the past several years, all team leads and department chairs attended various professional learning opportunities including: Coaching, Solution Tree, and Critical Friends. These campus teacher leaders set the tone for our staff to be successful in the PLC process because they are confident in the work that they are all investing in. The entire campus is committed to the PLC at Work process. ARDs, RTI meetings, 504 meetings, and parent conferences do not occur during the designated PLC periods. The twice a week PLC time is non-negotiable and everyone is dedicated to these expectations. At the start of each school year, departments meet to establish their department norms. These norms are used to hold each other accountable and continue building the commitment we all share for PLC. Our departments analyze data to establish their essential standards. The essential  standards and PLC norms are printed and framed in our PLC room but always easily edited. Most importantly, our school family is intentional in our conversations to build each other up and support one another through the teaching and learning process. Our common goal is to provide each student with the best learning experience possible and for that to come to fruition, we believe that we have to work together through collaborative teams.  

Since returning to full in person school after the COVID-2019 pandemic, the staff and learning communities have had more buy-in than ever on why we need to function through professional learning communities. The need to help off-set learning gaps and fill in where learning was lost is still very apparent. Our PTA and BLT committee both also fully support the need for PLC and our PTA continues to fund our Lunch and Learns as well as purchasing any needed materials our departments need. This collobarative committment from our campus and community is how we continue to thrive as a PLC campus. 


1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Each year, we analyze student data and set  goals for our campus. Every August  teachers and assigned administrators use the common assessments results from the prior year  as the foundation of tracking how students are doing and for ensuring that the teachers are teaching the content correctly. The conversations are not about why a student didn’t learn it, they are focused on how we can teach this concept differently to ensure that every student learns the content.  In each PLC cycle the teachers review key standards and ideas in order to build the shared understanding of the concepts being taught, create a common formative assessment  and identify how to increase levels of student mastery.   Bi-weekly data meetings are held to provide a space and time to analyze and monitor student learning. This supports us in tracking trends across subject areas and creating  specialized plans for all students' growth. The focus is on what do we do if students didn’t learn it and what do we do with the students that already learned it. The data walls at Killian provide each teacher in the building an opportunity to see who is reading below grade level, who is struggling on certain math concepts,  and who is not making academic growth. All of our students are our shared focus. We also use a share lesson design template that is based on the 4 questions.

During the data analysis component, our teachers create flexible groups based on student needs. There are groups of students that need enrichment and remediation. There are also students that have mastered the TEKS and need an extension of the learning. The focus is on meeting students where they are and challenging them to gain understanding. Using the depth of knowledge indicators as a data point, our teachers are able to identify which level the students have mastered and what else we need to do to ensure all students have an opportunity to experience extensive thinking. 
Monitoring student learning is one continuous process at Killian MS. Killian Middle School uses a variety of data points to monitor student learning. We look at the following components:
  1.  Common formative assessment data : Teacher created assessments based off of the essential standards. Based on the data, we formulate a plan for students that need additional practice or extension on each essential standard.

  2. State Required Testing: all students in Texas are required to take the STAAR test. We use the data to support informed decisions about who needs interventions from previous grade levels.  

  3. District Provided Common Assessments: We know our students are more than a singular test score, so we also analyze district created Curriculum Based Assessments that are pre-created for our teachers and standards aligned based on the pacing guides. This supports our work on ensuring a guaranteed and viable curriculum.

  4.  Universal Reading Screeners: We believe that reading abilities are a foundational component of student success and all teachers should be aware of students’ reading levels so we also share student reading data that our reading teachers have collected from the following assessments:  iStation, Interim STAAR Testing, Gates, Mindplay, StudySync, Imagine Math, iReady, and IXL. This data is shared with math, science, social studies, and elective teachers.

  5.  Progress Reports and Report Cards: failure rates are another important indicator of student success and grade monitoring. We celebrate students who are making all A’s and All A’s & B’s honor roll. We also provide students with incentives every three weeks to have all passing grades.


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

Time is always the number one wanted resource in schools and everyone wishes we had more of it. The precious minutes we have with our students are valuable and we have become very creative with our master schedule. Twice a week we have forty-five minutes built in for intervention and extensions. Having a modified block schedule has been very effective for middle school students because it provides a variety of class times and structures. During this time, that we call “Mustang Time” students are placed in a variety of places with a variety of options.

