Belton Elementary School (2023)
- Number of Students: 382
- Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: 73%
- Percent of Limited English Proficient: 1.8%
- Percent of Special Education: 23%
- White: 68.32%
- Black: 14.4%
- Hispanic: 8.38%
- Asian: 0%
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 0%
- American Indian or Alaska Native: 0%
- Multiracial: 8.9%
- Other: 0%
Belton Elementary School is a small rural school in Anderson County, South Carolina. With a student population of approximately 382, Belton Elementary consists of three grade levels, third, fourth, and fifth. In 2019, our principal, Tracy Hedrick, attended a PLC at Work Conference over the summer and began planning to kick off our PLC journey at Belton Elementary. When developing the master schedule, each grade level was assigned a designated intervention/acceleration time in their schedule called PAWS for Success.
Regular meetings were scheduled with grade-level teams and administration to work through the uncomfortable process of sharing data from unit assessments and sharing methods for teaching and instruction. Throughout the fall, the principal shared information on PLC concepts such as “shared purpose” and “focus on results” during faculty meetings. In December 2019, the principal and the 5th-grade mathematics team attended the Mathematics at Work in a PLC Conference to spread understanding of the process. The next steps included developing three teams, Literacy Across the School Team, Collective Commitments Team, and Essential Standards and Academic Vocabulary Team. Each team consisted of high-impact school members, and they were given a specific charge to develop the groundwork for our PLC process.
Even with the pressures of the COVID shutdown, the teams continued to meet virtually through the end of the year to develop a vertically aligned literacy across our school plan, create collective commitments for the school, and identify essential standards by grade level for mathematics and ELA highlighting critical academic vocabulary. During the 2020-2021 school year, Belton Elementary continued the journey after we maneuvered the reopening from COVID process. At this point, we began to collaborate with leadership across the district. During this time, we continued to support our staff on the PLC process through a book study on Learning By Doing, finalizing Essential Standards at our school, finalizing Collective Commitments at our school, and editing our Vision and Mission Statements for the school. Hence, they were in line with our Collective Commitments.
In 2021, under the leadership of new Superintendent Jason Johns, Anderson Two decided to implement Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) district-wide to shift from a teacher-focused to learner-focused culture and ensure learning for all ASD2 students. Through this part of the journey, we realized there is a distinct value of communities of practice to organizations. During the 2021-2022 school year, Belton Elementary joined with the other four elementary schools in the district to develop a district plan for continuing our PLC journey. The district arranged for elementary administrators to meet with a neighboring school, which is now a PLC model school, for a presentation and Q&A of their process. At Belton Elementary, Team Planning time was scheduled into the master schedule along with common intervention/enrichment times for each grade level. Team Leads were assigned with the benefit of a district-approved stipend. The district provided all schools with a PLC Consultant to provide professional development to kick off our year with everyone on the same page and receiving the same message. The guiding coalition became our school’s leadership team, and all initiatives were tied to or supported our PLC process.
Teams revised our essential standards and began the process of collaborating across the district to develop district-wide essential standards. We sent school teams from across the district to visit two model PLC schools in Georgia to continue the professional development of our teachers in the process. At the end of the year, all grade levels met to agree upon and finalize the grade level essential standards for mathematics and ELA. Administrators across the district developed our PLC roadmap for the 2022-2023 school year, which included the development of the district grade-level teams with scheduled district team monthly meetings. Before the start of 2022-2023, the master schedule continued providing team meeting times and intervention/acceleration times. Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 were implemented as the schedule structure to begin moving our staff into an understanding of each. The district planned time for our district teams to come together for the first time during the Back to School Teacher week. The team spent that first meeting developing norms. The administration explained that the main functions were to develop unit plans based on essential standards, develop common unit assessments and share data and instructional processes. Those team meetings were scheduled monthly for the remainder of the year. At Belton Elementary, our school teams continued to meet weekly to focus on the four key questions, data, and results while implementing our district-developed unit plans.
Through our Title I budget, we sent teams to the following PLC events: Yes, We Can, Mathematics at Work in the PLC, School Improvement for All Workshop, and Amplify your Impact Workshop to continue building the capacity of our faculty and staff. As we came to the end of the year, we had several veteran teachers tell us in closing meetings that this was the first year that they felt all their students received what they needed to grow and achieve. They explained that the team process has positively impacted them across the board. This continuous improvement process will help us to continue to close the gaps and grow in success.
1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.
At Belton Elementary School, we have a process in place to create and implement a guaranteed and viable curriculum. This process ensures that all students have access to a high-quality curriculum aligned with standards and designed to promote their learning and achievement. Additionally, we have strategies in place to monitor student learning on time, allowing us to identify areas of strength and areas needing improvement.
