Bowie Middle School (2023)
- Number of Students: 820
- Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: 91.5%
- Percent of Limited English Proficient: 60%
- Percent of Special Education: 10%
- White: 3.7%
- Black: 4%
- Hispanic: 89.9%
- Asian: 1.4%
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 0%
- American Indian or Alaska Native: 0%
- Multiracial: 1%
- Other: 0%
Our PLC journey has been a continuous effort to build shared understanding and commitment to the PLC at Work process while fostering a culture of continuous improvement in our school. Our Bowie Middle School PLC has been sustained through the dedicated leadership of three principals. Each principal, following the Solution Tree PLC at Work model, has played a crucial role in bringing together a guiding coalition that has worked collaboratively to establish and maintain our school mission, vision, values, and instructional processes. Over the years, these coalitions have been instrumental in designing our current instructional processes and the artifact tracking systems that allow our PLC at Work process to be visible to all.
In 2022, our most recent coalition was formed through an application and interview protocol. This cohort of 18 coalition members attended the High Impact Teams Institute, which provided them with the necessary tools and strategies to refine our mission, vision, values, and instructional processes. Over the summer, the coalition updated and streamlined our data-tracking artifacts to ensure they remained relevant to our purpose and positively impacted student needs and teacher collaborative practices. The monitoring of our instructional processes revolves around the four key questions of instructional design, which drive our continuous improvement efforts.
Our master schedule is designed so that content teams meet daily. During team time, teams have access to our academic specialist and instructional coaches. Instructional coaches are staff who helped develop our instructional processes and have been trained on coaching components: team leads, interventionists, instructional support staff and administrators.
To guide our focus on collaboration in content teams and our instructional processes, we developed a Team Rubric that applies the success criteria outlined by Solution Tree to our campus-specific goals and trends. Instructional coaches have played a vital role in guiding the teams through the self-evaluation process using the rubric, meeting regularly with teams to provide feedback and support. Teams have been given the opportunity to self-assess and make any required corrections, while instructional coaches have evaluated and offered guidance to enhance fidelity and competency in the PLC process.
To ensure that our instructional processes align with our goals, we use data-driven instructional talks to adjust our instruction. We analyze student samples from our Common Formative Assessments to identify key student misconceptions to reteach and flag areas where curriculum and instruction can be adjusted to achieve mastery of the essential standards.
We strive to be a PLC model school, and the fundamental structures necessary for success are in place. With the ongoing support of our school district, we have utilized state and national resources and programs to provide training and support to our teachers and instructional coaches. Through these partnerships, we aim to further strengthen our culture of collaboration and growth by ensuring that we continue to evolve and achieve excellence in our PLC journey and sharing our best practices with others.
1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.
To monitor student learning on a timely basis, our teams use the Bowie MS Guide to our PLC process, which guides teams through the 4 questions. This guide was created by the guiding coalition as a way to establish a clear process to the instructional cycle: unpack standards, create common assessment, teach, assess, make a plan for students who do not get it the first time, and make a plan for students who do get it the first time.
Additionally, we aligned our classroom instruction with our Tier 2 intervention block. Instead of waiting for semester exams or state accountability tests to assess student progress, we use instructional assessments every few weeks.
We start by using a variety of preassessment data to get a full picture of each student. We use that data to help choose the essential standards for the unit and intentionally address common misconceptions in the first round of instruction using district-vetted high quality instructional materials. Teachers attend district instructional sessions in their content area to deeply internalize the success criteria of student mastery of essential standards. With this criteria in mind, teachers intentionally plan checks for understanding within daily instruction to clarify instruction immediately. After a CFA on the standard, we reteach and reassess in class. This round of reassessment focuses on team analysis of student samples on one question to pinpoint the most common misconceptions, for which teams then co-design a highly targeted reteach mini-lesson to address.
Students who have not yet mastered the standard after this reteach lesson are then assigned to an intervention cycle (cycles typically last 3-4 weeks with studnets meeting 1-2 times weekly in our 30 minute Tier 2 RTI block). At the end of each intervention cycle, students are then reassesed in the specific standard they received intervention. Students who mastered the standard the first time are placed in extension classrooms during the RTI block.
2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.
We designed a daily 30 minute Tier 2 RTI block in our school schedule to provide intervention and extension opportunities on the essential standards most recently covered in Tier 1 classroom instruction. After teachers have used student samples and team data to analyze student achievement, students needing extra time and targeted instruction on the essential standard are identified and placed with a content teacher for a 3-4 week cycle (meeting 1-2 times weekly in our 30 minute Tier 2 RTI block). The effectiveness of this targeted intervention and extension is tracked through post assessments to be analyzed by the content team.
To maintain responsiveness to student learning needs on the essential standards, we use an online classroom rostering program for maximum flexibility, Enriching Students. A student may require intervention for one standard and extension for another, so the rosters are constantly changing to reflect student needs. With fluctuating rosters based on student data, we must utilize all teachers on campus to maintain small class sizes in this RTI block. Intervention groups are capped at 15 and extension groups at 25. Content teams collaborate on the mini-lessons for both intervention and extension. Our reading and math teachers are provided with targeted essential standard mini lessons and assessments for math and reading 6th - 8th essential standards, created and vetted by our interventionists. Content teachers deliver the interventions and elective teachers step in to facilitate the extension lessons.