1)RTI: students who fail an academic course are placed into mandatory tutoring groups for RTI. These groups meet before and after school as well as during advisory. 

2)Reading Below Grade Level: students who are identified as reading two or more grade levels below and are not already identified as receiving special education services or as an emerging bilingual student are pulled for intense reading instruction.

3)Extensions: students in the GT program are placed with their GT teacher in science and in English Language Arts to have additional opportunities for student led exploration and study in Genius Hour activities.

4)Extensions for Music: students in the top performing band and choir are placed with their respective teachers for additional opportunities to practice and learn.

5)Philanthropy: students who are passing all their classes and do not fit in other categories are able to choose from a variety of opportunities to give back to the school or community.

6) Before/After School Tutoring: all teachers provide their students with three opportunities per week for tutoring. These opportunities are a combination of before and after school times.

7) Academic UIL Competition: students try out and make one of nine different academic competition groups: ready writing, oral reading, number sense, calculator skills, math, science, maps, graphs and charts, dictionary skills, and spelling. These opportunities challenge our students to push themselves in topics they are passionate about.

8)Spelling Bee: all students are able to participate in the campus spelling bee and winners go on to the district and regional spelling bees.

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

Then Killian high-performing teams stay high-performing and collaborative by following their norms, dedicating time to the PLC process, supporting and trusting one another, and are focused on the four questions for each learning experience. These teams are led by a department leader that is highly invested in their craft, their team, and their students. These individuals have the necessary knowledge and skills that it takes to lead their teams because they have participated in professional learning around facilitating PLC conversations and received coaching on PLC best practices. The partnership between the department leaders and the district content facilitators is an additional layer of support and continuous improvement. 

 Content teams are focused on the results of the student work and student experiences that lead the learners to mastery of the learning target. Our high-performing and collaborative teams are able to work through and facilitate conversations even when an administrator is not lead, but serving as a part of the committee. When there is shared ownership and commitment to the process of providing all students with what they need, the teams are collaborative and truly a team. Some teams are stronger than others and some teams have more shared capacity amongst the team, however all teachers are focused and dedicated to the process. All collaborative teams acknowledge that their work is never finished, they are always trying to answer the four questions as part of reviewing their standards and learning experiences. Teams are also committed to never blaming anyone else or students, instead they are committed to finding ways to support the success of every  learner. 


Achievement Data Files

STAAR Distinction Designations

  • ELA/Reading
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Postsecondary Readiness

Campus/Staff Awards 21-22 School Year

  • Counseling Department earned Crest Award 
  • Secondary Counselor of the Year, Anu Daniel 
  • Secondary Teacher of the Year Finalist, Beth Yanda 
  • Lewisville Chamber of Conference Teacher of the Year, Beth Yanda 

Student Group Awards

  • Academic UIL 1st Place Winners
  • All District Spelling Bee Champion 
  • Destination Imagination Team: First Place at State 
  • Football: 7th Grade Division 2 Undefeated District Champions and 8th Grade Football District Champions
  • Cross Country: 7th Grade District Runner-Up and 8th Grade District Champions 
  • Boys Basketball: 7th Grade Division 1 and Division 2 Undefeated District Champions 
  • Boys Soccer: 8th Grade Undefeated District Champions 
  • Volleyball: 7th Grade Division 1 and 2 Undefeated District Champs 
  • Girls Track: 7th Grade Student earned District Champion
  • Academic UIL- 1st Place Winners
  • Common Sense School Recognition
  • LISD All-District Honor Band - 46 students accepted, 7 were first in the district

  • TMEA All-Region Honor Band - 41 students accepted, 2 were first in the region

  • UIL Contest - All Bands ReceiveSweepstakes

  • North Texas Festival of Distinction - Band Division I

  • LISD Solo and Ensemble Contest - 91 Division I Soloists, 41 Most Outstanding Awards

  • LISD Solo and Ensemble Contest - 20 Division I Small Ensembles, 2 Most Outstanding Awards

  • Peak Music Festival - Honors Band Division I, Best in Class, Most Outstanding Ensemble, multiple Solo and Section awards

  • Peak Music Festival - Wind Ensemble Division I