Inman Intermediate School (2023)
- Number of Students: 393
- Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: 31%
- Percent of Limited English Proficient: 3.4%
- Percent of Special Education: 13%
Inman has been on our PLC journey for four years. We have seen highly effective results from implementing the practices and protocols we have learned. Becoming a PLC has changed how we do business at Inman, and our students are experiencing the high levels of learning this collaboration model creates!
Prior to our implementation of PLC, our teams met in groups and planned lessons. All teachers did not follow the district scope and sequence, and proficiency levels were inconsistent across our building and district. These variances created difficulty for our teachers to collaborate on the standards they were teaching. The struggles heightened, and our administrative team and instructional coach began to learn about building a PLC school and culture.
At the start of the 2019 school year, Inman officially implemented the first stage of our PLC journey. We started by focusing on Questions 1 and 2, and quickly found we must build highly effective teams before we were able to dig into the work and develop a strong understanding of the “why” behind PLC. The administrator and instructional coach went to a PLC at Work Institute and developed a strong plan to guide our teams through this work.
We created a Leadership Team to build a strong understanding of the PLC work. We created a new mission, vision, and collective commitments among our staff to serve as our roadmap. Our PLT’s created norms and kept an ongoing agenda to help streamline the work.
Our PLT’s worked weekly on answering questions 1 and 2 through breaking down their standards and creating CFA’s. This was a major step in developing a guaranteed and viable curriculum. We clearly communicated the expectations for each type of meeting and the work that teams would focus on by reviewing Different Types of Meetings.
Later in our journey, we began answering question 3. We implemented a building data protocol to help guide data discussions on each essential standard, and created a team data spreadsheet to house all our student’s performance data on essential standards.
In 2021, we transformed our “Leadership Team” into a “Guiding Coalition.” This allowed for more focused collaboration on the 4 questions and how to facilitate our team meetings (agenda examples). Our guiding coalition participated in a variety of professional developments, including creating a guaranteed and viable curriculum using backwards design, responsive facilitation, effective agendas, PLC Big Ideas, how to embed different protocols, and then also collaborated as leaders to address team items.
Our teams continued to progress as our instructional coach and team leaders began leading our teams through the creation of Unit Plans using backwards design. This allowed us to also determine the level of proficiency we expected our students to perform at. This intentional focus on our unit plans allowed us to collaborate on our curriculum design and create more engaging learning experiences for our students and ensure the learning was congruent with the variety of standards within each unit.
As our journey progressed, we saw the need to have dedicated time to intervene with students who did not meet proficiency. We explored a variety of approaches from small groups, to sharing students among the team, to creating a rotation process between subjects. One item we were missing was having data to see if our intervention practices were effective. We added a “re-test” to our data decision making model, and this ensured we were tracking our intervention practices and their effectiveness.
Seeing our need for data to guide our decisions, we created a RTI flowchart to help guide our intervention practices and ensure our students were proficient on all essential standards.
We got results from our RTI practices, and started our journey with question 4. Our district implemented an “exceed” category on our grading scale, and this opened the door to planning extensions within our collaborative teams.
During the 22-23 school year, we focused on question 4 and started conversations on how to extend the learning. We began adding “extension questions” to our formative assessments, which created conversation within our collaborative teams on ways to extend learning for our students.
We are excited to continue our journey and progression in PLC. As we reflect back to the beginning, we are amazed at how far we have come, the levels of our student performance, the established culture of collaboration, and the overall desire to continue improvement. Inman is a great place to be, and that is due to our unwavering commitment to student learning!
1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.
Our teams use the process of backwards design to create and implement a guaranteed and viable curriculum. Teams create units that include essential and supporting standards. For each essential standard, we start by unpacking the standard to create learning targets. We then determine the level of rigor for each target, the order, and the pacing of the learning targets that all team members will follow in their classrooms. The team agrees on the most essential learning targets and the common formative assessment is written based on those targets. We then brainstorm and share learning activities and strategies that are congruent with each learning target. We monitor student learning by tracking formative data on team data spreadsheets. These spreadsheets allow teams to see student performance by grade level, class, and by each student. Teams use the data discussion protocol to discuss their formative data and make decisions for interventions. Teams reach consensus on the date they will reassess by and share that data as well. They also share resources and strategies that can be implemented during intervention time. Our special education teachers also have access to this so they can monitor, intervene, and adjust instructional practices to ensure proficiency on essential standards.
2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.
After our collaborative teams began developing units, we were able to focus more intentionally on the performance levels of our students. After each CFA, teams met to discuss the student data (data spreadsheet example) using a data discussion protocol and then made plans for RTI. We developed a system of support to make sure all students could perform at high levels. We added to our master schedule 30 minutes of Eagle Time to provide Tier 2 instruction for students and used common formative data to determine which students needed more support. We implemented protocols and a decision making model to help guide our steps. We set an 80% proficiency goal to determine if we needed to implement a “day of response” for Tier 1 or move into Tier 2 with specific interventions in place for those students who did not meet the proficiency goal. We tracked our students' Tier 2 interventions to ensure mastery for all. Once our students were progressing, we were able to implement a “before school” essential standard tutoring program to focus on those missed skills. We are currently working through this to guarantee by May, all of our students will be proficient on all essential standards. We are showing great progress.