Following a cycle of intervention, students still needing support to master the essential standards receive further tutoring outside of class and scaffolded support in class.
3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.
We are proud of the commitment of the current coalition as evidenced by their applications and leadership roles in their PLC teams. The guiding coalition created the Bowie MS Guide to our PLC Process and use the guide with their teams to build capacity with all team members. We prioritize team time in our master schedule. We rotate attendance to Solution Tree conferences to spread the base of knowledge on campus. Our district provides 4 purposeful planning days throughout the school year, which our campus uses for intensive PLC at Work professional development followed by team time to complete the PLC process. Additionally, teachers in the guiding coalition led their teams through self-reflection and evaluation of their practices and incorporate feedback from instructional coaches.
The self-evaluation process keeps teams accountable to collective commitments and student progress monitoring. Instructional coaches inform teams of which aspects of the collaborative work need improvement and then provide the resources and guidance to improve. The academic specialist and interventionists provide content-specific guidance on instructional practices and on student work analysis so that teams can improve their ability to identify and target areas of instructional needs.
Specifically, we used a model of analysis to collaborate on targeted reteach mini-lessons on essential standards. Teams establish teacher exemplars to the rigors of the standards to measure student work samples for specific misconceptions. The instructional coach then facilitates analysis for patterns and trends across the classes of each teammate. The teams script the reteach to clarify the student misconceptions. The instructional coach observes the reteach lesson to provide instructional feedback to the teammates in order to build capacity for highly responsive and effective instruction.
Achievement Data Files
Additional Achievement Data
The data for the past several years provides evidence that our collaborative efforts and instructional practices are producing significant and sustained improvement. Our state testing results for the 2021- 2022 school year neared or surpassed pre-covid levels in English, Science, and Social Studies. In English, our school was awarded a Reading Distinction for outperforming comparable schools in our state. In Grade 6, the school showed improvement in English proficiency rates, with an increase from 13% in 2020-2021 to 26% in 2021-2022. In Grade 7, the school demonstrated sustained improvement, with proficiency rates increasing from 34% in 2020-2021 to 45% in 2021-2022. This improvement is notable, as it matched the state average of 45%. In Grade 8, the school showed a significant improvement from 26% proficiency in 2020-2021 to 42% proficiency in 2021-2022.
Students with disabilities (SPED) have demonstrated improvement in English and Mathematics proficiency rates. For ELL students, there has been improvement in English proficiency rates across multiple grade levels, with two digit gains for most subjects in the past year. Economically disadvantaged students have shown growth in English and Mathematics proficiency rates, with several instances where the school's rates exceed the state average. While progress is being made in Mathematics proficiency rates, further efforts are needed to close the achievement gap. In Grade 6, the school's proficiency rates in Mathematics have remained relatively stable over the past three years, ranging from 9% to 10%. In Grade 7, the school's proficiency rates in Mathematics have shown improvement from 17% in 2020-2021 to 24% in 2021-2022. In Grade 8, the school's proficiency rates in Mathematics have improved from 15% in 2020-2021 to 27% in 2021-2022.
We are currently eagerly awaiting the 2023 state testing results. For the 2022-2023 school year, we implemented a school-wide RTI period into the school day, aimed to provide tier II support. As a campus, we adopted a Common Formative Assessment calendar that provided teams timelines for assessing students, disaggregating data, and determining intervention needed on an essential standard for the upcoming intervention cycle. Each cycle consisted of about five 20 minute lessons and one assessment session. The assessment session tested students over the essential standard covered to see if students met the standard after the intervention cycle.
Distinction in RLA on the 2021-2022 state accountability measure
Named a Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase School - a cornerstone of our MTSS design
Awarded the Effective Schools Framework Grant
Bowie Middle School received a Distinction in RLA on the 2021-2022 state accountability measures. This award indicates that the school or individuals achieved excellence in Reading/Language Arts (RLA) based on state accountability measures. It demonstrates a commitment to the PLC process by showcasing the effectiveness of collaborative teamwork. To earn this distinction, educators worked together within a PLC to analyze student data, identify areas for improvement, and implement targeted instructional strategies. The award recognizes the collective efforts of the team and highlights their commitment to continuous improvement through collaboration.
Capturing Kids’ Hearts National showcase school: This award signifies that the school has successfully implemented the Capturing Kids’ Hearts program, which emphasizes creating a positive and supportive school culture. By earning this recognition, Bowie MS demonstrates its commitment to the PLC process by prioritizing collaboration and building strong relationships among staff, students, and families. The program involves ongoing professional development and collective learning, fostering a collaborative mindset.
Bowie MS was awarded the Effective Schools Framework Grant - 2021-2023: Bowie MS is committed to implementing research-based practices and strategies to improve student outcomes. The grant completion demonstrates a commitment to the PLC process by showcasing the school's dedication to continuous improvement and collaboration. The grant supports the development and implementation of PLC structures and processes, such as regular collaborative meetings, data analysis, shared decision-making, and ongoing professional learning.
Overall, earning these awards highlights a commitment to the PLC process by emphasizing collaborative teamwork, fostering a positive school culture, implementing evidence-based practices, and prioritizing continuous improvement. These achievements demonstrate a dedication to working together as a team to enhance student learning and success.