To create a guaranteed and viable curriculum, we follow a systematic approach that involves collaboration, alignment, and ongoing review. Here is an overview of our process:
Collaborative Curriculum Development: Teachers and administrators from our school come together with all other teachers and administrators from schools across the district in each grade level to collaborate on curriculum development. This collaborative approach ensures that the expertise and perspectives of educators across grade levels and subjects are considered. It fosters a sense of ownership and shared responsibility for the curriculum. At the school level, teams continue to meet ninety minutes weekly to ensure the developed curriculum is implemented with fidelity.
Alignment with Standards: Our curriculum is aligned with state standards, district expectations, and learning goals. We carefully examine the standards and identify the essential knowledge and skills students must acquire at each grade level. This alignment helps us ensure that our curriculum is comprehensive and focused on key learning outcomes.
Curriculum Mapping: We use curriculum mapping tools and resources to document and organize our curriculum. This includes outlining the scope and sequence of content, identifying instructional resources and strategies, and mapping out assessments. Curriculum maps serve as a teacher's roadmap, providing a clear overview of what needs to be taught and when.
Ongoing Review and Reflection: We regularly review and reflect on our curriculum to ensure its effectiveness and relevance. This includes gathering teacher feedback, analyzing student performance data, sharing instructional strategies, and seeking input from special education teachers, interventionists, and coaches. We use the data, feedback, and instructional suggestions to adjust and improve the curriculum as needed.
To monitor student learning in a timely manner, we employ several strategies to gather data and assess student progress:
Formative Assessments: Teachers use common formative assessments throughout the learning process to gather evidence of student understanding and skill development. These assessments are designed to provide immediate feedback to teachers and students, allowing for timely adjustments to instruction.
Common Assessments: We utilize common unit assessments across grade levels and subjects to ensure consistency and comparability. Common assessments allow us to monitor student learning on a larger scale and identify trends and patterns that inform instructional decisions.
Data Analysis: We analyze student performance data from assessments to identify areas of strength and areas needing improvement. This analysis helps us identify individual student needs, instructional gaps, and areas where interventions may be necessary. We use an item analysis process to measure the level of mastery for each essential standard.
Intervention and Differentiation: Based on the data analysis, we provide targeted interventions and differentiated instruction to students who require additional support or enrichment. This ensures every student receives the necessary resources and strategies to meet their learning needs.
Progress Monitoring: We use data sheets and wall displays to regularly track and monitor student progress. This is to assess the effectiveness of instructional strategies and interventions. This includes monitoring individual student growth over time and adjusting interventions as needed.
Overall, Belton Elementary uses a collaborative approach to develop a guaranteed and viable curriculum that is aligned with standards. We employ various strategies to monitor student learning, allowing us to make data-informed instructional decisions and provide targeted support to students. Through this process, we strive to ensure that all students have access to high-quality education and are supported in their learning and achievement.
2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.
At Belton Elementary School, we are committed to providing students with additional time and support for learning through systems of intervention and extension. These systems are designed to address the diverse needs of our students, ensuring that every learner receives the necessary resources and opportunities to succeed. Below, we describe how we create and implement these systems:
Data-Driven Decision Making: We use a data-driven approach to identify students who may require intervention or extension. This includes analyzing student performance data from formative and summative assessments, benchmark assessments, and other sources.When identifying students, we take into account a variety of factors such as academic performance, behavior, and attendance. This data is collected and analyzed to determine which staff members had the most effective instructional strategies. By analyzing this data, we can identify areas where improvement is needed and implement changes accordingly. This information is then used to inform the next steps taken by the team, which may include providing additional training or resources to staff members, adjusting instructional strategies, or implementing new programs to better support student learning. Overall, our goal is to use data to continuously improve and ensure that all students have access to high-quality education.
Once we have identified these students, we work closely with their teachers and families to develop a plan for providing additional time and support. This may involve creating individualized learning plans, providing one-on-one or small-group instruction, or offering targeted interventions or enrichment activities.
By examining data, we can identify students who may be struggling or excelling in specific areas and determine the appropriate level of support needed.
Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS): We have implemented a Multi-Tiered System of Support framework to provide targeted interventions and extensions. This framework consists of three tiers. These tiers are available to all students and include grade-level teams performing the instruction at each tier:
a. Tier 1: Universal Instruction: All students receive high-quality instruction aligned with grade-level standards and best practices. Teachers use research-based instructional strategies and differentiation to meet the diverse needs of students in the general education classroom.
b. Tier 2: Targeted Intervention: Students who require additional support beyond the core instruction receive targeted interventions in small groups. These interventions are designed to address specific skill gaps or provide additional practice and reinforcement. Teachers use evidence-based interventions and progress monitoring to track student growth and make instructional adjustments.
c. Tier 3: Intensive Intervention: Students who require more intensive support receive individualized interventions tailored to their specific needs. These interventions involve more frequent and intense instruction, personalized learning plans, or specialized programs. Intensive interventions are provided by intervention specialists or other highly trained personnel.