We are a Gold level PBIS school, and have implemented the Tier 1, 2, and 3 levels with fidelity. We have an individualized focus on student academic and behavioral needs, focusing on restorative practices as our guide. We have a “system of support” that ensures all students receive the support they need to be successful. We have established “Majors and Minors” to help our teachers know the steps in supporting student behavior. We also have a universal “Take 5” practice to provide for self regulation and private student/teacher conferencing when needed in all settings.
At the Tier 2 level, our school has implemented many supports throughout our building to provide proactive methods through our Student Success Team(SST). The proactive methods include PBIS practices as the foundation with trauma informed care and restorative practices to address the needs of our most fragile and vulnerable students. The SST is made up of the school principal, school counselor, behavior intervention facilitator, electives teacher, reading specialist, and special education teacher. Nomination criteria are developed for the referral process. When developing student intervention plans, the Student Success Team and the classroom teachers meet together. Student interventions include but are not limited to Check In/Check Out, Social Skills Group, Scheduled and/or Sensory Break, Small Group or Individual School Counseling. The Check In/Check Out procedures include developing goals with the student. Each day, the student checks in with the behavior intervention facilitator to review goals and discuss plans for the day. Throughout the day, the students check in with their teachers on how they are progressing on their goals. They check out at the end of day by reflecting on their day and graphing their results. Students have an incentive menu to choose activities to celebrate when their goals are met. This allows students to receive immediate reinforcement or work towards a larger goal.
At the Tier 2 level, Inman Intermediate has implemented social/emotional small groups. These groups are led by Inman’s school counselor and are implemented each semester. These small groups address and practice a variety of supports to assist students with self-regulation, executive functioning skills, self-esteem, restorative practices, conflict resolution, and many other skills and/or practices.
For staff development, monthly professional development is provided by the school counselor and behavior intervention facilitator to increase our depth of knowledge in positive behavior supports and strategies including PBIS practices and procedures, restorative practices, emotional intelligence, and executive function skills.
If a student’s needs are more significant than what can be accommodated at the Tier 2 level, the SST team will create a Tier 3 action team, typically made up of the school principal, school counselor, classroom teacher and behavior intervention facilitator. A formal or informal meeting will be scheduled with the parent either in person or through email, phone call or Zoom to discuss student progress and concerns. The Tier 3 action team will determine if the student is in need of more individualized, intensive interventions, needs a referral for counseling services through our partnership with Burrell Behavioral Health services or possibly a special education referral. Parents are involved in these decision making processes.
By implementing these practices over the past 5 years, we have decreased our violent student behavioral episodes, and have lessened our SRO calls for assaultive behavior by over 50%.
3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.
Inman’s master schedule includes dedicated time for all professional learning teams to collaborate. Each team has team-created norms and follows them throughout the meetings. Each collaborative team keeps an ongoing agenda where items are added before the meeting for the team to collaborate on. Items added to the agenda must answer one of the four PLC questions and when teams meet, they focus their attention on each agenda item and completing that work. These agendas include many links to helpful documents that include unit plans, assessments, shared student data, resources that align to learning targets, and district PLC documents.
Inman’s Guiding Coalition team meets monthly to discuss facilitating the work of their teams and other building topics. This team has also participated in a variety of professional development opportunities and book studies which includes discussion and reflection. As a building we also participated in Mike Mattos’s training “Are we a Group or a Team?” Throughout our journey, Inman teachers have also attended many district provided PLC training.
Inman teachers also participate in teaching studies during various times throughout the school year. This allows teachers to observe other classroom environments and instruction and then reflect as a team afterwards. They then each create an individual goal for what they will try in their own classroom.
Achievement Data Files
Additional Achievement Data
Overall sub-group and building data from 2019-2022: HERE
There is significant growth in our special education sub-group from 2019-2022 that shows our full implementation of PLC is positively impacting our most fragile sub-group.
There is significant growth in our ELL students over the 2019-2022 that show how our RTI practices have had a significant impact.
There is significant growth in both 5th and 6th grade for all testing content to show that PLC is positively impacting our most general education students as well.
Due to our strong PLC culture and practices, our building was able to continue with student improvement, even through the Pandemic shutdown.
We ensured all special education teachers attended PLC meetings with the shared content they were teaching.
We predetermined student homeroom placement to ensure they received uninterrupted special education services.
We ensured all special education students were exposed to grade level standards and participated in all content CFA’s.
We ensured all students received Tier 2 interventions on essential standards when proficiency was not met. This included special education and ELL students.
We set aside time for our ELL students to receive intervention on language without missing core content time. (Eagle Time)
3 teachers from Inman received “Teacher of the Year” in Nixa.
PBIS “Rooting For Each Other” Award
PBIS Gold Level Recognition Award