Response to Intervention (RTI) Teams: We have established a Response to Intervention (RTI) team for students under evaluation for learning difficulties. These teams include educators, parents, administrators, and support staff collaborating to develop student intervention. The RTI teams meet regularly to review student data, assess progress, and decide on appropriate interventions or extensions.
Flexible Grouping and Scheduling: We utilize flexible grouping and scheduling to maximize instructional time and provide targeted support. Students are grouped based on their specific needs, allowing for differentiated instruction and targeted interventions. This may involve regrouping students for specific subjects or skills, providing additional time for intervention during the school day, or offering extended learning opportunities beyond regular classroom hours.
Collaboration and Professional Learning: Teachers collaborate within their grade-level or subject-area teams to share strategies, resources, and best practices for intervention and extension. Collaborative teams provide a forum for teachers to discuss student needs, analyze data, and develop instructional plans. Additionally, ongoing professional development opportunities are provided to equip educators with the knowledge and skills necessary for effective intervention and extension practices.
Family and Community Engagement: We involve families and the community in supporting student learning through intervention and extension. We communicate regularly with parents/guardians to inform them about their child's progress and provide resources for supporting learning at home. We also collaborate with community organizations and partners to offer additional resources and opportunities for students.
By creating and implementing systems of intervention and extension, we ensure that students receive the necessary time and support for learning. Through data-driven decision-making, a multi-tiered system of support, collaboration, and family engagement, we strive to meet the unique needs of every student and help them 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.
At Belton Elementary, we place a strong emphasis on building teacher capacity to work as members of high-performing collaborative teams. Our teams play a critical role in our efforts to improve student learning. Our high-performing collaborative teams focus their efforts on improved student learning in the following ways:
Shared Vision and Goals: Our collaborative teams have a shared vision and set clear goals for student learning that they developed as a team. They align their team efforts with the school's mission and vision, our school’s collective commitments, and the goals outlined in the school improvement plan. This shared understanding ensures that all team members work towards a common purpose and are committed to improving student outcomes.
Data-Informed Decision-Making: Our collaborative teams use a data-informed approach to drive their decision-making. They analyze various forms of data, such as student assessments, classroom observations, and progress monitoring, to identify areas of strength and areas needing improvement. By examining data, teams can identify trends, patterns, and individual student needs, which inform their instructional practices and interventions.
Collaborative Planning: The teams engage in collaborative planning to design instructional strategies and interventions that meet the diverse needs of their students. Collaborative planning allows for the sharing of expertise, brainstorming of ideas, and the development of cohesive instructional plans.
Our team believes in the power of collaborative planning to create instructional strategies and interventions that meet the unique needs of our students.
Working together, we develop common formative assessments that are aligned with essential standards, assess student progress, and adjust instruction accordingly. This approach allows us to tap into each other's expertise, brainstorm new ideas, and create cohesive instructional plans that benefit our students.
Professional Learning Communities (PLCs): Our collaborative teams function as learning communities. Teachers engage in ongoing professional development and learning. Collaborative teams provide a structured framework for partnership, reflection, and continuous improvement. Teachers participate in weekly school collaborative team meetings and monthly district team meetings to discuss student data, instructional strategies, and best practices. These meetings foster a culture of shared responsibility and professional growth.
Differentiated Instruction and Interventions: As educators, we understand that every student is unique, with their own strengths and areas for growth. That's why our collaborative teams prioritize differentiated instruction and interventions to address the individual needs of each student. By carefully analyzing student data, we can identify those who require additional support or enrichment and develop targeted interventions and extension activities to help them reach their full potential. With differentiated instruction, we can provide every student with the appropriate level of challenge and support, maximizing their learning and helping them succeed.
Ongoing Reflection and Assessment: Our collaborative teams engage in continuous reflection and assessment of their practices. They reflect on the impact of their instructional strategies and interventions on student learning outcomes. This reflective practice allows teams to make data-driven adjustments, share successes and challenges, and refine their approaches to meet the needs of their students better.
Supportive Team Environment: Our collaborative teams foster a supportive and positive team environment. They value open communication, trust, and respect among team members. This environment encourages collaboration, risk-taking, and the sharing of ideas. Using collaborative team norms, teachers feel supported and empowered to contribute their expertise and learn from their colleagues, ultimately leading to improved student learning.
By focusing their efforts on a shared vision, data-informed decision-making, collaborative planning, differentiated instruction, ongoing reflection, and a focus on a supportive team environment, our collaborative teams work together to improve student learning. Through their collective efficacy and commitment, they create a culture of continuous improvement and ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed.
Achievement Data Files
Additional Achievement Data
Our state did not take state testing the year of covid. We have attached our local data (iReady) from 2019-2023, and our state testing data.
2021-2022 Palmetto Silver Award
2021-2022 Excellent Report Rating
2021-2022 South Carolina School Improvement Counsil Advocate of the Year